Sunday, March 30, 2008

You can lead a *bull* to water...

Well, sort of...but it isn't easy and, you definitely can't make him drink!


The boys were working on breaking our little bull to lead. We were told, by many older and wiser neighbor farmers to tie him up so that he "learned" that the lead rope had control. Then, periodically through the day, lead him to food and water. Rrriiiigggghhhhttt!


He was a pain a wee bit uncooperative. It took both boys, using combined strength, to try to move this bull to the water. And these boys are STRONG! I think it would have been easier to move the water to him but, then, that would have nullified the whole purpose.


And when they got him way was he going to take a drink! Look at how he has those hooves dug into the dirt...makes me think of when my boys were toddlers!


Siah tried showing him the water, splashing some on the end of his snout....NOT INTERESTED!


The boys tried loosening the lead rope - and it appeared that he might take a drink but alas he was as stubborn as a, well, a bull! Many sayings went through my mind that day..."bull in a china shop" came vividly to mind as I watch him kick and buck.

The boys went through this every few hours - all day long. We were working in the garden and kept him tied nearby where we could keep an eye on him. Nora, his adopted mama, was beginning to get a bit irked with the boys....they were messing with HER baby! She wasn't pleased.

Late in the afternoon we turned him loose - expecting him to head for the water...nope!


Truthfully, I think he waited until we weren't looking to drink his fill....wouldn't that be just like a stubborn child?

As always, our Father, used this agrarian scene to teach and remind me. Questions that went through my mind over the day while watching this little bull.....Do I ever act like that bull towards my Father? Am I stubborn when He wants to teach me new things?

We were trying to bring that bull to something that was not only good for him but tasted I that way with Father? Do I dig my heels in and struggle against His will because He is leading me down a new or different path? Do I miss blessings because I don't follow gently when He leads?

Do you?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

All Things Serve Thee

A most timely devotion by Elisabeth Elliot....what a blessing it was for me - I pray it will bless you as well.
The Lord's decrees (his promises, his plans, his every word) stand fast, no matter what news we receive. A child has run away. A mother has cancer. A business has failed. The events in our private lives and the great catastrophes in the world do not budge the solid ground on which the Christian takes his position. How can this be? Are there not conditions which harm and hinder and destroy? Not in the end. There is nothing, on earth or in hell or heaven, in time or in eternity, which can alter in any final sense what God has promised--because all things serve Him.

A word in the Book of the Revelation shows this truth most gloriously. Ten great kings will join their powers with an enormously powerful beast to wage war on the Lamb. God does not intervene to prevent that war.

"But the Lamb will defeat them, for He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings, and his victory will be shared by His followers, called and chosen and faithful" (Rv 17:14 NEB).

All things serve Him. That is, everything will at last be seen to be under his control, contributing to his eternal purposes--and (here is another marvel) the Lamb's victory will be ours as well.

Lord, who has called and chosen us--make us faithful. Enable us to keep our eyes on the final victory.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Double Digits!

My baby turned 10 this month. MY BABY! All I have heard for weeks is "Double Digits!". Evidently this is a milestone in a child's life...I don't think we had that saying when I was a kid but that was many decades ago....let's not go there...

I worked hard for this child...I was 42 when I got pregnant and yes I was *trying*! I spent a lot of that pregnancy flat on my back to keep from going into early labor...occasionally I got to ride around in a wheel chair. Woo hoo! It was a long 9 months. But....was it ever worth it....this is my joy-filled child. He is always happy and it is infectious...he brings a smile where ever he goes. He is...a delight! And perhaps just a wee bit mischievous.

We had a small family celebration at lunch. This year he actually drew me a sketch of what he wanted on his cake. Cakes somehow got to be a big deal over the years...not sure how that started. Each year I pray over what/how to decorate and each year the Father blesses with inspiration. This year Elijah described his cake this way...."I want a forest of trees, with a path down the middle, and a cardinal in flight over the top of the forest, headed for it's nest, with a big 10 coming out of the nest, and logs all around the bottom of the cake with branches crawling up the side of the cake". Whew...what a request!

The picture isn't great but maybe it will give you an idea....


He picked sparkler candles....I don't know if we have had those before but they don't exactly go out when you blow on takes more of a continual gale force wind.


If you notice...they are re-lighting by themselves. It actually became pretty funny!

My favorite picture of the day was this one,


my boys reading an original G.I.Joe comic book together.

