Mental Health Day On The Farm

Last fall I met a woman who would soon become a “sister” to me. She’s the owner/farmer of Sycamore Spring Farm. We are a kindred spirit with a love for God, a love for family and a love for animals and farming all around. I noticed in the fall when I’d make my 60 mile round trip out to the farm that even on what I described as “bad” days due to recovering from Lyme Disease, that my mood would be lifted and I’d come home later that evening with a spring in my step! I’ve been visiting my friend now for 8 months and I’ve fondly begun to refer to my visits as “mental health days”! Even with the outrageous price of gas, a visit to “the farm” as I’ve fondly come to call it, is cheaper than a visit to the therapist!!!! Every visit holds new lessons and not only do I receive but I also give friendship and love.

This is Cocoa who has gone blind, but successfully gave birth to the tiniest twins! She’s such a good Mama!

Yesterday I went out to the farm. My friend of Sycamore Spring Farm is now featuring my handcrafted goods in “the spring house”. We’re of such kindred spirit that we dream together and make plans for the future. It’s so adventurous when women get together who love to dream!!! So, we’re making plans and I’ll let you in on them as the wrinkles get ironed out….but for now, we’re having fun!

When I got to the farm I was greeted by Tea Cup and Rosie who were prancing in the field with their babies. It’s so fun to see the farm come to life in the spring……there are babies everywhere. Baby goats, baby chicks, baby cows, baby geese, baby rabbits…..it’s truly the season of life! As the babies are hatching though it’s the time to protect them from fox who love to eat them. There was a pen full of baby heritage turkeys with one baby goose. It was so funny because the baby turkeys thought the baby goose who was born on the same day but was 4 or 5 times their size, they thought he was their mommy!!! It always reminds me of one of our favorite children’s books “Are You My Mother”. Then out pops some more baby chicks. My friend all of a sudden had them in her hand. I said, “where’d they come from?” She responded, “In my dresser drawer”! Laughter broke out on my part. “oh you never cease to amaze me. What on earth are they doing in your dresser drawer????” Anyway, as the story goes, the mommy Muscovy Duck is still sitting on eggs, and if she had a duckling she’d leave the eggs to chase after this little one. So, my friend is playing mommy to some baby chicks…..I can see it now……big Muscovy duck following my friend around for life saying, “are you my mother???”

Advertisements

Saving Quarters

This is one of the inherited antiques my Mother-in-Law gave to us. Isn’t it lovely. I love the old wood smell about it. It brings back some childhood memory that I can’t put my finger on.

This is another. It’s an old shaving mirror (minus the mirror!).

This is an old wash board that came from my moms. I thought it amusing. It reads “Standard Family Size”. Wow my Maytag is a lot bigger for my “standard family” of four!

Saving Quarters

Honey and I love our heritage. We come from some strong willed and feisty English, Irish & Scottish breed. We were watching “Amazing Grace” the other night, one of Honey’s favorites. It’s about one of the fathers of our Faith and in the end the bagpipes are playing “Amazing Grace” by John Newton. I had a brain storm idea. I said, “Honey, I think we should start saving our quarters for a trip to England!!!! In four years we’ll celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary and you’ll retire. Sooooo, I think we should go to England and Scotland and Ireland and roam the country sides staying in quaint little villages and taste and see that the Lord is good.” At that Honey replied, “Good idea! Let’s DO IT!” Many people would be saving their pennies for such a trip, but with the price of airfares, we figured we ought to save quarters instead!

If any of you have great sites to see in England, Scotland and Ireland, please drop me a comment. I’m already starting to bookmark ideas and I’m getting pretty excited! I know 4 yrs seems like a long time, but hey we’re in our 50’s & 60’s and time flies A LOT faster these days. We hope to stay abroad for a good month….I know we should probably start saving dollars instead!

Fresh Goats Milk Lotion

I recently made this lotion at the request of my sister, Mary and it’s been the best I’ve ever had, even those I’ve spent much $$$ on. My skin tends to be on the dry side all year round. Most lotions are water based, but this is an oil based lotion. I hope you enjoy it!

