Foraging Adventures

I’ve recently become interested in foraging.  It all started when I began reading about herbal salves.  Apparently many salves can be made with common “weeds” from our outdoor surroundings.  I began to read more about the many plants that were bursting forth in my yard and many other places.  It’s like a whole new way of thinking has been opened to me.  My main focus is on plantain, chickweed, and dandelion, but I’ve been reading and researching so that I have the ability to search out new plants safely.

Here’s some of my recent pictures from one of my recent forages: IMG_20160531_163716226

This is chickweed.  I have found common chickweed and star chickweed growing side by side right next to the barn on our property.

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I picked common chickweed and plantain (both above) to dry for use in making oils for salves.

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Here is the dried chickweed (which I then used to make the infused oil)

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I use this wagon to collect things when I’m around the house.  I have a handful of fresh plantain and the pile on the left was just weeds and treats for the chickens we have.

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I thought this was an awesome find! It’s a yellow iris.  I looked this up because I didn’t know how it got there (I didn’t think it could grow wild) and found that it is actually considered a wildflower. It “escaped” cultivation and has a special fondness for wet, swampy areas (just like the area it is sitting in).

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Beautiful!

Another year…

Well, another year has passed and I have checked in only one time to this blog! Sometimes I think, “I should just delete the blog”.  But I know that I really want to do more writing and there are reasons that I am currently absent from this blog.  School has taken a big portion of my life.  Now that summer break is here I am hoping to make additions more often.  I was thinking about the direction of my blog and there are so many interests in my life that there is no way I can focus this blog on one topic.  There are many topics I will probably cover if I post regularly!  Therefore, the name “Day by Day” is pretty fitting.

Right now I am enjoying having some free time from school. You will probably be hearing about my gardening efforts as I am super excited about the garden right now.  I have been planting a lot and spending any spare minutes I can find in one of my gardening areas around my house.  I have put in peppers, tomatoes, multiple types of salad lettuces, summer squash, beets, green beans, sunflowers, zinnias, strawberries and asparagus (Trying to put in some perennial crops for years to come).  I feel blessed to have the space and resources to be able to grow food at my own home.  One of my goals this summer is to become adept at canning/preserving.  Some of the things I want to can are: green beans, tomatoes, pickles and possibly beets.

Something else that has been taking up some of my time this spring has been our new chickens that we acquired this year.  They have been a lot of fun to learn about and take care of.  We get a fairly steady flow of eggs and the chickens help take care of a majority of our kitchen scraps.  Their manure goes into the compost pile.  We let them free range every evening for a few hours.

So, this is some of what has been going on lately on our little homestead. More to come…hopefully soon!  Will try to get some pictures on here.

Forever and a Day

It’s been SO, Seriously, SUPER long (forever and a day) since I sat and made myself write on this blog!  It’s a good thing that this blog is mostly just for my enjoyment…an outlet for my thoughts.  Based on how much I’ve written, you would think that I really don’t have many thoughts in my head.  I do, really I do…all the time. But who HAS the time to write about anything, let alone frivolous thoughts that are just for yourself???  But tonight, the bug hit me…(the writing bug, not the stomach bug!) and I just had too many thoughts to contain in my brain and I had to get them out!  Here’s one for example…I was thinking about myself and realized that if there were a phrase that would characterize myself it would be 100%.  Really, it was like an epiphany.  Whatever I do, I want to do it 100 percent.  Whether it’s being a mom, (which I love), or school, or being the best wife I can be, or cleaning the house, or helping someone out….I truly do try to give whatever I’m doing my best, my 100%.

I also realized tonight that I want to eat healthier.  Maybe it was the rush of endorphins after I did an impromptu 6 minute ab workout to wake myself up (Guess what? It worked!!!) that caused me to feel this way…but I just am tired of the junk! I really need to clean it up and get back to wholesome foods, I really want to be vegetarian again, its just hard when you live with and cook for meat eaters…it really is.  But that’s no excuse, I’m still going to try and hopefully make some big changes.

Hmm….what else? I’m just excited in general this evening because this summer holds some exciting opportunities.  Going on a big (big as in FAR away…) trip this summer to visit family, and possibly, hopefully, going to get a new job if all goes according to plan.  Well, I would like to write more but I have got to balance the checkbook, pay bills, practice a skills test so I can ace a skills check off at school on monday and finally, sleep so I can work tomorrow….whewwww! I’m exhausted just writing all that out…maybe I should get back up and do another impromptu 6 minute workout…nahhh!   Good night all!