That evening, we had a church group meeting here. So we had to have another little party which meant another cake...believe it or not I didn't hear any complaints from Elijah (or anyone else for that matter!). This time I got to pick...carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and decorated with all of our nicknames for our Doodle...uh...Elijah.


He loved it! I did too - quick and easy...the other cake took quite a while. During that party, I was able to snap this picture of one of Elijah's favorite people (mine too!).


And I'll bet a lot of you read her blog too.

It was a wonderful day...and bittersweet. It seems that they grow so quickly...I know... all mothers have this same lament. I still can hardly believe that we hit "double digits" a blink of the eye he will be a teenager.... and then a grown man. I already have one all grown up with two fast behind him. Somehow..this one seems harder...I guess because there are no babies behind him.

Happy Birthday Lijah-do!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rejoice! Rejoice! For the tomb is empty and He has risen....JUST AS HE SAID!


Have a joyous and blessed celebration of His resurrection!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thank you

I want to thank you all for praying on Wednesday. I am sure that I was sustained through a most difficult day by being lifted up to our Father through the prayers of the saints.

Thank you for praying and thank you for all the encouraging notes during a most discouraging time. I am also most grateful to those of you who shared scripture with me...I share some here that touched my heart....
"... they who seek the Lord by right of their need and on the authority of His Word, none of them shall lack any beneficial thing." - Psalm 34:10b

"This poor man cried out, and the LORD heard him. And saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, And delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" Psalm 34:6-8

"Many evils confront the consistently righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all." - Psalm 34:19

"Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:26-28)

I rest knowing that all is in my Father's hands...that He cares for me and my children more than I can fathom...that he has a plan for our lives and that it is a good plan...and most importantly, I know that I will stand before Yahweh in the day of judgment and answer for my words, my actions, my thoughts...even though I was under the worst of circumstances...I will not be able to offer any "excuses"....this helps me to keep my feet on the narrow path...for I want to enter the narrow gate. I want my life to glorify Him in good times and difficult times....may He grant me the grace to walk through this fire and bring honor to His name.

"I WILL bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth ... O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." - Psalm 34:1, 3


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Prayer request....

I covet your prayers as I face a legal proceeding today, Wednesday, at 1:00 pm.  This will be a very difficult day for me.

I pray that our Father's will be done and that I remember to continually seek refuge in Him, my strong tower whom I run to for safety.



Just a note....

It appears I am having some email problems...if you have written me and received no response...please know that I am not ignoring you...evidently your email is floating around in cyber space unable to find my mailbox.  For all of you...and especially the Medicinal Herb Class members...please leave a comment here if you have questions and I will get back with you asap.



Sunday, March 16, 2008

An open letter to Mr. Visionary....

Dear Mr. Visionary,

I just *have* to tell you! Last year, about this time, your family visited my farm and you spent many hours repairing equipment and fixing all manner of things broken. I know that you could have whipped through these chores much quicker than you did....what held you up? Lots of boys...both little and big. You took the time, as you repaired each item, to teach my boys. And you made sure, before you went to the next step, that they understood. I want you to know that it was not time wasted...but invested!

Not only did our Father use it to heal many hurts in assorted hearts....but you instilled in them the belief that they had the ability to walk in your least in a small part. These teachings did not lie in fallow ground. Over the last year, I have seen little sprouts here and there...most decidedly green. When I asked about the root of said sprouts...the answer has always been..."Well, Mr. Visionary says....". I have now seen those sprouts turn into a beautiful, blooming plant with fruit!

This winter, one of our garden faucets ruptured...and produced a beautiful fountain...which continually ran into my greenhouse. It was the same kind of faucet that you spent a long time working on with the boys. We dealt with it this winter by keeping the well pump off unless needed. Now that the days are warmer, Jeremy and Josiah began the process of digging (literally) for the problem. Some plumbing, leading up to the faucet, had burst during the winter. The boys are of a mind that it was not initially installed correctly. Jeremy felt like we needed to make a trip to the store...but money is scarce right now so it was put on a back burner...or so I thought!

Josiah began to ponder...he then disappeared for about 2 hours and came back with....tn_100_5593.JPG


I was thrilled...and excited...and asked..."how did you know how?"....and I received an answer that I have heard much in the last year...."Mr. Visionary taught me...." aahhhh....of course...

He then installed it...would it hold.....would it leak?


So far, so turn it on...would we see another fountain?



Josiah and Elijah got busy filling in the hole...they wanted to surprise Jeremy who had gone off to bush hog a field...

tn_100_5597.JPG we have the best part...the fruit of your labors...a young man with self-confidence radiating...because he knows he can do it....


and that is a picture that this Mama has waited a long time to see. How can my mother's heart ever thank you? This is fruit that will blossom and grow for a long time..perhaps a lifetime...because you took the time and cared....

Thank you...thank you....thank you.....may Yahweh bless you and yours!

With a grateful heart,


Friday, March 14, 2008

Pruning Apple Trees 101

There is no way to really teach you to trim apple trees unless you come and visit me and we work least that is how I learn best. However, Josiah and I took some pictures in the hopes of giving you an idea of what to do. This should at least get you started.

First...the tools you need....we use a long "limb-lopper". I am sure it has a more scientific name but that's what we call this - it was my Dad's so I can't tell you much allows you to trim branches at a's a trim by pulling on the rope.


We also use a ladder, a pruning saw and some small Felco pruners. We were also given a small ratcheting pruner which I really like - it is easy for a woman to use since you don't need a lot of strength to operate it. I have very small hands and it makes it easy to trim through thick limbs because you just go one notch at a time.

The cardinal rule of trimming fruit trees is that you NEVER trim more than 1/3 of the tree at a time. You never want to take more than 1/3 of the wood off of the tree or it could die. NEVER!

Trimming should be done during late fall and winter. We started trimming apple trees in February - usually our coldest month here and we're just finishing up here at the beginning of March.

Okay, now that you are sufficiently warned...what to trim? First of all take off all of the dead wood...if you aren't sure if something is dead keep an eye on it this year. When you find a branch that doesn't leaf out you know it is dead - put a spot of spray paint on it so that next fall you will know what to cut.

Next you want to take out any branches that touch or rub against each other. When you trim off a branch you want to trim very close to the connecting branch..if you leave too much sticking out then it will sprout and you'll be trimming it again next year. This is where the saw comes in handy.

Here is a portion of our tree before trimming...



What a mess! We started with the dead wood and then moved to the branches that rubbed or touched...and then finally you will look for branches, big and small that are growing back toward the middle of the tree. Take 'em out! You want the tree to be like a large and open canopy.

They say you should be able to throw a cat through an apple tree without hitting anything....* I DO NOT recommend you try this! * :)

I spent about 3 hours climbing around in this tree and standing on a ladder...Elijah was by my side helping for most of that time. When things got too high for me we called in Josiah. Josiah is the most nimble-footed child I have ever met - I think he could walk a tight rope in this sleep. He took it to the next level...


By using the limb-loppers he could get almost to the top. This tree had not been done in years and years...really you need to prune your trees each year. It will take three years to get your initial pruning done if you have established trees. The best way is to care for them properly from planting time. Then the small amount you need to trim each year after that will not equal one third of the tree. Josiah and I completely trimmed our small orchard of newer trees in just a few hours. This tree took much longer...just to trim one third.

But the end results...



We were pleased - although we have seen a few places that we missed. Thankfully there is always next year! Now...what to do with all the branches?


As you can see...there were a LOT! We feed them to our goats a little at a time...they consider it a tasty treat. They will eat the small branches and completely strip the bark from the larger limbs. It is also a wonderful wood to use for smoking meat or grilling over. As Grandma always said: waste not, want not. We are trying hard to re-cycle, re-use, use up etc. so that we are good stewards of what the Father sees fit to place in our hands while keeping a balance so that we are not keepers of junk.

It is always hard for me..this trimming thing...I keep thinking of all the little apples that would sprout from those branches. But the theory is that the remaining limbs will produce much larger and healthier fruit. I am excited this year to see if that theory is visible in the portion of the tree that was trimmed.

And, as gardening/farming always does, it brings so many of our Father's words to life...
John 15:2
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Although His pruning in my life is very hard and at times painful...I endure knowing that His purpose is to make sure that I bear more fruit...and I look forward to the next season to see what His hands have wrought in my life.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Recently, I've received two awards, this one from Holly....


which blows me away mainly because it came from...well...Holly! Anyone who reads her blog will completely understand what I mean. This award was created by Dan King and here are the rules...
For those who are regular readers of management by God, you know that being about God's Word is very important to me. Since I have started working on this initiative, I have discovered that there many others that have a similar heart to share God's Word, and further His Kingdom. The role of a disciple of Christ is to carry His message to the ends of the earth. It is with this heart that I have created the Mathetes Award.

Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) it to make more disciples. I'd like to take the opportunity to award five other bloggers with this award and badge for acting in the role of a disciple of Christ. These five all share the message in their own creative ways, and I admire them all for what they do.

In the spirit of this award, the rules are simple. Winners of this award must pick five other "disciples" to pass it on to. As you pass it on, I just ask that you mention and provide links for (1)this post as the originator of the award (Dan King of management by God), (2) the person that awarded it to you, and then (3) name and sites of the five that you believe are fulfilling the role of a disciple of Christ. If you know of other deserving recipients of this award, and would like to start a new string, then please post a link to where you've started in in the comments to this post. I would love for many deserving bloggers to be blessed with this recognition.

The following blogs touch my heart and my spirit and encourage me in my walk with our Father...if you have received this award before then so be it....know that you have touched many lives. I am grateful that you have touched mine....

Herrick Kimball of The Deliberate Agrarian

Ann of Holy Experience

Julie of Seeking the Old paths

Heather of the Lazy D Ranch

Nathan of Confessions of a CF Husband

Next a dear sweet sister was kind enough to award this...


Leah is sweet mama of boys - ya'll know I can identify with that! I enjoy reading her blog and keeping up with her and her boys. Here are the rules of this award:
By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to 10 more people who’s blog’s you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least 10. Thank you out there for having such great blogs and being such great friends! You deserve this! Feel free to award people who have already been awarded…

The hard part of this award is limiting it to ten! Here are my choices...

Mary Susan of Allelon Farm

Humble Amy

Ann of Holy Experience

Rick of Dry Creek Chronicles

Scott of Homesteader Life

Lynn of ND Homekeeper

Tom the Northern Farmer

Cheri of Northwoods Ramblings

Holly who is Seeking Faithfulness

Julie who Seeks the Old Paths

Herrick the Deliberate Agrarian

Julie- a part of a Three Fold Cord

As you can see...10 just wasn't enough.

Thank you so much to Holly and Leah for these awards....I did want to make a disclaimer here...although I am grateful for the awards...please be assured that anything good you find in my ramblings comes from the is not of me. When He can take my feeble attempts at communicating with you and make something useful out of them I am amazed for I know He has blessed my attempt....

Next post....a quick lesson on trimming apple trees.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

From the past to the present……A post I hoped never to write.... (Pt.5)

You can find parts one, two, three and four by clicking on those words. This post has been a long time coming...many of you have written to ask for the next "installment". However, this was a post that I hoped never to write. I ended part four with these words...

Although this time was wonderful in so many ways, especially for my boys, it exacerbated problems that had existed in my husband’s life, and in our marriage, for a very long time. The next years would be the hardest in my life….I would need to draw closer to God than I ever dreamed….

About two years into our marriage we experienced the birth of a baby, loss of a job and a move to another state within a matter of months. My husband went on to the new job while I stayed behind to sell the house. That lasted about 6 months, with weekend visits, when I said enough is enough. We rented the house and I went on to join my husband. It was then I noticed the change. Quiet, withdrawn from me and child, non-communicative. Thus began my struggle to try to find out what changed, to draw him out, and to seek help.

In the last 18 years we have seen many counselors, from laymen to pastors to professionals...all to no avail. I always felt that if I found the right person, the right professional with the right words they would be able to evoke change. Unfortunately, he has been "resistant to counsel". Sadly, this led to other problems that I discovered over two years ago. Having no desire to uncover my husband, let us suffice to say that covenant has been broken and certain activities, that he was unwilling to give up, I was unable to live with.

I would like to say that our current pastor was wonderful. He gave 14 months to this effort and I am very thankful for him. I needed this "perfect" counselor to see that I was hanging my hopes on a "person" when it is only the Father that changes hearts....if we are willing. Many times I have spoken of the trial and difficulty that we are experiencing. Many of you have asked....I, with the highest of hopes once again, was unwilling to share. I hope you understand why. This also explains some of my "blogging lapses"...during some of the more difficult times I find it hard to write a cheerful post...and I HATE whining!