Moisturizing Goats Milk Lotion

1 heaping Tbsp Beeswax grated

2 oz Infused Oil (I use Calendula, St. John’s Wort & Comfrey Oil)

1 tsp Coconut Oil

2 Tbsp Fresh Goats Milk

Dash of Vit E oil for preservative

Essential Oil of your choice (I used Bergamont since I love it’s fragrance)

Melt the beeswax in the Infused oil over a double boiler. I use a Pyrex measuring cup in a pan of boiling water. Add the coconut oil. I use a chop stick to stir. Once the oils are blended by stirring, remove from the heat and quickly stir in the fresh goats milk and Vit E. Then stir in the EO of choice. Enjoy! If you don’t have the time or the ingredients, you can email me at butterliesandbumblebeesshop@gmail.com and place an order! I’m still working on my website and will probably open an Esty Shop.

A Glorious Memorial Day Weekend

We had the most beautiful Memorial Day Weekend that I can remember in a long time. Most people probably don’t remember this weekend from one yr to the next, but I do. It holds a lot of memories. My Gma was born on the true Memorial Day, May 31 in the year 1900. This is also the start of the busiest traffic traveling from our western shores of MD to the eastern shores where the ocean resorts are. I for one avoid the Bay Bridge outside of Annapolis like the plague after Memorial Day. If I want to visit my folks, it must be before Memorial Day or I have to wait until Labor Day is past. It’s crazy.

But we stayed home and it was a beautiful weekend. I spent it working in the garden trying to finish my successive planting. I still have one more bed of corn and whatnots to plant in a few weeks, but everything else is in. I did some hedge trimming and somehow found a little more poison ivy. Or rather it found me. I have one little spot on my ring finger, so I treated it with Jewelweed soap and lotion. I also took some Bloodroot Tincture that I made for such a time as this. So far these remedies have been working.

I spent Sunday resting. It is our day of rest. This is my “Mother’s Day” chair. I picked it out for it’s comfort and I sat in it almost all day Sunday, soaking in my Vitamin D ration and knitting socks. I’m blessed with tough, eastern European skin from my Gma that was born on Memorial Day. I don’t burn except if I’m not careful on that first sunny day. But after I get a little color, it’s browning season for me. My daughter Becca has skin like Honey; fair, from their heritage of Irish and English. I’m proud of my blue eyes from my Socttish heritage, but I’m glad I’ve got that bit of Hungarian too!

This is the 6th or 7th time I’ve tried this sock pattern and every time the heel doesn’t work! I finally threw the pattern out and made my own heel. I think it worked just fine.

My garden is really looking good. I was staking my Indian Eggplants.

My Growing Challenge

Thyme

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged for so long about The Growing Challenge. I guess with R&R, I plum ran out of time. Today as I was mowing our 5 acres, which if I can brag a bit, I made record time on my John Deere~48″ mower; 3.5 hrs. That’s some serious circles! 🙂 As I ran past the garden while mowing I stuck my neck out for a look….it’s been so rainy here, that I haven’t been out. Boy things are growing and the joy with raised beds is there’s practically NO weeding….did you get that, NO WEEDING!!!! BUT those dangbum crows have plucked out most of my corn that was up and they’re picking in the soil for my seed. How on earth do they know what’s planted there?????? Stupid crows. I’ve got the BB Gun loaded, cocked and ready to shot!!! 😉

This is my first yr growing onions and leeks and they are looking lovely.

My little Jalapeño.

Dag…my tatters are looking great.

Man!

My pole beans are growing up the twine nicely.

Cabbage looking good.

Beautiful Greens and Lettuce that we are totally enjoying!

Here is a new bed that we bought top soil for $30 yd and it is as hard as a rock. I tried to add compost to it, but it just can’t be worked. The other beds we got top soil for $12 yd and it was great. Honey’s taking this out and going to get some cheap stuff. Boy, they get ya coming and going.

Here’s another growing challenge. I’ve never grown CA Poppies from seed and they look really great!

The real challenge for me this yr was starting seeds indoors and it went very well. Just about everything survived. EXCEPT those beautiful Sweet Potatoes…..they just couldn’t handle it here in my garden. I don’t think I’ll try again. We don’t really have the soil for it and it was too much trouble. It was fun growing them in the jars and finding out what a slip was, other than the one I’m wearing! 😉

This is my Cherry Tomato that I started by seed.

This is the same seed as a volunteer. Does anyone know why it’s leaves look different?

My tomatoes that I started indoors is doing splendid. Compared to the ones that are volunteers they are prettier. The Tomatios are looking good too. The Jalepeno are a little small still. All the peppers that I started indoors are very small. I’m not sure why, but I’m hoping they don’t take the same route as the Sweet Potatoes!

