Monday, December 30, 2013


I didn't mean to take a vacation...truly I didn't.  We've just been dealing with life....and birth...and death...and family....and company....and serving!

I'll be back with Part 2 of how we healed my youngest's facial outbreak with wonderful herbs after the 1st.

In the meantime,  everything on my website is on sale for 25% off until January 5th at midnight!

You will need to use discount code HNY2014

Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sometimes you just need a diagnosis! - Part 1

Once in awhile, I can't figure out what is wrong with one of my sons. 

It's been one of those weeks.

My youngest normally looks like this...

Beautiful skin, clear complexion (thank to my Patchouli Soap!). Rarely a blemish.

Last Saturday afternoon he asked me what was on his chin.  It looked like a very small patch of blisters...about the size of a pencil eraser.  I told him it looked like poison ivy.  He said it didn't feel like poison ivy.  I didn't think much of it.  Poison ivy and Elijah spend almost every day of the year together and Elijah knows the protocol of how to treat it when it pops up.

However, by Saturday night it had spread and didn't look anything like poison Sunday morning it covered his chin, was moving up his cheeks, down his throat and across one collar bone.  He wasn't sleeping well.  I prayed. I gave him an anti-histamine to counter the inflammation and swelling. I didn't know what it was, couldn't find a clue in any of my books, checked with a friend who was a registered nurse and still had no answers.

We tried my Healing Salve and Lavender Salve with little results.  Colloidal silver gave him some relief which led me to believe it might be bacterial but I just didn't know.  It sounded like weeping eczema but he's never had any form of eczema before.  It sounded  like some of the symptoms of a staph infection.   After 31 years as a parent and herbalist, I was stumped. I prayed and I asked friends to pray.

I decided to take him to his doctor Monday morning....but that office was closed for the week. So I took him to a friend who is a doctor - one of the smartest doctors I know.

Here is what he looked like by the time I got him there...

The crease in his chin was weeping a yellow fluid non-stop.  Literally non-stop...drip..drip..drip. The child had to carry a mop rag with him!  It was red, blotchy, inflamed, crusty in places....itched very slightly and burned.  He looked like a burn victim.  He turned heads at the pharmacy and not for the reason he normally turns heads.  Believe it or not, it looked much worse than this picture!

Although we may never know what it was, the doctor settled on some form of contact dermatitis.  No to shingles, no to MRSA, no to staph.  He was given some anti-histamines, and was prescribed a steroid cream and Prednisone (which we wanted to avoid if at all possible).

Now that I knew what I wasn't dealing with, I had a better handle on what to do. It was time to pull out the big guns in our herbal arsenal!

Next post will detail how we treated this with pictures of his progress....

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Who meets YOU at the door...

Here is my morning meet and greet!

If it isn't cats, it's chickens.  Or usually both.

All those stories you hear about dogs and cats as enemies, cats and other critters as enemies...just don't hold water here on my farm!

Our cats and dogs snuggle up together on cold winter nights.  They share the dog house too.  I guess many warm bodies contribute to a warm igloo.

Our chickens aren't bothered by anyone, except the hawks and foxes. 

Maybe I should re-name the farm Peaceful Acres!

Who greets you at the door on a cold winter morning?


Thursday, December 12, 2013

And the winner is....

This has truly been the hardest decision ever for a soap name!  Each day I thought I had decided...only to "un"decide.  Next day it was a new that name.

But, finally I think we have it!

We've chosen Peppermint Dream by Mary!  Mary let me know which book you'd like and I'll get the PDF off to you right away....also contact me to make arrangements to get your free bar of soap!


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Quite the shopper!

Well, last night I was quite the shopper!  And if you know me at all, you know that I hate, h.a.t.e, hate shopping!  And I'm not alone!

On Sunday, one of our elders nominated one of my daughters to organize some shopping for kids - 20 kids that needed clothes and gifts.  Our body was encouraged to sign up to shop - the church was paying for the items but we needed help to get the shopping done.  Since I didn't see a crowd mowing down my daughter to sign up, I told her I'd did my elder's wife and then my sons ended up helping too. Funny thing...none of us enjoy shopping.

Five people shopped.  We spent five hours in Wally world.  FIVE HOURS!  Four hours shopping and one hour just checking out!  Clothes, shoes, socks and, yes, sheets. When the paper says "desperate for bedding" for a 9 year old boy, how could you say no to sheets? Awesome sheets.  Sheets any 9 year old boy would love. 

