Saturday, April 30, 2016

Out goes April...

Walk Thru Scripture reading is at the bottom of this post.
I would so like to say I have been having a wonderful time working on sewing projects and playing with yarn, but alas that isn't the case. I have put work into rebuilding the dishcloth stash here, but that's been short bursts when I find a few moments to sit during the day.

I still have an ironing board loaded with all the cut squares ready to go together for the rag crib quilts I want to have on hand for sale, but I have yet to put more work into those. Truth be told, I have yet to finalize the pattern adjustments for our dresses needed for Chris and Amber's wedding. Yikes!

We have had Dewey home this week, and a few days last week. It's been nice, but it's short-lived as he will head off to Atlanta Sunday for the next job. Technically, he was unemployed Thursday...he turned in his truck and what-not back in to the company he has been with for 6 years and went Friday to pick up the new truck from the new company. A lateral move in most terms, as he will still be working away from home, but hopefully a better overall situation for him. The insurance package alone made the move a good choice. The same monthly amount will now cover him, myself, and the 5 children still at home. I still think it's rather overpriced, but at least it's covering 7 people now rather than just 2. I don't expect to even use the yearly deductible though to make it a truly gret bargain, but we shall see.

Early in April I learned that a dear friend passed away. Bless her, she had had health issues to contend with for the majority of her life, and finally, between some bouts, she took on pneumonia to top it all off and that was enough for her to be called Home. JoLynn (or Jo as she was commonly called) was a dear, sweet soul. This is her and her husband Ron. We met them as neighbors when our oldest 3 were just young. She loved watching Jen and Johanna dress up in the fanciest prom dresses they could find at Goodwill and then sit outside in the yard under a tree weaving flowers for headbands, playing with their dolls, and even wading any available mud puddles, LOL. She introduced us to our first view of the McGuffey readers, which have since become a staple in our homeschooling here. She had a passion for cross stitching and literally got wound up in a project or two to the point she would complete even the most detailed and large designs within just a couple of days. I have 3 of her creations and I love them! And reading...she delve into every religious 'flavor' out there to discern what caused church splits to craft "new" denominations, the similarities and separations of all those "new" denominations, read multiple devotional studies, etc. Her other passion, and by far her greatest next to her love of Jesus, was her husband. They had a love that very few ever know, even in part, in their lifetime. They were the deepest of friends, kindred souls in every sense of the word. We pray that Ron will continue on, with his health issues, but I suspect he will push his soul to go Home to be with her.

 Glimpses of the past couple of weeks here...

When we were at the spring getting water on Wednesday, we chose a long, winding rural path home as usual. At a fork in the road, in the middle of what can only be described as absolute nowhere, in the middle of the woods, this little bit of brown brindle fluff came out of the woods just wimpering away at my front tires, trying his best to climb up into my door. I couldn't just drive on. You know me...we had to put it into park, get out and find out what was going on. The little guy promptly cowered and ran back into the woods a few feet, and returned with his darker brindle toned sister. They were both wimpering and trying their best to get into the van.
So we gathered them up and went on our way. We went thru a couple miles of those nowhere but woods rural roadways before even seeing any signs of habitation. My guess, someone found that deserted nowhere road and dumped these babies. They aren't very old, weaned for sure, but not by more than a couple of weeks at best.
Truly, truly, people like that...people that can be so cruel as to discard without care any animal, let along young ones who have no means of caring for themselves...disgust me to no end. That sort of person gets my anger up like none other. Cowards is all they are. Cruel, uncaring, subhuman cowards :-(
KatiAnne checked them both over on the rest of our drive home. They weren't covered in fleas, to my surprise, but the ticks...oh they were coated with a million ticks. Some areas had multiple ticks embedded together, literally scabbing over from being scratched at, poor babies! She removed the ones she could with more ease in the car (yep, we left a string of wayward lost ticks unceremoniously pitched along the roadside from the van window all the way home. When we got here, she and Abbey set to treating the scabbed areas, checking them more thoroughly, and removing the remainder of the ticks. They were wormed, given a flea/tick bath, and fed. They seem healthy enough, gums weren't the least bit light, they played easily once they settled down and realized we weren't going to hurt them. They are confined to the large kennel in the barn for a bit for observation then we will determine where and how to integrate them into the orphanage here.
Lord knows about the last thing we needed here was another pair of pups, but He also knows my heart in matters like these and knew where to place them in my line of sight so they could be taken care of. Still, I definitely pray that we will not come across any more in the near future. I am not at all equipped for as many as we currently have, but we do the best we can with their housing. Feed isn't as big an issue as the need for more fencing and kennels! I definitely need to put a great deal of work into the orphan accommodations around here.

Between the rains, we had enough heat and enough wind to dry enough for us to get into the yard and tame the jungle, LOL. After mowing one day, we set up the hammock we gave Dewey last Father's Day and I kicked back to enjoy the breeze.

I wasn't surrounded by everyone like he was when we presented it to him, but my companion was just as good...

Is there any better companion after a hot afternoon of mowing? Of course not! Liam loves being outside, and the fresh air, combined with the gentle sway of a hammock, and he was out like a light in no time :-)

Among the workings for the Hands and Hearts Farm shop (woefully lacking in updates and photos, I know...the Facebook page is a bit more practical for use, and more easily updated I'm afraid. You can find the shop here at Faceboo we stumbled across a wonderful patch of wild violets and harvested a good sized batch to make up some salves. I love wild violets. These, along with lilacs and white tea roses, were my chosen flowers for our wedding. I don't have any here among our woods, but now that I know which pine section produces them up the mountain, we will definitely forage a few bundles each spring.
Uses for wild violets from Survival Mom
Medicinal Uses for violets from Botanical Online
another sharing of medicinal uses here at
you can view the WebMD pages as well, and they are useful in gathering more information, but be aware they do tend to be more dramatic on any adverse affects. I suppose that's to be expected though.

