Around the Homestead, Nutrition

Labor Day Weekend…

I have been planning and scribbling a list of to-dos and purchases to make for Randy and I to get back into some traditional eating (WAP and Nourishing Traditions).  This will include things like:


Cod liver oil/butter oil (Green Pastures)

grass-fed raw dairy products

fermented food (homemade sauerkraut)

soaked grains


bone broths

pasture/grass-fed meat (venison, chicken, beef)

local pork (nitrate, nitrite, and msg free)

organic fruits and vegetables whenever available


organ meats


coffee (probably the hardest thing on this list to give up, especially going into winter)


refined sugars and flours

chemicals and additives

high-fructose corn syrup


hydrogenated oils (use coconut instead)

We’ll see how it goes.  Randy is onboard, but we haven’t started yet.  We hope to add a workout into this plan, P90X, Yoga, stretching, and some treadmill time.  I hope to take my bike to work this week so I have a way to get around other than walking since I am carless due to carpooling.

Today was the last of the heat here (we think).  Our forecast gives us hope fall is on its way and our spirits are reflecting the cooler days predicted ahead.

We did lose a lamb this week to the heat.  We lost a lamb and a ewe earlier this summer due to heat.  We have four lambs struggling and getting doctored right now.  We are in hopes the cooler weather will be the boost they need to get turned around.  It is so hard to see them miserable and struggling in the heat.

We dropped hay yesterday and will continue to feed hay through the winter.  Our pastures are done for the year.  Little rain and blazing hot temperatures were hard on it and left little grass this year and will affect the grass available next year as well.  We need an early spring with sufficient rain to get that grass growing.

I can’t wait to throw open the windows and get some fresh, cool air in our house.  Our cookstove should be here in a few weeks.  We plan to go cut more wood (hedge) Monday.

Ruby is adjusting…everyday she makes progress.  Medically she seems fine.  Socially she has quite a ways to go.  She rode with Randy and I when we hauled lambs to the sale today.  Her head was up and she watched out the windows and walked comfortably across the seat back and forth to each of us.  A big improvement from the cowering little dog plastered to the floorboard like she has been everyday until today.  She still finds the closest corner of the house to hunker down in, but she will get there.  We try to take her with us as much as possible.  She’s going to be devasted when we leave and go back to work.  Thank goodness we had this week off to snuggle with her or her progress would have been even slower.  The other dogs don’t LOVE her, but they tolerate her pretty well considering she is 5 to 8 times smaller than her.  She goes back to the vet Friday to have her staples and stitches removed which means no more cone on her head at night.  She will be pumped about that…Ruby hates her cone!

Take care and have a safe and happy labor day weekend!






Current Events & FYI, Inspirational, Nutrition

John 3:16

Today is March 16th….3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  -John 3:16

With everything going on in Japan right now and the threat of radiation headed this way as early as this week I need this right now.  The jetstream filled with radiation will hit the west coast first, but will follow its usual path across the country, including Kansas. 

Here are a few great articles on what you may not be hearing via the mainstream media and things you can do to help protect yourself:

I always tell my husband I don’t want to be the freaky conspiracy theory chick, but I also don’t want to be the naive American who has no clue what’s going on in the world and just believes the media and government is telling us the whole truth and will take care of us (i.e. the Gulf Oil Disaster and Katrina).

Randy and I were fortunate enough to already have a nice supply of iodine containing supplements and foods and metal detoxing supplies on hand…thank you Natural News newsletter and store.





Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)

Magnesium Sulpate (epsom salt)

Just to name a few of the ways you can protect and/or detox from radiation exposure.  However, these are just all around good things to keep on hand in your natural health medicine cabinet and to take or use regularly for good health, which is why we already have them on hand.

Pray for the people in Japan and now for the people all across the globe who may soon face the same dangers as the Japanese in dealing with the radiation the nuclear plants in Japan have created.

Around the Homestead, Foraging, Nutrition

Foraging and Scottish Highland Cattle…

The past few weekends I have been doing a little foraging around our homestead.  I spent the morning weeding our wildflower area and decided the dandelion greens would be a nice addition to a salad.  So I ran inside to grab my basket and collect a few.

I have read a lot about the benefits of dandelions in Dandelion Medicine by Briggite Mars and online. 

“Dandelion root ( Taraxacum officinale ) stimulates bile production, thus improving liver function, which when sluggish, can contribute to fatigue. Dandelion root improves digestion and increases vitality.” 

All of us could probably benefit from a little liver cleansing these days.  Toxins in the air, soil, and everywhere else cause a burden on our system trying to eliminate these toxins from our body.

I also got to crawl around in these thorny things.  These are sandplum bushes and they grow wild in Kansas.  Everywhere you look (that the township can’t get to and spray) there are sandplums growing.

The plums themselves are tart and not great for eating right off the bush, but they make the best jelly and wine.

So I soaked them, washed them, and bagged them up in 2 1/2 gallon freezer bags and tossed them in deep freeze.  When fall rolls around and our house in nice and cool I will fire up the stove and get to making jelly and wine.  Right now it’s just too hot to mess with them.

I had lots of help when I was out in mom and dad’s pasture picking sandplums.

First there was just one curious bystander.

Then a couple more.

Then a little closer.

And a little closer.

Then it was just time to hang out, stare at me, and make me a little nervous.

The little guy wasn’t too sure it was safe.

But finally started creeping out from behind his mama.

Finally I had enough cow time.  They were really close to me.  Sniffing me.  Watching me.  And breathing down my neck.  I decided to pack it in and loaded up the four-wheeler to head back to the house.

See that little shaded area under the sandplum bushes??  That’s where I WAS standing.  They didn’t waste anytime taking over my spot once I was outta there. 

They really are the best little cows.  The Scottish Highlands are tame and gentle, but were just too curious for me that day.

Around the Homestead, Nutrition

Family Illness Update…

Things are not-so-good here. Grandma is still in the hospital with pneumonia and has now been exposed to another patient (multiple times) with MRSA.

Dad is still very sick and had to have IV fluids yesterday. His test results won’t be back for 2-3 days and for now he is on a broad spectrum antibiotic. We’re still not sure if it’s helping or not.

Mom is off today and dealing with chores so unless there are problems Randy and I may have an evening “off.” I say off in quotes because we are still lambing at our house, bottle feeding lambs, and caring for the 100+ animals on our farm plus trying to keep ourselves as healthy and rested and possible.

Craig is coming back out this afternoon to help mom, so that is a HUGE relief. It is physically too much for her to do on her own let alone the fact she is emotionally drained. Between Grandma going to the hospital Thursday and Dad getting sick Friday she is a bit frazzled.

Over my lunch break I am headed to our kinesiologist to stock up on our nutritional supplements and to the grocery store to stock up on some good, organic fruits and vegetables. I have plenty of meat thawed and enough home-grown eggs to make for some fairly quick and easy dinners. Luckily, Randy is so very undemanding as far as dinner is concerned. When time is a problem egg sandwiches are always my saving grace.

I had been relying on the two meatloaves I made Sunday from local beef and venison, but after lunch today those will be gone. I had to get a plan together for some easy meals.

Tonight we will be having sausage, eggs, and potatoes. I plan to throw a roast in the slow cooker with some organic carrots and potatoes for dinner tomorrow.

I also have a big bowl of chicken stock that just needs to have the fat skimmed off the top, and we will be adding a cup of it to our dinners each night. I love to make the coconut chicken soup in NT, but just plain ol’ stock will have to do for now.

We are also on various supplements from our kinesiologist and everyone, dogs included, is receiving CLO each evening. We are trying very hard to stay healthy, so hopefully our efforts prove successful.

When things are stressful for me I just want my husband by my side. For now we are 50 miles away from each other and hours away from being home together. Thank goodness for cell phones and possibly an evening at home together.

Please say a prayer Dad, Grandma, and the woman battling MRSA all make a full recovery soon.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day and is staying warm!

In The Kitchen, Nutrition

Coconut Bark…

Coconut Bark:

6 T coconut oil, virgin, expeller-pressed

1 t vanilla extract

1 ½ T unsweetened cocoa powder

1-2 T pure maple syrup

2 T unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ c pecans

Melt coconut oil in a small pan over low heat.  Add vanilla extract, cocoa, and maple syrup.  Mix with wire whisk until completely dissolved. 

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into a 9×13 pan lined with wax paper.  Place in freezer for 15 minutes to harden.

Once it hardens, break it into bite-sized pieces.  Keep in freezer.

The recommended dosage for coconut oil is 3-4 Tablespoons a day.  This is best divided and taken three times a day before each meal.  It’s best to start out with smaller doses of coconut oil to prevent die off.  Die off is the result of toxins being removed from the body.  Diarrhea may result, but this is not actually a bad things as this is a sign your body is being flushed of toxins and offending organisms.

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil  “The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.”

“The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV.”

Here is where I buy my coconut oil and the best price I have found.

I cook our eggs in it, spread on toast or biscuits, use it as a lotion and night cream, mix into smoothies, anytime I need to oil a pan for cooking, and of course in coconut bark.

It is delicious and nutritions.  It heals cuts on hands, good for chapped lips, rub on scalp to help fight dandruff.  The list goes on and on. 



Animals, Nutrition

Animal Nutrition…



Our eleven cats are fed PMI Exclusive Chicken & Rice from Mom’s feed store (look for the red and white checkerboard sign on the building as a sign they carry Purina Mills (Land O’ Lakes)).  If you can’t afford (time or monetary) to feed your pet a raw food diet, this is a great alternative.  It cost less than and is more nutritious than the Purina brand (Nestle) in super stores or your Science Diet/IAMS brands.   

Here is a great article on pet food.

She is promoting her brand of dog food, but does tell you what to look for when reading labels, why organic isn’t always better, and discusses supplements as well.


Our cats receive nutritional (brewer’s) yeast and garlic on their food to help prevent fleas.  The garlic is also to promote good health overall.  I have all the information on Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth and hope to start using it in multiple ways on our homestead.

We also use baking soda on their litter, vinegar to clean the pool house and have started using a biodegradable litter, all in an attempt to decrease their toxin exposure.

We have used Natural Defense to control fleas and ticks.  However, I have read cat’s don’t have the ability to metabolize essential oils leading to toxicity.  I also used to use Mrs. Meyer’s Pet Litter Fresheners, but it contains essential oils.  I have discontinued using it also and use just plain ol’ baking soda.



Our 3 dogs are fed PMI Exclusive Lamb & Rice from Mom’s feed store.  Again, would love to do a raw diet, but time and money don’t allow for this at the moment.  Mornings they just receive 1 cup of food each (Thai receives 1 ½ cups since his is younger, more active, and a bit heavier). 


In the evenings they ALL receive 1 cup of food along with 1 teaspoon garlic and 1-2 teaspoons cod liver oil (our cats should be getting this too, but we’re just not there yet).  They will receive Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth as soon as I get it into a mason jar and into our kitchen.  Right now it is in a container in our shed for the sheep.



Spring thru Summer:  pasture

3-4 weeks Before Breeding:  grain (barley, oats, or corn)

3-4 weeks Into Breeding:  grain (barley, oats, or corn)

Fall thru Winter:  hay (brome, oats, sudan)

3-4 weeks Before Lambing:  grain (barley, oats, or corn)

Through Lambing:  alfalfa, grain (barley, oats, or corn), pasture (spring)


The sheep receive protein tubs during the winter months when extra protein is needed.  They also receive salt and mineral with Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth and garlic mixed in.  I’m contemplating other ways to get them DE daily.  We have also used garlic to treat worm infestations once they have occurred and are trying to move away from chemical wormers.

We also use baking soda for upset stomachs and vitamin c powder for those who need a boost due to illness.

We have had good luck with our alternative forms of treatment.  We will never have a fully organic sheep flock, however, we feel the steps we are taking will make for a healthier flock and lessen the need for pharmaceuticals.



We haven’t come up with an organic feed in our area, so for now our chickens receive Purina’s Layena (for laying hens) and Flock Raiser (for meat birds) both of which are not medicated.  They get Scratch Grains in the evening as a treat and to get them all back in the coop for the night.  Our chickens spend the better part of their life roaming free and foraging for bugs and eating green grass.


The only thing extra we give our chickens is oyster shell for added calcium.

What We Avoid:

We have moved away from using Frontline (or similar) products on our cats and dogs.  We have also recently decided to stop using heartworm medicine on our dogs and will begin supplements and or Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth this winter so they are healthy and ready to face the buggy world come spring.

We have also stopped vaccinating our animals other than rabies every two years (as required by law).  We want them to be strong and healthy and research shows vaccinations greatly compromise the immune system.  We avoid steriods and antibiotics, the drugs of choice for nearly every ailment.  If our pets do receive an antibiotic they receive homemade yogurt on their food for at least a week after finishing the antibiotic to rebuild their digestive tract (both cats and dogs). 

We also avoid all chemicals on our lawn.  Animals walk on the chemically treated grass, then lick their paws and ingest the dangerous chemicals.  So we avoid spraying our lawn.  Bermuda tends to choke out weeds, we are slowly converting more and more of our grass to either grazing for the sheep or edible landscaping, and what’s left we try to control by mowing frequently to give our grass a fighting chance.

Hmmm, I’m drawing a blank here.  I’m sure there are other things used regularly by people, but it’s been long enough since we’ve used them I don’t even remember them as a part of our daily (past) life. 

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something along the way, but these are the basics.  These are the things we are doing to improve our animal’s quality of life.  Yes, there is always more we could do, but for now this is what our finances and our time permits.

**We buy our garlic and DE in 50 lb bags from a feed store near where we live.  This is the cheapest way to purchase both these items.  Also as I linked above, VitaCost is a great place to buy supplements for a fraction of the price.


Around the Homestead, Nutrition

An End of July Homestead Update…

We have had a rough few days on our homestead. Randy hurt his back last Tuesday and was out of commission and off work Wednesday thru Sunday. I was on my own for chores. We got in 52 broilers Friday morning and ran to town to pick them up. I had already set up their temporary pen inside our garage/shop, so all I had to do was dip their beaks in water one at a time and they were on their own. We lost two in the first two days, but everyone seems to be doing well otherwise.

One of my little ewe lambs (my smallest weed-eater) got sick on Sunday evening and died Monday morning. There had to have been something wrong with her I missed for her to go down so quick. She was just a pet lamb not fit for breeding. She was very sick as a baby, and I nursed her back to “health” only to have her stunted and weighing 18 lbs at 5 months old (her twin brother probably weighs between 60-70 lbs for a comparison on how stunted she was. Fit for breeding or not, it was a really sad day at our house Monday evening.

Randy’s job is a little worrisome as he is in aviation, and aviation has been hit really hard by all the layoffs. We are preparing for the worst without getting carried away in the gloom-and-doom state of our country. We have faith together we will make it through whatever comes our way. We have also detached ourselves from materialism as much as possible which makes the idea of “hard times” a little easier to swallow. As long as we have each other and can still care for our animals we will be just fine. We had planned and started a health regime, before Randy hurt his back, to start preparing for our trip to Nepal.

We have eliminated alcohol, limited caffeine (no daily coffee), and have begun eliminating refined sugar (not by using sugar substitutes, they are poison). We are already feeling better and have noticed some slimming down. We don’t use a scale, so this is just a personal observation.

As soon as Randy’s back is better we plan to begin some serious walking and eventually even packing weight (since we will be wearing a baby/toddler while we are there). I have also started yoga which Randy will hopefully join me once his back feels capable. I hope to visit an ashram or two while in Nepal for some real life yoga experiences. In the meantime here in the US I have a lot of work to do before I take my Americanized-can-hardly-touch-my-toes-because-I-sit-at-a-desk-all-day behind into an ashram in Nepal to embarrass myself. Baby steps….


Our World…Top Ten…

THIS article is so good if you want to read it in it’s entirety.  In the meantime, here are

The Ten “Big Duh” Realizations about Our World That Need to be Stated:

1:  Pharmaceuticals don’t work

2:  You can’t raise healthy children on garbage food

3:  Modern society is not sustainable

4:  the American Empire is bankrupt

5:  The health care crisis cannot be solved unless we focus on health

6:  You cannot “screen” your way to good health

7:  Carbon emissions do impact the environment

8:  Animals have consciousness

9:  All the medicine we need already exists in plants

10:  Humankind has learned nothing from the “advancement” of technology

So what do you do…..use herbs to treat sickness, eat and feed your children organic, non-processed food, stop being “consumers” and buying stuff you don’t really need, buy fuel efficient cars, but more importantly quit driving so much, and buy humanely raised meats and dairy products preferably from a local farm.

The article is a smidge on the political side which was not my intent on this blog, but the points he makes are worth reading. 

Herbs, Nutrition

Swine Flu Scare…

In the past I haven’t been one to worry about sicknesses going around (West Nile, Avian Flu, etc.).  However, Randy and I are really worn down from a long list of activity on our farm and Mom and Dad’s.  Plus we have company, Randy’s Dad and Stepmom, visiting next week.  So we are taking some extra precautions to help get our systems built back up so we are ready to enjoy our company and prevent sickness in our home.


I just placed and order with Vitacost for:

CoQ10 (daily)

Vitamin C (daily at first, then as needed)

Echinacea (as needed)

Kyolic Formula 103 Aged Garlic Extract (initially it will be taken daily)

          Ingredients:  Vitamin C (Ester-C)

          Aged Garlic Extract Powder (bulb)

Premium Mushroom Complex Shiitake, Maitake, Poria Cocos, Reishi, and Agaricus

          Astragalus Extract (root)

          Oregano Extract (leaf)

          Olive Leaf Extract (Oleuropin 18%)


I placed this order after reading this article.  I know the title refers to Avian Flu, but it is still the recommended steps to take for Swine Flu or any flu for that matter.


I’ve also been reading up on ways to get the vitamins our body needs from herbs instead of synthetics.  The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic cases tackled by modern medicine had a 30 percent mortality rate while those treated by homeopathy had a 1.05 percent mortality rate.  “Homeopathy was 98% successful in treating the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918” (and the modern flu today).


I can’t say I won’t take Tamiflu along with the masses if I were to get sick, but I would like to know I tried to get myself as strong as possible if this thing continues to spread across the nation and the world.


I am already taking Calcium and Magnesium per my Kinesiologist’s orders.  Randy and I have also added Cod Liver Oil to our routine again.  This should cover our Vitamin A, D, EPA, DHA, and Vitamin E.  We eat real butter to ensure the CLO is utilized in our body, but you can also add gold butter oil for good measure.  This is an added expense I personally couldn’t cough up the money for and decide to invest in other supplements while adding good quality butter to our diet instead.


Another great addition to your diet would be coconut oil.  We use this (virgin unrefined, 1 gallon)in our smoothies, cooking, and even on our hands as a lotion when they get really dry or cut up.  It has great antiviral (influenza) and antibacterial properties amongst a long list of other benefical qualities.


**I am not a medical professional, and everyone’s body is different.  You should research and/or seek the help of a professional when adding supplements to your daily life (especially if other medical conditions exist).  This is just what we are implementing in our home to try to strengthen our immune systems and get some energy back.


Hope everyone is staying healthy and enjoying the spring weather.