Yes, I shopped for boys.  I can do that...been doing that for over 30 years now.  If I'd have gotten the names of girls, I might still be there trying to figure it out! 

We had a budget.  We were 5 people shopping independently with a budget for each child that would keep us on track for how much we could spend in total.  How did we do?  We were 59 cents UNDER budget when the grand total rang up!  We impressed ourselves.

We impressed Walmart...not the part about the budget... but with the amount we spent.  We suggested the cashier should win a prize of some sort for the largest sale of the day. 

She's not holding her breath.

We all decided that we do not want to shop again for awhile...June perhaps?

Although we don't enjoy shopping, we enjoyed what we did for these kids.  Knowing what it will mean to these children to get a coat and gloves, underwear, clothes, socks and shoes and a gift or two made the time worthwhile.  AND, I was with people I truly love. 

It was a good evening.

It's a busy week for us here on the farm. We are working on a large project at home and are also volunteering at several places this week.

But we haven't forgotten!  We are trying hard to narrow the peppermint names down today but haven't decided quite yet.  If we can pick a peppermint name today, the post will be up a bit later! 



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Would you call this food?

I know at this time of year, it is tempting to pick up a quick burger or some chicken nuggets while you are out rushing around.

Please don't.  PLEASE don't.

Please watch this video - just a few minutes...very informative and easy to watch.

Then learn about meat glue.

Then read Fast Food Nation. It changed our lives.

Then learn about GMOs. They are banned in most countries...but not here.

This was not food when I was growing up.  This is what corporate America considers food now.  Why?  Because they make more money when they sell you this stuff as opposed to real food!

Educate your children.  This is the food they are growing up with and it isn't healthy!

It is at almost every is allowed in your children's school cafeterias...and it can fill the shelves in the grocery stores. It is banned in most countries!

If it comes in a box, it most likely contains GMOs or artificial dyes or artificial sweeteners.

You can make different choices!  Change one thing.  Pick another and then another....before long you'll be eating real food, healthy food and protecting your children from this nasty stuff.

It isn't hard...really! 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Coyotes...boy are they plentiful this year!  We've been seeing a pair down in the corner of one of our fields almost every night...and sometimes in the daytime!

I think they are scouting out our chicken coop for an easy supper.  We've beefed up security!

Last night I was working at my desk when Keli went crazy right outside the door by my office.  I about came out of my chair it startled me so much!

Normally when this happens, we go outside with a spotlight to see if we can see what she is barking at.  We've seen coons, deer, foxes and occasionally a coyote in the far field. So, of course we did that last night.

Imagine our surprise when we opened our door and saw 6...count 'em....SIX coyotes under the oak tree.  Did I mention that the oak tree is just several yards from our driveway!  It also happens to be where the chicken coop is at the moment! TOO CLOSE FOR MY COMFORT...AND THE HENS!

Of course, they took off when they saw us and my son ran for the rifle. It was a race!  Could they get out of range before he got back with the rifle....I might have heard the music from the Lone Ranger show...

My son and I ran to the end of our driveway, I was operating the spot light for him.  We saw the glow of eyes on the other side of the coop on the hill.  He fired and the eyes disappeared.  We'll go looking for bodies today but he doesn't think he hit any of them. Farm life often involves looking for bodies...not one of my favorite jobs....unless we are looking for baby goats or chicks...or keats!

The coyotes have never been this bold and never have we seen more than a pair of them at one time.

We need to protect our livestock!  We had some trouble a few years ago with a coyote stealing chickens from our farm and from some of our neighbors.  Someone took care of that problem when the coyote was on their land.

It's been years since we've had to deal with them.  I don't know if the early snow and cold is making it harder for them to find food or if their population has increased locally.

Do any of you have a coyote problem? How did you handle it?  We are looking for solutions and would be grateful for your input!

On another topic, over at the Healthy Child Summit today you can listen to a free presentation by Jessika Bailey from Natural Mother Magazine. She  will be talking about "The Vaccine Decision- What Parents Need to Know."  Just click on the logo above or in the sidebar to learn more about it.

Can't wait to hear how you handle your coyote problems!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Can we play a name game?

My last, new soap for the year is a lovely bar of Peppermint!  This time of year just requires peppermint....peppermint cookies, candy canes, peppermint fudge!  Don't you agree we need a peppermint soap?
Here she is sitting on my Grandma's canning table!  The flecks are finely chopped organic peppermint.  She smells amazing!  Well...if you like peppermint she smells amazing!  Does anyone not like the smell of peppermint?

I thought I'd put up one last contest for the year.  I could call her Peppermint Soap but that seems a bit flat to me.  She deserves better and I know y'all are very creative so here we go again! I've sweetened the prize pot a bit too - this time the winner receives a bar of soap and their choice of one of my ebooks!  Happy happy!

The Rules

1. Contest begins now and ends at midnight on Saturday, December 7th.

2. Name will be chosen by my family.  Although there *is* a winner, we are not obligated to use your name...after all..we might choose one of our own!

3. You can't be related to me and win.

4. You may enter as many times as you like.

5. Suggestions must be left  
in the comment section of this post (
or on Facebook (TNfarmgirl Naturals) .

6. Winner will be announced December 10th!

And now we have...

The Prizes!

Winner gets a free bar of the soap they name AND their choice of one of my e-books Soapmaking Made Simple or Herbal Medicine Made Simple!
I even pay the shipping!

Always wanted to try my products but never had the chance? Wanted to download one of my books? Now is the time...perhaps you can try them absolutely free! 
Let the name game begin!   

And just to be clear - this is the last new soap for this year....after all...I still need to make that beer soap I've been thinking about! And there might be a list of more soaps to make!

Also, at the Healthy Child Summit today, you can listen to a session on cloth diapering - absolutely free!

I'm off to make peppermint cookies and peppermint fudge!

Monday, December 2, 2013

It's free!

Have you heard about the Healthy Child Summit coming in February?  I'm excited to tell you that TNfarmgirl Naturals is a Sponsor.  I've not participated in a Summit before but this one really tickled my fancy!  You can read about it here!

In a nutshell, it is a FREE online gathering to educate and inspire parents to care for their families naturally!  They are offering lots of sneak peeks (22!) before the conference really kicks off! Did I mention that they were  FREE??  No catch, no gimmicks...just free!

They will cover all kinds of topics from healthy pregnancies and natural births to breast feeding, nutrition, natural medicine, natural cleaners and more! 

You can register for weekly drawings and a grand drawing - lots of amazing stuff from many people and one of those things being given away is a $50 gift basket of my wonderful soaps, salves, scrubs and more!  That drawing is this week so be sure to register for a chance to get a huge box of goodies from me!

I know that I'll be attending some of these myself! I've almost finished the notes for a new class on creating a natural first aid kit and medicine cabinet!  Maybe I'll get some new ideas!

Hope to see you there!!!

Sale ends tonight at midnight!

Lip balms for less than $3?


Soaps for $4?

Got 'em!

Books for $16?


Salt Scrubs for $8?

You betcha!

Everything is on sale!  Use the coupon code "Blessed" to receive 20% off everything in the store!     

Sale ends tonight at midnight!

Happy Monday! 

Happy December! 

Happy budget!

Just plain happy!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Weight Loss Anyone?

I've been very careful with my diet since Aug. 1st...and I've been very good.  I decided that I would allow myself to eat whatever I wanted on Thanksgiving and I was surprised that I didn't want as much as I thought I would.  My portions were small (it doesn't take much to fill me up now!) and I enjoyed some dessert.  Sweet things seem extra sweet to me now.

I'm close to my goal for the year - 50 lbs. by the last day of the year.  Then I will re-assess and set another goal.  I might not quite make 50 but I'll be close.  I feel better, my knees don't hurt as much and I have a lot of energy.  Well, truthfully, I always have a lot of energy but I think I have more.

It hasn't been that hard.  I'm using some herbs, some vitamins and other little "tricks" that help keep my metabolism up and my appetite down. I'm looking forward to getting back on routine today.  And I've had help from taskmaster.  Silently sitting there commanding me to spend time with him...I hate him...and I love him...or love what he is doing for me.

I know that traditionally people start to work on their weight after the new year.  Stores begin hawking the latest diet fads and the junky drinks, snacks, etc. to go with them.  These things  are usually filled with GMOs and artificial sweeteners.  You do know that artificial sweeteners are one of the worst things you can put in your body...don't you?  Can we say excito-toxin?  Did you know that one of their side effects is weight gain? Did you know that the majority of reports to the FDA on adverse food reactions are because of artificial sweeteners? 