The 3 Day Detox

I can hardly believe it’s been over 4 months since my last post….I’d keep meaning to write and time just got away from me…or it would just get pushed to the end of the list…again!  Life has been busy though…I’ve picked up more work and am trying to stay more on top of cleaning (trying is the key word here) which really does take a lot more effort.   Right now, I need to go get some sleep, but I just had to write aimlessly about something I’m excited about….

Getting Healthy!  This is what I’ve been working on…  Over the last 2 years, I have somehow put on about 10-15 pounds.  I didn’t really even notice it until lately b/c I think I put it on very slowly…but “BOOM!” there it was all of a sudden and I slowly realized I had to change.  So, my sister, my mom and I all went on this “Dr Oz 3 Day Smoothie Detox” which was absolutely awful!!!  I found it on pinterest and thought “wow this looks really cool and good!”.  I mean, I absolutely love smoothies…but these weren’t smoothies…they were a whole blender full of pulp and some juice.  At one point during the detox, I actually thought about getting on pinterest and making a board called “Pins I Don’t Recommend” or “Pins I’ve Tried and You Should Avoid”.  Somehow, we muscled through it (maybe by tweaking the recipes just a tiny, tiny bit).  And by day 3 we really were feeling lighter and better!  We dove right in to eating as many raw fruits and vegetables as possible and very little cooked food….Tonight at work someone told me I looked like I was losing weight! I am really excited because I actually have lost a little bit! I am motivated and still feeling better and tighter in areas that had started to become a little flabby.  I am excited to keep going down this path of health and detox!

 

Adoption

I’ve been reading a book about adoption this past week called “The Spirit of Adoption” and the message has really spoken to my heart.  I pray that in the future, I can be an adoptive parent to a child in need.  There are many reasons I would want to do so. This book talks about one of the reasons, which is the war on children…How, first of all, if abortion doesn’t kill a child, then surely divorce will assualt them. If that does not work, then there are further attacks in the forms of child abuse, child pornography, child molestation, child slavery, and child soldiers.  If you are pro life, then one way to show that is to turn your hearts toward the orphans in this world…adoption is our faith being worked out.  It is a proactive life movement.

Something else that this book pointed out to me that I had never noticed was that there were quite a few deliverers in the Bible who were adopted.  Often, these deliverers were preceded by a battle against the children.  One of these deliverers was Moses.  At a time when Pharaoh was trying to get rid of all the baby boys in Egypt by having the midwifes kill them, Moses was somehow saved from this death.  When he got to big to hide, he was set in the Nile River and discovered by Pharaoh’s own daughter, who raised him as her own (adopted him). The book I’m reading put it this way:

“Within the house of Pharaoh, a deliverer grew stronger every day.  He lived in the very palace that had called for the war against children, and yet the adoption spared the life of this deliverer to come.”

Another adopted child who became a deliverer for God’s people was Esther.  She was taken in by Mordecai, her cousin, who raised her as her own. Esther was able to rise up and deliver the Jews in the hour of need due to her influence with the king.

Lastly, another man who was born without an earthly father.  His mom was Mary and was engaged to Joseph.  This is a quote from “The Spirit of Adoption”:

“This was not a child conceived by an errant fiance in a one night stand.  This was not an embarrassment.  Shame was not the destiny of this child.  No, He would be a deliverer.  Jesus needed a father figure on earth that could protect His mother, raise Him properly, and teach Him a trade.”….”Joseph wholeheartedly adopted the Son of God, and in doing so, played a role in the salvation of the human race.”

This was a different viewpoint than I had ever taken on these Biblical figures.  I think these stories are significant.  “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world”  James 1:27.   Are we living out true religion?  Are we really prolife? or do we just talk the talk?  There are other ways to get involved other than adopting.  Helping in a crisis pregnancy clinic, volunteering in some way, helping adoption agencies….fostering…

Check out this link to see more about the Hands and Feet Project that Audio Adrenaline (the singers in the video) started in 2004 to help orphans in Haiti:http://www.handsandfeetproject.org/home

The Hurt and the Healer

I haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately because life has been changing in different ways.  Business has taken over in some areas and left no time for writing.  But, I have been wanting to share some songs that I really love and here is one of them!  The first clip is about the songs story.  The second is the music video.  After that are the words…It is a really great song.  Hope you enjoy as much as I do!