Some friends and family have chosen "not to get involved". I understand. But, in many ways the boys and I have been left to fend for ourselves. I wonder though....if pressure had been brought to bear on my husband would it have made a difference? Seems to me that is the design that I find in the Word...accountability and discipline. Surely there is a purpose in that....with the ultimate hope being restoration.

However, our Father has seen fit to send many, both family and friends with baskets of hope and provision. Strangers, who didn't know anything was amiss, who left money when the cupboard was almost bare...and who commented..."I don't know why I am doing this but I think I am supposed to"...non-Christians in the community that have called to check on us and offer help. Family members who blessed us at Christmas unexpectedly. My Mom, who is always ready to lend a hand, pray for us and help us in tangible ways. A family, who we did not know at the time, that traveled a great distance last year to devote a day of serving us around the farm - repairing all of the broken equipment and giving great fellowship to myself and especially my boys at the same time...they are now family. Another blogger who traveled a great distance to spend a day with us and encourage us...and became dear friends and then through her we met her family (Hi DOD!!) and they have blessed us by praying diligently for us and by caring! Close local friends who have stepped in to provide things that were needed but were far from our reach. Friends who bought things from us that I seriously doubt they truly needed...because their hearts wanted to help and they cared about justice. Customers, scattered from Texas to Washington, Kentucky, Virginia, Minnesota, New York, New England and more who have become good friends (thank you dear ones!). We have seen the "hands and feet" of Christ serving us from many directions....always when needed most.

The process of dividing and separating has been grueling and eye-opening. The boys have also experienced many difficult moments and have, thankfully, been able to pour out their hearts to our pastor and to other godly men. Several have left phone numbers with them with the admonition to "call if you need me....anytime!" And they know that they can...and they have at times...and been received with open arms. Thank you....YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!! They have received great counsel and encouragement and have stood strong for me and for each other. Yahweh bless you men!!!

The boys and I have been living here on the farm for a little over two years now by ourselves. My boys have turned into men....have shouldered burdens that they should never have faced at their ages and they have done it without complaining or whining, and with great courage! Truly, they are my heroes!

And miracles...we have seen many. Father is showing my boys that we are not walking this path alone. The building of their faith has been an awesome thing to see. Just a few examples.....

We have put $10 of gas into an empty 38 gallon tank and seen it rise to full. We have seen a tank of gas, that should get 300 miles get almost 500 miles. We have seen a very small amount of money stuffed into a drawer "in case of an emergency" multiply when we needed it.

We have seen not only needs, but the desires of our hearts met. I had been praying for almost 6 months for a way to take my boys to Biltmore House in NC. Recently, a complete stranger walked up to me and offered us 4 FREE PASSES!! Let me say that again...A COMPLETE STRANGER! I almost wept....I am sure she thinks that she picked a completely crazy person! I pray that Yahweh blesses her!  And when we got there...and went to rent the audio tour, the kind woman quickly understood we planned on sharing this tool....we lacked the money to rent one for each of us.  She blessed us by slipping us free tickets...when Josiah pointed out that we had not paid for that many she shushed him and smiled...and brought me to tears....Father's hand again!

We have long had the desire to have an Angus bull to breed our milk cows....a friend calls out of the blue and offers us one...apologetically because we would need to bottle feed him for a month. And delivers him...and registers him for us....his name...well officially they named him Cheri's Dividend....we call him B.D. for Big Daddy - cause he's hopefully going to be one :) THANK YOU SUE AND STAN!

I could go on and on! We stand amazed at the hand of our Father who has not left us and we cling to him. Is it hard?....absolutely....but we know that He will not leave us nor forsake us. We are walking in faith...we do not know what the future holds...or even next week. We have planted a garden the last two years not knowing if we would be there to harvest the fruit of our labors. We are doing so again this year. We know not what the future holds but we know that we are not alone.

My friend Julie has walked with me through this for the last 6 or 7 years. She has been the greatest cheerleader for restoration and the greatest comforter when it became apparent that it was not to be. She has listened to me cry, encouraged me to laugh and loved me through all of this. She has become the sister I never had. She gave me a great picture of Yahweh that I cling to...when my children were small and I said "come follow me" they took my hand and did so...they didn't ask what will I wear, what will I eat, where are you taking me? They knew I was their Mama and that I loved them and that I wanted only the very best for them. They KNEW THEY COULD TRUST ME!

Aren't we to be "like a little child"?
Matthew 18: 2 - 4: 2He called a little child and had him stand among them. v3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. v4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

I don't know where He is taking us, how we will eat, what we will wear...but I know He loves me, will provide for me and mine and desires only the best for could I be in better hands?

Clinging tightly to the hand of Yahweh,

Friday, March 7, 2008

Making Herbal Poultices and Compresses

This is a long post with lots of pictures. Just a warning!

Compresses and Poultices are some of the easiest forms of herbal remedies. I have been using them for years. I will go through the process of making a Poultice step by step with lots of pictures. I will cover two ways to make a Poultice. Then I will share how a Compress is different and how to make pictures but they really aren't needed.

Jeremy got roped into this volunteered after he fell victim to another spider bite. He has a part time job doing yard work/gardening/landscaping/building projects for a friend of ours. He works two days a month. The last few weeks he has been dismantling an outhouse..evidently it was occupied by a lot of those 8 legged creatures.

He showed me a bite on his leg - it was swollen with a hard center, dark red, very hot to the touch and painful...with red streaks. It was hard to get a good picture.... the flash sort of washed out the color but it was very dark red.


So...we start with Plantain. It should be chopped. You can either use it fresh during the season or you can use dried. At this time of year I use dried Plantain. Pick it all season, let it dry and keep it in a glass airtight container so that you always have it on hand. If you travel - take a small container with you.


You are going to place a handful or two of Plantain into a pot with a tight, stainless steel or ceramic...never aluminum or copper or anything coated (so many NASTY chemicals are released when they are heated...another post entirely!). Then you are going to pour hot water directly over the herbs in the pot. (You can also start with cold water, bring the mixture to a boil and boil a few minutes covered tightly.) You want enough water to make a pasty consistency...not too much sort of want a wet mush.

tn_100_5498.JPG of the MOST IMPORTANT PARTS....


COVER THE POT!! You don't want all of the essential oils of this plant going up in steam...literally! Turn the burner on simmer and allow them to continue to heat for a couple of minutes. Turn the burner off and let this sit about 10 or 15 minutes. When that is done it should look something like this...


Now comes the fun part :) You are going to spoon this into a cotton cloth. The cloth needs to be large enough to fold several times so that you don't have herbs falling out all over the place. You also need to make sure this isn't too hot to place on the skin...we don't want to add a burn on top of the spider bite! Also make sure that you are using an all natural cloth. Many fabrics today are made with chemicals... can you say polyester? (Another way to do this is to coat the area of treatment with a little oil and place the herbs directly on the boys don't like this because the herbs tend to stick to the skin even though the purpose of the oil is to prevent the sticking...must have something to do with hairy legs!)


There should be some "juice"....I usually pour a little over the herb just before I fold the cloth up. You want this to be moist on the skin. When it is all folded it should look similar to this....


I try to have only one layer of cloth between the herbs and the skin. Then you place the poultice on the affected this case the spider bite. Be boys all cry "it's too hot!". However, if I can hold it in my hands isn't too hot. Heat is needed.


Once this has cooled, I add more hot herb and repeat the process several times. Once we are done, I usually top this off by applying my Healing Salve if it is a bite, wound or other break in the skin. This was done at around 9 pm. The next morning the bite looked like this...


The swelling was completely was the hard knot in the center. It was cool to the touch, the red was completely gone, (just a touch of pink here and there) and there was no more pain. Just the normal slight itch of the healing which we apply Lavender Salve for relief. make a compress. The difference between a compress and a poultice....for a poultice you are using the herbs...for a compress you are just using the "juice". You will follow the same steps outlined above but you will add more water to the herbs and allow it to cook a bit longer. You will then strain off the herbs so that you are left with an herbal infusion (a fancy word for tea...although for a compress you won't be drinking the tea!). Soak the cloth in the tea, wring it out and apply to the affected area. Repeat several times.

One of our favorite herbal compresses is Sorrell. Josiah, being so fair skinned, burns easily in the summer. Sorrell is a wonderful relief for sunburn. I make the infusion and then refrigerate it. The cool compress is a relief on sunburned skin and the sorrel helps reduce the pain and redness of a sunburn. I lay the cloth on his back, let it sit 10 minutes or so and then repeat. For Josiah, it takes the sting away long term.

I like a lavender compress for a headache. The coolness along with the benefits of lavender help to relieve that tension headache!

There are many herbs that can be used for poultices and compresses....the variety of herbs that our Father has given us is mind boggling. I encourage you to keep these in mind as you grow your herbs this year and as you study their properties.

I'll be glad to answer questions either in email or in the comment section below.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Seeking Medicinal Herbs this spring?

You should be! Many medicinal herbs bloom in the spring and I just wanted to remind you to get them while you can. If you don't have access to medicinal herbs and live in my area, I will be filling my greenhouse with all types of Medicinal Herbs this spring - you can visit me here on the farm or at local festivals where I will be speaking.

You can read about Red Clover here and here.

You can read about Chickweed here.

Stinging Nettle will be poking its head up about Nettles here.

And the Dandelions have begun to about them here.

Don't forget my recent post on

Truly our Father has blessed us abundantly with these herbs!  There are many ways to use them to meet needs in your family from injuries to illnesses. I am so thankful for His provisions.

And stay tuned....I'm going to share how to make herbal compresses and herbal poultices....with lots of pictures...what can I say...Jeremy tangled with the spiders again!


I was called outside last night....this is what I found...


Do I even want to know?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A home filled with love....

I live in a home filled with love from the ceiling to the floor and wall to wall and I am so thankful to our Father! I wanted to share what my boys did for me this last Valentine's Day. Celebrating February 14th has never been a big priority in our home. I usually give each of the boys a card and buy one of those little $1 hearts filled with 4 or 5 chocolates.....that's it. This year money was tight so they didn't even get the cards. So, it was not unusual this past February 14th when we reversed our school schedule and declared the morning a work morning and pushed school work till the afternoon. I did this because we had some people volunteer to help us work on a farm project in the morning....since many hands make light work....I jumped at the opportunity.

We worked on our apple trees all morning. Had a wonderful lunch filled with fellowship and hit the school books. It was "brought to my attention" that someone was out of feed and I needed to go to town and pick some up. I hate going to town. It takes 30 minutes to get there and 30 minutes the time to do what needs to get done. I have so much on my plate right now that unexpected trips to town are expensive both financially (gas at $3 a gallon!) and in terms of time...they irritate me. Turns out my Mother was headed that way and I was able to catch a ride with her. We ran into the bank, hit the feed store and headed home. The entire trip took about an hour and 20 minutes.

You won't believe what I found when I got home. These three boys stinkers that I live with had cleaned up the kitchen, neatened the living room, BAKED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, and decorated the house....and dinner was well under way. IN AN HOUR AND 20 MINUTES! How did they do that? The practical part of me wants to know how they got the butter to soften to make the cookies....

Apparently Elijah was in charge of a great deal of the decorating. The living room wall looked like this:


How can I tell this was Elijah's work....let's just say he is fond of tape...and where a little will do then a LOT is better. (His opinion on staples closely resembles his opinion about tape!) The heart on the right had a secret present hidden behind it.....I didn't have a clue till they pulled it out.

When I looked up I found this:


The hearts were held together and lots of staples! If I'd been a magnet.....well...I digress. As I headed up the stairs, marveling at the smells from the kitchen, I found this:


Can you guess who was in charge of making these and putting them up?

When I got to my room, I found two things. The first to catch my eye was this one....


Elijah was looking at me with great anticipation - he gets as much enjoyment (no.... more!) in giving to someone than he does in receiving. He is always planning special things for family members. He likes to be right there when you open the I stifled my desire to give a lecture on fire safety and gave hugs and kisses instead.

Then I noticed his sparkly eyes....he had something else up his sleeve - he told me to "look around your room Mom!" and I found little hand-cut hearts in red scattered all around my room....sort of the "rose petal" scenario you see in movies. However, there was one white heart with a number on it. Pick it up and follow the was a scavenger hunt! Elijah loves to make scavenger hunts for his brothers. He hides notes and presents around the house (and sometimes around the farm!) and I think he enjoys it more than we do. This was the first time I had been blessed with this wonderful game. As one heart led me to another, instead of presents they were parts of a song. THE CHILD HAD WRITTEN ME A SONG...BOTH MUSIC AND WORDS!!!


My mind was racing....he is 9....writing did he learn?? He is just a beginner in piano lessons, being taught by me....and we haven't had a class yet on writing music! I thought I might save that until he learned to read all the or 4 years from now!

Turns out the stinker just copied the staff and colored in notes randomly...but you know what...when I played was a beautiful song.....I think they call it a love song.....
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