Put those little pink, yellow and blue packets down and start using something simple and natural - stevia!  Organic Girl Stevia can be found in all the big box stores...even Walmart! 


Let me share some of the things that I am doing that have helped me loose weight without going hungry or craving sweets. 

Eat breakfast - I truly eat less throughout the day if I take the time to have a bit of breakfast. Eat protein for breakfast - scramble an egg or try some Greek yogurt (my two favorite breakfast foods.) I will also make sausage from some of our organic grass-fed beef and add that to my breakfast.

Take a good vitamin.  Hint ~ you won't find one at Walmart!  Check at your local health food store for a recommendation - plant based is best! 

Eat something with hot peppers first thing in the morning to speed up your metabolism.  I eat a tablespoon of my wing sauce (sometimes on my eggs!) -  or hot strawberry jam.

Green tea, green tea, green tea.  It is healthy for you, it tastes good and it boosts your metabolism.   I sweeten it with stevia! I drink it hot in the morning and evening and usually enjoy a glass of it iced between 12:00 and 2:00 pm.  The catechins in green tea help to shrink fat cells.

Take CLA with your green tea in the morning.  CLA helps to relax fat cells so that they can "let go" of their contents and shrink.  Unfortunately they never "go away".  I've read that the recommended amount is 3400 mg.  I take a bit more just because of how it is packaged, I've never seen a dosage that equals 3400 mg.

Green Coffee Bean Extract - I take it each morning and I believe it has truly helped me meet my weight loss goals each month.

Acacia powder is a tasteless fiber that give you that "full" feeling.  Acacia is a small perennial shrub that grows in Texas. It suppresses your appetite, boosts your metabolism and helps break down fat. I sprinkle it in my yogurt, soup, juice etc.  I also drink a glass of water at the same time.

 Eat fermented foods, pickles, veggies, etc. This helps your overall digestion, works on detoxing your system and adds plenty of good bacteria to your gut.  A healthy gut equals a healthy body!

Use real foods.  Ditch the boxes that "make life easier" because they lack nutritional value and can actually be harmful to your health.  Use good fats - olive oil, butter, peanut oil, coconut oil, red palm oil etc.  Learn to cook from scratch!  It isn't hard...just takes a bit more time.

Buy Local and Buy Organic.  Make your first stop your local farmer's market. If you need to shop at the grocery store choose organic.

Eat in Season as much as you can.   By choosing foods that are seasonal you save money. You also get fresher more nutritionally dense food because it wasn't picked early and shipped for days.  This adds up to healthier meals.  This also means no watermelon in December! 

I also exercise.  I don't do it so much for weight loss as I do for strength and bone health although it is helping with weight loss.  My mama suffers tremendously with osteoporosis.  Weight bearing exercises help you to have healthier bones.  I need all the help I can get in that department.

By making some small changes to my lifestyle I am making great strides in reaching a healthy weight and being healthier in general.  I rarely crave sweets anymore and I have more energy.  It truly hasn't been that hard.  If I can do it, surely you can too!

What are your tips and tricks for weight loss?


Friday, November 29, 2013

The day after....

It was late last night by the time everyone left.  We had our traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Turkey with southern cornbread stuffing (the best stuffing EVER!), sweet potato souffle, garlic green beans (to die for!), corn, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry relish, homemade dinner rolls served with sorghum butter (my daughter is amazing!), apple butter and several home made freezer jams.    

Then there were the desserts.  Pumpkin cheesecake with salted caramel & pecans, raspberry-white chocolate cheesecake, pecan pie, pound cake, pumpkin pie, butterscotch pie, french silk pie, strawberry pie (fresh, not cooked!) and a variety of cookies...all made from scratch!

Having married children makes holidays more fun!  There are many more at my table and everyone helps to cook the meal...gone are the days when I did it all myself.  Because of all the help, I enjoyed it so much more.  Having recipes that can be cooked or prepped days in advance doesn't hurt either.

After our meal, we relaxed and spent several hours just enjoying each other.  It was loud, happy, and full of fun.  My grandson kept us all entertained.  I love my crazy family! I am so thankful to my Father for my family, they are the greatest gift I've ever been given. 

Then we turned to games.  We gathered around the table and played games until bedtime - way too much fun!  Today will be an easy day - lots of leftovers so I won't be cooking, and we will enjoy the time left with family before they return home this weekend.

I hope your day was filled with family and fun as well. 

 Relax and enjoy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I spent today baking.  As I watched the snow fall gently outside, I baked pies, rolls and more.  I enjoyed the fire in the fireplace that kept me toasty warm.  My niece got to play in the snow for the very first time...too much fun!

I'm looking forward to spending tomorrow with my family!  There will be 16 of us at the table this year. It should be a very fun day!

From Friday at 10:00 am until Monday at midnight, everything in my store will be 20% off!  The discount code for my readers is the word BLESSED! Might you consider doing some of your shopping with us at

May our Abba Father bless your family.... and may we all be thankful for Him!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Flu & Cold Protection!

Many years ago, I was struggling with bronchitis and other respiratory and sinus issues.  My dear friend Donna poured off a small jar of her "terrible" tincture.  I took several tablespoons a day and it knocked that nasty stuff right out!  It worked better than the antibiotics I had tried.  It worked better than the sinus medications I had tried.  It just worked.

When I started making it for myself, I tweaked it a bit and thought I'd share it with you in the hopes that it helps your family as much as it has helped mine. I'm also sharing some links from my affiliate partners in case you have a hard time finding any of this locally.

What you will need:

Organic Horseradish root
Organic Ginger root
Organic Garlic
Organic Cayenne peppers
Organic Onions
Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

It is very important to use organic products!  Why add more chemicals, pesticides or a GMO to a body you are trying to heal?

Donna's recipe was to take equal parts of the horseradish, ginger, garlic, cayenne and onions, chop them and cover with Bragg's.

I doubled the amount of garlic and cayenne because I have learned through the years that those have a powerful impact on my own family.  I used one cup chopped of the horseradish, ginger, and onions and 2 cups chopped of the garlic and cayenne.

I used my  mini food processor to chop everything but the horseradish. 

One cup of organic onions chopped and added to a half-gallon canning jar.  

These jars are my favorite size!  I have used them for everything..... the milk from our Jersey (so easy to sweep the cream off the top!),  Southern Syrup (commonly known as sweet tea!), storing dry goods (flour, sugar, pasta), making salad dressings for a crowd and more!  

Remember...we live on a farm and mice are a part of country life, especially when fields are being hayed, mowed or cultivated.  I try to keep my pantry as uninviting to mice as possible which means I try to keep everything in glass.  My hope is that if they find a way in they won't be tempted to stay for the food.  By the way, I have found that the best way to catch mice is to tuck a trap into an opened bag of Lays potato every time!

I also use these jars to make this tincture and my Jewelweed tincture. These two tinctures I always make in large quantities.

 Here I am working on 2 cups of garlic...

2 cups of cayenne peppers

The horseradish root is a bit much for my little chopper - it takes my large food processor.  I used to have a Kitchen Aid but it had a poor design and it was easy for liquid to leak out around the rim.  I passed that one on and have been very happy with my Cuisinart! It is the second most important kitchen tool I have!

First I peeled the horseradish root...

It was a bit much for the carrot peeler I used on the ginger I used a paring knife.

Then I chopped the root into medium size pieces and dropped then in the food processor with the steel blade.  I let it run till the horseradish root was shredded. Be prepared when you open the lid after processing!  It will definitely make your eyes water and open your sinuses!
I continued to add each item to the canning jars until they were 3/4 full.  Then I covered them with the Bragg's!  Bragg's contributes much to the health benefits of this tincture - not any old apple cider will do! 

I've allowed them to sit for about 6 weeks now but 4 would have been plenty.  I will strain them off next weekend by pouring it into a stainless steel bowl through a strainer lined with butter muslin. Please don't use aluminum!

When we've been exposed to illness we use it as a preventative....just 1 or 2 tablespoons a day. But when we are sick, we take several tablespoons at a time throughout the day.  Some of my clan like the taste - and some don't.  I like it - it reminds me of dill pickles.

Do you have a favorite recipe that you use to keep your family healthy?  Would you consider sharing it with the rest of us?

Praying our Father blesses your family with good health all winter long!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cattle Panel Chicken Coop - Part 2

The Tour!

Here is our completely wrapped chicken coop!
 The door is open...come on in! Notice the gap in tarps around the door.  As the weather has gotten colder, we have added a long tarp to keep the chill winds out.

This is the back wall of the coop.  The boys hung the nesting boxes in the middle. 

During cold weather we have two heat lamps that go on when we shut the girls in for the night at sunset. They are turned off just after dawn. They help keep the hens warm while helping to prevent their water from freezing!
Notice our 5 gallon bucket?

This  probably used to hold wheat or oats.  Now it is one of the components that keep the hen's water clean!  This is one of my favorite parts!  No more cleaning out nasty chicken waterers filled with poop!
 It sits on a board....
Josiah ran a short length of hose to another PVC pipe that had these...poultry watering nipples!  These are the other component to a continual supply of clean water! No more cleaning out poopy water! Can you tell that was not one of my favorite jobs?
Hens quickly learn to peck at them and when they do they get a drink!  Here Elijah has just pushed it so you can see the water beginning to come out.  It takes a few days for hens to convert so be sure to leave another supply of water until they get the hang of this.  Once they gets easier! You have a 5 gallon supply of clean drinking water - easy peasy!

They are easy to put into an inexpensive PVC pipe but if you would rather get it "finished" you can find it here!

Our feeder hangs below the nesting boxes.  We put it high enough that there isn't room for the girls to roost on it. We used a length of leftover PVC pipe - and it can be accessed from both sides.  When the weather is too nasty to go out, the girls still have fresh grass in their coop and a clean feeder for grain.

Add some lengths of pipe or branches for roosting and your house is complete!

I do believe I see some eggs in those boxes!

What does your chicken coop look like?


Friday, November 22, 2013

Cattle Panel Chicken Coop - Part 1

Several years ago, Josiah and I visited a friend's farm in Kentucky.  We were impressed with his chicken houses.  They were simple, quick to construct and easy to care for.  He was raising pastured chickens to butcher and sell - and others for eggs.  He had quite a few of these and was more than willing to share the "how to" information.

Last year we created one of our own.  The boys built ours for under $100.  We had a few of the things already but if you shopped carefully and watched for sales I think anyone could build one for right around $100.

I have a few pictures of the work in progress which I will post today, along with instructions.  Then you will get the grand tour of the finished product and some of the extras we installed to make our lives a little easier!

The basic plan for this coop is to use 2x6 boards on the sides and 2x4 boards on the front and back frame.  Josiah made his own modifications so I can't guarantee this is what he did.

You need to lay out your lumber and attach the 2 cattle panels to the 2x6s with 1.5 inch heavy duty fence staples.  IMPORTANT!  Be sure the ribs of the cattle panels are against the wood so you can attach the tarp (will get there shortly) with cable ties which will need to fit between the wood and the cattle panels.

You will then push the sides together which will cause the cattle panels to form a hoop. Then attach the front and back 2x4s. Here the boys have pushed the sides together and are working on adding the back board.

Here the front board is in place and additional support has been added in each corner.  This gives it stability as you pull it from place to place.  Josiah has also framed up an area for a door.

Here is a closeup of the corner supports.
This is a set of nesting boxes that I picked up for a song at a wonderful thrift store in Asheville, NC. We keep it full of hay and as long as we are diligent in keeping the hay clean, washing eggs rarely needs to happen.  The boards fold up and cover the entrances to the next boxes.  This keeps our girls out of the nests at night and helps to keep those nests clean.
 Hay going into the boxes!

Here is some additional support at the back.  This was not how our friend did it but he had a different set up for his nesting boxes.  Josiah is doing this so he can attach our nesting boxes to the support in the back of the coop and keep the boxes up off of the ground!

Did you know chickens could be afraid of heights? Evidently our hens are...silly girls!  Rarely do we find one in the top row of nests but it isn't unusual to find two hens sharing a nesting box on the bottom row. 

Josiah and Elijah then covered the coop with 1" heavy duty chicken wire.  This keeps our girls inside when we need them to be and keeps predators out..especially at night!  We've had a lot of coyotes this year - two almost every night! And we are seeing a lot of  foxes even in the day time!  Add to that our regular tussle with coons and opossums and you can see why we are working hard to keep our ladies safe!

Be sure to bend the ends of cut wires over that might pose a danger to your girls.  This took some time for the boys to make sure there weren't any places that might cut one of our hens if she brushed up against it.

Once the chicken wire was in place,  Josiah and Elijah covered the back of the coop with a tarp.  They then folded another tarp in half and put it over the back half of the "roof" of the coop.  We left it that way for the summer.  This provided wonderful ventilation but also some protection from rain.