This is pretty neat…


Official Video of Mercy Me singing “Hurt and the Healer”

“The Hurt & The Healer” By MERCYME

Why?
The question that is never far away
The healing doesn’t come from the explained
Jesus please don’t let this go in vain
You’re all I have
All that remains

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

Breathe
Sometimes I feel it’s all that I can do
Pain so deep that I can hardly move
Just keep my eyes completely fixed on You
Lord take hold and pull me through

So here I am
What’s left of me
Where glory meets my suffering

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

It’s the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all the scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say “It’s over now”

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I’ve fallen into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here
When the hurt and the healer collide [x2]

Jesus come and break my fear
Awake my heart and take my tears
Find Your glory even here

Smart Meters: Friend or Foe?

A couple months ago, I got a few calls from our electric company.  They were offering a program called “Simple Saver” for those who wanted it.  They offered a one time credit up front [after the installation of your direct load switch(s)], and then an annual credit of so much for each appliance that you enrolled (a/c unit, pool pump or water heater).  It sounded good. It sounded nice…and I was almost convinced.  But then I started thinking……When I asked questions about the program and it’s purpose, the lady on the phone told me that at times of peak power use, if there was a lot of strain on the grid, then they would be able to turn back the thermostat somewhat.  I told the lady that I would look into it, talk to my husband about it, and then make a decision.  I later decided not to get the installation of the product.
After reading up on this product, I’m glad I didn’t.  This program seems to be marketed different ways but, from what I’ve seen, is basically what many people refer to as a smart meter.
People who oppose the smart meters, do so for various reasons. Like  the “Stop Smart Meters” website, where it says “Fighting for health, privacy and safety”.  Check out their site StopSmartMeters.org to see a little more about the recent news in this debate.
Some of the questions I have in my mind about this topic (starting from least to greater) are: “What about all the jobs that are done away with because of these new smart meters?”  How did the meter usage get recorded in the past?  Oh yeah, from a person who would manually record every month so that you could get your bill.  What happens to their positon? Maybe that’s not the only job responsibility they had…Let’s hope so.
Also, I’ve heard, from listening to discussions on this debate, that these meters can record not just the amount of energy that your home is using, but which appliances are using the most and when.  According to this electric company’s website, their company has access to that information ONLY if you as a consumer want to share it with them.  This company also says the meters they use record energy usage every 15 minutes.  It is via a radio frequency which they say is very minimal.
Obviously at this point, every company is different in their terms…such as, some give you the choice to get a smart meter (like mine) and some mandate it and say they are no longer using the old meters (like the company in the link above).  Maybe the difference is that some of these are pilot programs, they are trying it out and seeing what the acceptance is in the community (I read info on many pilot programs like this) and seeing what the savings are like, etc.  The other programs, that are enforcing that everyone switch to these new meters (like the Naperville, Illinois woman who just got arrested) seem to be implementing these programs on a wide scale at a higher level already.
For me, I just don’t feel comfortable allowing any person or company to have that much control over something in my home.  It’s information collecting.  Whether the electric company sees it or not.  That information is still being collected and stored somewhere.  There’s a reason that this information is wanted and we have to think about the WHY? behind all of this.  Sure they give us a $10 credit and we feel all good and fuzzy inside because we feel like we’ve done our part to help lessen the load on the grid, thereby helping the environment.  But, is that really the point of all this?  I believe it is all about collecting and controlling!  While writing this, I found this video and he really makes many good points, all of which, relate to the fact that that these meters are an infringement on our privacy.  I’m not really concerned as much with the health risk, if there is any, because there are many health risks all around us every day and we will never be able to eliminate them completely.  However, when you are able to tell when I am home, when I am gone, when I have decided to use the woodstove instead of the heat pump, when I put in a humongous new fish tank that eats up the electricity, or if I decided to start some tomato and eggplant seeds in my back room and am using fluorescent type/grow lights to do so….when you can record and analyze and store my personal habits, I definitely think this is more than helping the power grid…This is about collecting data and power/control of people on a mass level.  Please take 3-4 minutes and watch the video below and most importantly, do your OWN research.  Make your own opinions NOW.  As I have said many times before: Know what you stand for.

 

More Articles of interest pertaining to smart meters: