New Sites

Please check out my new sites. This site has “retired” but I haven’t!!

The Home of Peaceful Acres

Simply Real Foods

Same Crazy Life, Different Address

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

Did you get the news?  We’ve moved!  If you would please make sure you update your address book Bookmark to Butterflies & Bumble Bees (just hop on over and click on the RSS orange button).

You know how it is when you move to some place new…although we haven’t physically moved for almost 25 years, it’s a lot of work.  There is so much to do; unpack, decorate and organize everything.  I’m in the process of doing all of that, so please excuse the mess but enjoy the company.  Please leave me a comment so I know you found my new place.  I hope to expand and grow more at my new home offering you more to see and do.

But no worries.  If you miss visiting Peaceful Acres, it will still be here and you will be able to retrieve from the archives.  But my crazy life will now be at Butterflies & Bumble Bees.

Crossed Every Which Way

Josie came into heat again Thursday morning.  It’s day 18 which isn’t unusual, but I wasn’t expecting it until Monday.  My driver who was to take her over to meet her bull fell through or else she’d of been there sometime on Thursday.  But I was able to call the AI Tech who works this area and he came by Thursday late afternoon.    Hopefully if she cycles like she did the last couple times, she will settle down and we caught her in time.  The bull semen lives for 24 hrs so as you can imagine it’s better to be earlier then later.   I’ll know in another 3 weeks if it took.  As of Friday morning, she was still BAWLING.  I think the neighbors who missed the last blessing of heat, must of thought she had mad cows disease.  She never got feisty with me, but I also never turned my back on her or bent over with my butt in the air.  They will mount anything and anyone.  Not me!  Friday afternoon she settled down.  Now we wait.  I hope that the AI wasn’t too early, but if it was we will have to try again.  All good things in God’s time.  Heavens knows we’ve been waiting long enough for this.

Her sire is WF Duncan ET.  I’m not sure what all that means, but he is suppose to throw some good calves.  So, now it’s time to cross our fingers and toes and knees and just about anything you can cross and pray that Josie will be pregnant and give us a healthy calf in 9 months.  Mark your calendars and set your watches!

My AI Tech is Allan Pickett.  He’s been doing this work since he was in high school.  He went to our local h.s. and knew this area when we had dairy farms all around.  He doesn’t get many calls to come to this area anymore, but was more than happy to accommodate me.  I was thrilled that he was very responsive and came when called.  It was a very good bargain….$28.  That doesn’t even pay for his gas.  I felt like I should of given him a tip.  I mean, he did have to reach into places that most people don’t.  He was very nice.  Did I say that?  Well, he was.  Anyone that is gentle with my Josie is a friend of mine.

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DSCN5224My day was spent watching Josie.  It’s a fact that a cow in heat that is watched up to 6 times during the day has a better chance of settling then one that you only observe a couple times.  Plus she was really being obnoxiously loud and the only thing that quieted her was my presence.  So I drug a chair out close to the pasture, propped my feet up and read my Organic Gardening Magazine…which by the way had a very nice article on winter squash.  So I sat and listened to the feathered ladies behind me chit chat and occasionally Josie would check to see if I was still there.  She was the quietest she’d been all day.

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My son, the Tender Hearted Warrior, was crawling on his belly stalking the deer with his bow and arrows.  He shot at one, but the arrow was too heavy and feel at her feet.  Better success next time.  He’s quite the marksmen.  When he was just a little tike at Stockade Camp, he won all the marksmen awards!  (you know just a paper plate with ribbons hanging from it…but it meant everything to a 6 yr old!)  He hasn’t lost his eye and he’s taking right after his dad.  Honey shot his bow the other night that he hasn’t touched…..well, probably since we were married almost 30 yrs ago….and BINGO he hit the target dead center!!  What a guy!

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Can you see him right above Joy’s back.

If you’d like to skip over to my new home you can find me there now.  I’m still unpacking the boxes and rearranging the furniture, but for the most part I’ve moved in.

Remember, we’re still Peaceful Acres we just are using a different address!

Butterflies & Bees

Photo Credit to Blue Melanistic

Photo Credit to Blue Melanistic

One couldn’t ask for anything more to bless their gardens and farms with than butterflies and bees!  I’m not sure why I named my business that, Butterflies & Bumble Bees…..I think I was thinking of things that described nature that abounded with beauty and grace and hopefully my business would do the same providing for the poor in India.

(As a side note:  Butterflies & Bumble Bees is moving to a new home.  It is only temporarily closed, but will reopen soon with a new face!  Along side my shop will be a new home for my blog and all will be found at Butterflies & Bumble Bees dot org….If you love Peaceful Acres….as I do….you can still find it right here, but I’ll be posting on my new blog….when?…..I don’t know for sure, but it will be soon….but don’t fret, I’ll make sure you can find me where ever I go and I haven’t left yet….there are stories and tales to come…..like Josie coming into heat again….pics to come on Monday!!!!  Hang tight, don’t go anywhere!!!)

Back to Bees……They are on my mind again.  I’ve got lots of butterflies flitting and fluttering around my little farm during the summer months, it’s bees that have got my attention lately.  Anytime I have honey bees stopping for a snack I am persuaded to leave alone the flowers they are feasting on.  Besides cut flowers make me sneeze and wheeze!  And since the honey bee population has declined we ought to think about ways that we can lure them to our gardens and farms for pollination and food.  You know without them food as we know it will cease.  Maybe that’s why scientist are now creating food in a petri dish.  Now that sounds nourishing, kinda like eating a cardboard box.

While recovering my body from Chronic Lyme Disease and it’s many friends, I stopped all sweeteners even fruit for over a year or more.  Then I allowed myself raw honey due to the fact that it doesn’t raise ones blood sugar levels.  I took a friends word on that (I haven’t researched it but I have heard others refer to it that way) and I’m glad, because I do love local raw honey.  It’s suggested that eating local honey will help with allergies….I haven’t noticed yet, mine are worse then ever.

I’ve lined up my local raw honey for the winter and hope that my stash lasts me.   If I run out then I’ll have to try and locate some more, but for now I’ve got 20 lbs on order from the President of our local bee keepers society.  He has mostly Black Locust honey and that’s good, but I like Wild Flower and various others best.  I’ll store it in small jars just in case it starts to crystalize and I can warm it slightly.  Or just scoop it in my tea as it is.  It’s still good.  I learned my lesson with a 5 gal container of honey I bought once.  It did start to crystalize and it was nearly impossible warming the 5 gal container in the bathtub.  If I store anything for any length of time I prefer to use glass, so I can avoid any leaching from the plastic to my food.

I’ve signed up for the Winter Bee Keepers Class.  I’m really excited.  I’d love to have my own hives and my own honey.  Just like anything else, it takes time and a little money to get started.  Nothing compared to getting the bovine girls though!  So don’t be surprised if next year sometime I add honey bees to my little farm!  But it might have to wait until the following year since hopefully next summer I will have a new calf and milk enough to swim in!!!  All things in God’s good time.  Plus if I have to wait until the following year, then I might as well wait until we retire the next and move to the mountains!  We’ll see, I’ve lived my life like that for too long….tomorrow.  Don’t do that.  Learn to be content where you are.  As I say, “Bloom where you are planted!”

In the mean time, here is a good article on the honey bee Colony Collapse Disorder.  A very interesting assumption.  It wouldn’t surprise me if it was High Fructose Corn Syrup poisoning the honey bees.  Look what it’s done to our health.

Don’t forget I’ll give you a link that you can RSS and follow me onto greener pastures, but for the mean time, I’m right here!

Blood Deficient

I saw my acupuncturist last week for some aches and pains. I’ve been on Dr Zhang’s Chinese Herbs for over a year trying to kill the worst of my infections, Babesia. Bab’s is a parasite cousin to Malaria….not a fun visitor by any stretch of the imagination and very hard to kill. Although Bab’s is still around, I’ve had great relief from it and I live an enriched life today.