Once the chill winds and lower temps began, we unfolded that top tarp so it covered the entire roof of the coop to keep them dry and warm.

Next post we'll take a tour of the inside of the finished coop!  Let me know if you have questions...I wish there were more pictures but the boys got busy building and the camera was forgotten!


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Medicinal Herb Class this Sunday and coming soon to...?

Just a reminder that this Sunday at 1:00, you can attend a class here on our farm that will teach you all the basics about herbal medicine, let you play with dozens of herbs and study 10 of them in depth.

You'll go home with a salve, a syrup and a tincture that you make in class along with my book Herbal Medicine Made Simple: The Art of Herbal Medicine from a Christian Perspective and the knowledge to make your own herbal remedies!

We only have 4 spots left so make your reservations today!

Just pop over here to read more and sign up for our Sunday class!

And for the first time ever,  Herbal Medicine Made Simple is hitting the road and heading to Virginia next month!  We've been invited to teach a class for a group in Virginia and we get to visit some very dear friends at the same time! More info coming soon!

What do you think about a traveling class?


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Life With Boys!

You just never know.... working in my kitchen...a quick glance up and look what walks by....


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Herbal Medicine Class This Sunday!

This Sunday I'll be teaching my last class of the year - well, unless someone books a private class for a group!

This Sunday at 1:00 pm I'll be teaching Herbal Medicine Made Simple: The Art of Herbal Medicine from a Christian Perspective!

This is my favorite class to teach!  I don't know if it is because I'm passionate about herbs or because I think it is so important for people to know how to take care of themselves...or just because it has saved me so much money over the last 30 years! 

You will learn to make a medicinal tea, a hot oil infusion, a salve (and take it home!), a decoction, a syrup (and take it home!), a poultice, a compress, a tincture (and take it home!), capsules and even colloidal silver...and you know how expensive that is in the local health food stores!

You'll be able to view many herbal books and take some time to learn about how to create something for you!

You can read all about it here. 

The class is already  half-full so make your reservations before we fill completely up!  Hope to see some of you here for a fun filled afternoon!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Soap Class Fun!

I'm so blessed by my students!  Sunday was a fun, fun, FUN afternoon!  I always feel like I have made new friends after each class.  This past Sunday the ladies were fun, inquisitive, involved and just made my day!

For our first "simple" recipe, we made a new soap...yes..I confess..I have a compulsion to make new soap!  This time I had lots of help.  We made a peppermint soap with some crushed organic peppermint leaves.  This is the first time I've made a pure peppermint soap.  I do make a Peppermint Tea Tree soap for it's antibacterial qualities and I love it.  But there is something about the smell of peppermint at the holidays that just seems fit and proper. 

I wished there was a natural way to achieve a bright red - it is so tempting sometimes to go for the pretty colors but it just doesn't fit my family's desire to live as healthy and naturally as possible and to provide y'all with truly pure and natural products.  Each day we get a wee bit closer to our own goal and hope we are helping you get there too.  Chemical and artificial colorants definitely don't belong in my soaps!  However the bits of peppermint leaves are lovely don't you think?

Ladies...I'd say y'all did a fine job and it turned out beautifully!  My office smells heavenly and I'm in the mood to decorate and bake!  One of our favorites is Peppermint cookies and I'll post that recipe when I can.

 This peppermint soap will be ready the beginning of December!

For our second batch of soap, we made Double Mint soap.  We colored this soap with Spirulina which is an amazing nutrient filled with vitamins and minerals and composed of 65% amino acids, including the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA). It's a wonderful choice for nutritional reasons and definitely safe and healthy to use in coloring my soap!

We removed and colored a portion of our soap and then re-introduced it back into the pot in a specific way to induce a lovely swirl.

Ladies...what do you think?

I think she turned out lovely!  This color will fade as it cures so we experimented in class.  I doubled the amount of spirulina I normally use to see if this lovely green will stay a bit darker than normal.  We won't know for about a month if it worked.  This soap is made with peppermint and spearmint essential oils and smells so refreshing!

Thank you, students, for a lovely afternoon!  I enjoyed getting to know all of you, sharing our stories, sharing some herbal snacks and visiting together.  Sometimes it's just nice to have "mama time".  

You were certainly a blessing to me!

Happy soaping....and don't forget to contact me with any questions as you embark on your own soap making journey!

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