I didn't dry any, but I laid them out to wilt a bit and air dry for the day, then set a large jar of them to infuse into grapeseed oil. The oil has such a beautiful rich green coloring! I can't wait to use it and maybe combine some infused lavender, or calendula, for some great salves.

We are also saving and drying our eggshells as well. I'm curious to give Eggshell Water a try. Eggshells, known for their calcium content (one 1/2 teaspoon of crushed, powdered eggshells contain about 400 mgs. of elemental calcium), a mineral responsible mainly for bone health. Eggshell membranes contain substances like glucosamine and hyaluronic acid which improve joint elasticity and shock absorption. This makes them ideal for fighting off conditions that affect the joints, ensuring they are kept as fully-functioning as possible. A single medium sized egg shell has about 750-800 mgs of calcium plus magnesium, iron, manganese, sulphur, phosphorus,silicon, gelatin, collagen and zinc. That’s only a few of them; egg shells contain 27 microelements that are able to be absorbed by your body.
Eating eggshells has also been linked to quickly decreasing pain in those afflicted with joint problems and keeping that pain away as time goes on.
Mikhail Tombak, Ph.D., says that osteoporosis can even be treated by eating eggshells, explaining that calcium is 90 percent absorbable by people’s bones, and that interestingly, the makeup of eggshells is incredibly similar to our teeth and bones. Don't go overboard though...a little goes a long way to bettering your health.
The National Institute of Health has good information on the supplementation, as well as the harmful side effects of too little, or too much calcium. 
As does the Mayo Clinic website.

Wait...what? Eating my eggshells?
YES!! Here are some studies on Egg shell Calcium benefits
Here is a calcium calculator from the Osteoporosis Foundation

That's the plan here. Here's what you do...
Simply collect organic eggshells, then boil them in water for about five minutes to remove any bacteria. Make sure the shells are fully submerged.
In the meantime, heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the shells are boiled, place them on a cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until very crispy. While baking them fully ensures that bacteria are eradicated as best as possible, many opt to skip this step, content with the boiling process, so it’s up to the individual.
Finally, remove them from the oven, then grind them in a coffee grinder or another preferred method until they are finely ground into a powder-like form. Store in a glass container.
If desired you can pour a little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice over the crumbled egg shells to break them down and makes them softer and forms calcium citrate.
 1 tsp. contains approximately 800-1,000 mg. of calcium. Dose by mixing in a small amount of water with a meal. You can dose 3/4 to 1 tsp daily, divided in 3 servings with meals. Don’t consumer more than 1 tsp a day as it can irritate sensitive digestive tracks! You can add your calcium powder to any drink, smoothie, even your morning oats!
To make a liquid calcium supplement:
Mix 4 tsp of your powdered calcium supplement with 2 cups of hot water and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Cover and let cool. Strain the liquid into a glass jar and keep in the fridge. Take a teaspoon or two a day.
Another method...Pour 2 cups of hot water over 4-5 (free-range or organic is best) crumbled egg shells. Add 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Strain the shells out and put liquid in a clean glass jar with a lid. Take a sip of the liquid one or two times a day. Just because it works, does not mean you should take more than you need. So, slowly increase your dosage until pain is the gone. After that do not increase it. Some of us need more calcium than others, but remember our bodies cannot handle too much calcium.
Store extra liquid in the refrigerator. Eggshell Water will last for 3 to 4 days.
When using egg shells as a supplement it is beneficial to take it with fermented cod liver oil which is high in vitamin D as it helps absorb the minerals. Calcium is good for you but don’t take more than the advised amount, your body can only handle 500 mgs of calcium at a time. It is also better to take your calcium with food.

Among other things, we went to the final days of the Hancock Fabric store bankruptcy/liquidation sale. Of course I waited until the final days, when the discounts were 90% or better...and the stock was down to a mere several dozen bolts of fabrics and virtually nothing else. While I definitely missed out on any useful cotton fabrics, I did make quite the haul on fleece and knits to put to use here. We literally saved over $1100 on what we bought. Cha-ching! Now to figure out where to store it all...and what to make.

I think that's about it for news around here. Aside from Dewey and the kids taking apart a deck boat he bought and doing a complete stem to stern overhaul and rebuild on it, life has been pretty much the same daily routine and typical farm chaos as always here. It's been rain and heat making up most of the days, and looks to be the routine as we head into May. Typical spring in the Deep South :-) 

Walk Thru Scripture:
How has your routine been holding up? Have you been keeping up with the Walk Thru Scripture reading? It's been a wonderful view of Scripture so far. There's nothing like seeing the beauty and true Plan of God in the larger scope of a chronological viewpoint! Here is the next set of readings:
Psalm 106-107
2 Samuel 5:11-6:23, 1 Chronicles 13-16
Psalm 1-2, 15, 22-24, 47, 68
Psalm 89, 96, 100, 101, 105, 132
2 Samuel 7, 1 Chronicles 17
Psalm 25, 29, 33, 36, 39
2 Samuel 8-9, 1 Chronicles 18


Yvonna said...

What a handsome hammock buddy!

Sharmayne said...

Good tip with the eggshells! Busy busy at your house, hope you get to those dresses today :)

kelli said...

Thank you for taking care of those pups!!!


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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