One of my aches has been a burning stabbing pain in my right elbow and shoulder. In Chinese medicine heat indicates stuck blood. (please know that I don’t pride myself in using correct technical terms…I just try to get the jist of it) Lisa, my acupuncturist, did the little pinch the fingernail tips and thought I was a little blood deficient. That really didn’t come as a surprise. I know that ever since my battle with Hemolytic Anemia last fall, even though I brought my RBC back to normal with food and herbs, I continue to battle fatigue. If you think that I am a boundless 51 yr old filled with energy who accomplishes great feats every day…then I have misled you! I am not. I do get a lot done, but it takes a lot more these days! And I usually don’t post my off days. Learning to live with a positive attitude has meant not always admitting that I feel like a piece of chewed up and spit out meat! But for those of you who visit my blog hoping to get some tips on living with these infectious diseases, I try to be a bit transparent for you.

I respond to acupuncture very quickly. Lisa got my blood flowing. I’ve been in complete menopause (literally means a pause in menses) for a year…well, she got a little flow going! I thought that was a great way for me to know that it was working. It comes as no surprise to me that after my treatment last week, my fatigue is worse. Sometimes in treating things naturally, it gets worse before it gets better.

My symptoms with Bab’s are: fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, crying, muscle pain, nerves jump in my body like the jitters (I can literally feel my nerves twitching or the energy flowing through them…it’s weird), insomnia, nausea, bloatedness….. while I’m at it I might as well blame it for overweight, silliness and sometimes offensive behavior!

Why not? Babesia is a very very wicked disease. I am grateful however that I’ve had so much relief from it and I believe that one day I will be free from it’s grip. Dr Zhang’s site now says that it’s recommended to double the dose of Artemesia and HH. My usual dose lately has just been 1 capsule per day. When it’s active I up the dose to the recommended 3 capsules per day. During this most recent activity, I’ll be upping my dose to 2 caps 3X day. I will probably up it gradually. I hate sudden death!

Here’s what it says on the fact sheet Lisa gave me. “The quality of our blood is a measure of the available nourishments circulating in our body. Blood nourishes our muscles, organs, brain, every part of us. It’s quality depends on the quality of food we eat and our ability to absorb nourishment. In other words it depends on the strength of our Spleen.” In reading about the blood it makes sense that insomnia and difficulty thinking are a problem, and fatigue in the muscles all due to a lack of blood flow. Babesia attacks and kills the red blood cells, thus a lack of blood flow.

I’ll focus my diet again on blood building foods which include, fermented apricots, fresh liver, fermented beets, dark leafy greens braised in stock with a little balsamic vinegar, infused nettle tea, bone marrow in the form of stock, grapes, sardines, figs, and eggs.

When I feel like this I don’t want to fuss much over food, the easier the better. I always try to keep most of these foods on hand and I do try to keep my diet filled with variety. I have a ton of ferments in the frig and an Autumn garden growing dark leafy greens. My fresh pastured chickens always come with livers and hearts and they are scrumptious fresh! Yes, I said chicken livers are scrumptious! Braised in a little lard with some red onion they are great. The fresher the better and be sure to not over cook.

Here’s what I had for lunch yesterday.

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Heat up the stock and add several handfuls of greens per person….they will cook down to nothing. In my mix I’ve got beet greens, spinach and kale.

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I added some fennel root that I cut from the garden and some red onion. A dash of balsamic vinegar and it was so good, I could of eaten an entire plate full.

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I threw in a leftover pastured chicken wing and added fermented beets for a good blood fortifying nutrient dense meal.

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

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Josie woke me Monday morning complaining about the grass Popsicles.

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We had our first snow….actually unusual for Maryland on Sunday, October 17.

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The chicken yard is very, very mucky after 4 days of non stop rain…I guess it did stop long enough to snow!

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Room for one more?

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Finally some thawed green grass!

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The barnyard needs more rock.

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A lone Cleome survived the killing frost.

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One faithful friend remembering another….

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Boomer’s final resting place, surrounded by life giving herbs.

Pass The Rosehips Honey

This is the vicious lovely Multiflora Rose. These beasts beauties have been known to rip man, woman, child and beast to shreds. Just try passing one at full throttle on a John Deere and see if you don’t agree. These bad boys beauties are wicked bad.

They do have a few redeeming qualities if you are cursed blessed to have one or two or a couple dozen. The rose hips are packed with Vit C….more Vit C than an orange.

I know, I can hear you saying, “no way”. “Yes way.” However picking these tiny little seed thingies is very labor intensive. I’m cursed blessed to still have one or so more clusters of Multiflora Rose left in our back 40. Honey Some believe that the madix was made for this lovely bush from hell and believe me it’s the only way to be rid of it. But, if you are cursed blessed as I am, please make use of it.

My one good standing is in the Blackberry patch (another blessing), so picking these tiny little things was another battle of flesh and blood. After getting a long thorn from this ugly lovely rose, under my thumb nail, I called it quites. I was blessed with 2/3 cup, but that was after I pulled the tiny little stems off.

Now that my finger tips are numb and calloused, I mashed my rosehips in my morter and pistal….you know, that thing we used in High School science class.

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You have to admit they are a lovely shade of red. The birds love them too, so I didn’t wait until after the first frost to pick….otherwise, there might not of been any left. I know, at this point your asking yourself why I’m going to all this trouble when all I need to do is pull a bottle of Vit C off the shelf….they have rosehips in them too.

Well, I call this “Simple Living” or “The Simple Life w/o Paris Hilton”….my daughter, Sweet Girl, can’t quite imagine what I mean by that. She thinks that I go to way too much trouble to do this thing called life. The funny thing is she meets gals all the time who say, “oh I want to be just like your mom”. She says, “come on over”!

I digress. Once you’ve smashed your berries, you can cover them with raw honey. (why raw? I’m so glad you asked. Raw honey has live enzymes, just like raw milk or raw carrot juice or raw anything. And make sure you buy your honey from a reputable source…..did you know that honey sold by….well, I won’t name them, but sold by some very well known places….if you were to ask them for their barrels the barrel would say something like….Product of CHINA or Vietnam and it will say, Honey & Corn Syrup!!!!!! I’m dead serious! So make sure it’s local raw honey!)

Okay back to the rosehips….. It makes a yummy way to take Vit C. And you’ve spent hardly anything, except for the honey, which in my case I’m gonna eat anyway. If times ever get really hard for you and they are for many right now, you only need to look as far as your back door for Vit C. If you don’t have any rosehips nearby, Pine needles also are loaded and you can make some tea. It’s good to know some foraging skills….more later on my black walnut salvaging.

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Then just take a spoonful and enjoy or use 2-3 tsp and pour boiling water over it as to make a tea. Kids love taking their vitamins this way.

Last year I made some Rose Petal Honey. The Petals are carminative, stimulant, emmenagogue, antibacterial; Astringent; and Tonic. Now it’s up to you to look all that up, I’m just sayin that Rose petals are also very good for you. Of course DO NOT ever use the ones you buy in the store or receive in from your Honey! Only use organic rose petals that have NEVER been sprayed. I only buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs. I love eating it on buttered toast, with the sweet hint of rose! You can strain the petals out of the honey after it’s sat for a few weeks, but I just left mine in and they have crystallized with the honey and are so good to eat. Using a tea strainer you can also put a couple heaping teaspoons in the strainer and pour boiling water over and let steep…..mmmm rose honey tea! So good and so good for you.

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What are you foraging? Anything interesting?

UPDATE Warning:  Do NOT eat too many rosehips!  I was a bit under the weather on my B-day.  I ate too many rosehips and boy did I ever have a doubled over tummy!  DO NOT do that!  And DO NOT dumb the seeds in your compost or you will have more Multiflora Rose!  I haven’t done that, but I thought I’d mention it so you aren’t yelling at me next year when volunteers are coming up by the dozens!

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