I do love this time of year and I’m so glad to be well. Praise the One and only One who is able to heal. Jesus! He has brought me out of the pit of destruction and set my feet on a rock and put a new song in my mouth a hymn of praise to my God, many will see and fear and put their trust in Him! Jesus is God, and He is healing me.

Look who came home to shoot him some crows!!! 😉 Crow Pie!

Great Organizational Ideas!!!

My daughter, Becca is a great organizer, in fact she organized my art studio shelves yesterday. It’s in her DNA I think. She organizes her CD’s, her books, her iPod, her pictures………OK that’s where the problem started. She thought it was a great idea for ME to organize my pictures on PhotoBucket where I store my photos to then link them to my blog……BUT if you read my post called “confessions”, you would know that I am technologically challenged!!!!! 😉 and that’s putting it mildly. That’s an explanation as to if you go to a post…..well, there are NO pictures. My entire Butterflies & Bumble Bees is gone. I spent days on that and in a matter of a click it’s gone forever. Ok, I like these machines a little, but as Honey says, a short pencil is better than a long memory….my point made. Sometimes, I just rather write it down….so what if I have tons of paper laying around with notes all over them. At least I can find them. But now my pictures are eternally gone until I go and figure out what they were again….and for now, I have 5 acres of grass calling my name so it will have to wait.

Becca built this bookcase for me also….it’s from Ikea.

She offered to alphabetized my books…..wink wink! 😉

I said, no, I’ll put them in by categories.

One reason we’ve had to do soooooo much reorganizing is because my inlaws are moving for the first time in 50 yrs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YIKES! That’s a lot of STUFF! So, we’re inheriting some wonderfully beautiful antiques and for that matter, I won’t complain about all the work. (I’ll confess, I’m slightly disorganized also!)
I’ll post pics of the pretty pieces that are now in our home later, I gotta cut grass. Only one more load to pick up and we’re done.

Savory Tarragon Meatballs

Cooking for people with food intolerances is a pain. We all have different foods so it becomes a challenge to cook something fun and tasty that at least Honey and I can enjoy. Honey and I always told the kids when they were growing up that if they didn’t eat it for dinner they would have to eat it for breakfast….lunch….dinner. Which ever they chose. Now that the kids are young adults, they can either eat it or not….but that’s what we’re having. Same idea, but I don’t ever worry that they will starve.

Scottish Highland Cattle

I contemplated for a long time yesterday what to do with wonderful tasty Scottish Highland ground beef from Sycamore Spring Farm. As Becca was being my personal organizer, I sat in the floor and tossed a few ideas at her. We came up with meatballs that Honey could eat. Honey’s intolerance or allergy to Tyramine is a very tough one. It rules out tomato (which has natural MSG), onion, and many other great ingredients. So what do you do without those ingredients. Since garlic doesn’t seem to give him a migraine, I chose garlic and a gravy made with rice & tapioca flour that I can eat. Thus I created a Savory Tarragon Meatball with Gravy over Basmati Rice. I even threw in Stinging Nettle for it’s nutritional punch. I had my dinner with my lacto-fermented kraut. Non for Honey since it’s loaded with Tyramine. Becca opted out since she didn’t like the taste and only ate rice. That’s nothing new. I am constantly thinking about nutrient density….more bang for you bite! That’s what it’s all about.

Savory Tarragon Meatballs

2 # Ground Beef

3 Pastured Soy Free Eggs

1/4 C Raw Butter

2-3 C Raw Milk

1/8 C Rice Flour

1/8 C Tapioca Flour

1 tsp Organic Garlic Powder

3 Cubes Beef Stock (see below)

1 Tsp Organic Tarragon Crushed

1/2 C Organic Stinging Nettle

Grey Celtic Sea Salt

Cayenne Pepper

Lard

Mix the egg, flours, seasonings, herb together in a large bowl. I used my hands. Form into balls. The small ones held together better. Brown in the melted and hot lard. I always use a cast iron skillet. When brown remove and add 1/4 C raw butter and whisk. Cook for a minute or two. Add the milk gradually whisking quickly to avoid lumps. Add the beef stock, stir. Add the meatballs and simmer for 30-60 minutes.

If you don’t care for the savory taste of tarragon, you could use oregano, or any other herbs to suit your taste. Serve over rice or pasta. Enjoy!

Cooking Tip

I shared this tip for storing whey, and had a brain storm since I had a pot of beef stock waiting to be frozen….why not put it in ice trays also? Then when you need that nutrient dense food for it’s great health benefits, pop one in whatever you’re cooking. So, I did.