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!

Fabulous Friday!

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A lot of rain makes you grateful for every day that the sun shines!

It’s a Fabulous Friday and I want to remind you to visit my shop; Butterflies & Bumble Bees!

By doing so you bump me up on the search engines….and don’t forget that all of my proceeds…yes, all….go to supporting women’s coops in India to raise them out of poverty and give them hope for a new life.

Friday’s Fling

It’s Friday AGAIN!!! How does this happen so fast? I was always told it was age. I’m not so sure anymore. Yes, I am a lot older, but I think it’s a sign of our times. Too much to do. Not enough time. A rushed lifestyle that consumes our time with gadgets and freeways and stuff.

I guess that’s why I enjoy the art of creating. It tends to slow me down. It tends to reconnect me to the earth and all the beauty that God created for me to enjoy. The slow arts are my love; dyeing, spinning, knitting, gardening and even farming. My newest book is, “The Mother of All Arts: Agrarianism and the Creative Impulse” by Gene Logsdon. Something about that title grabbed at who I am at the chore. I can’t wait to dive into it!

Today’s featured item from my shop Butterflies & Bumble Bees is called Shibori.

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Shibori is a Japanese term for the method of dyeing cloth. I use a needle and thread to gather up the silk scarf into a tiny piece of folds and then I carefully pour or paint it with prepared dyes after the silk itself has been soaked in soda ash. I then wrap it in a plastic bag for 24 hrs. The next step of rinsing is always my favorite. I never really know how the silk will take the dye. I carefully cut the thread and unfold to find a visual surprise!

My 2008 Christmas Letter

From our Home To Yours, Merry Christmas!

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I decided to write my annual Christmas letter here on my blog since just about everything we do has gone electronic. So why not my Christmas letter. Besides that, I have so many new friends from near and far right here on the web.

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As we always start off saying, I can’t believe that Christmas is here again. Our family has seen big changes this year. Our children are taking some of those big kid first steps that will leave our lives here forever changed. But we embraced those changes, at first with tears and now with joy. “Hold on to everything with open hands!”

First we saw Becca accepted into the YWAM (youth with a mission) photography program in Germany. She was excited to spread her wings and fly off on her 24th birthday. After being in Germany for 4 months she is now preparing to go off to Africa where her team will use their photographic skills to document the extreme poverty in that part of the world. After returning to Germany in April they will publish their work in efforts to raise funds for those they ministered to. So, keep in touch with me here and I will of course let you know how you can contribute to this worthy cause if you feel led.

Becca and her friend Leah

Ben is at the community college where he’s just passing time. A dear friend of mine calls him a “rolling stone”. Ben has always and still does have a free spirit. He still has a passion for music and plays electric guitar for the worship team at his church. He still loves to serve the lowly and will be off to New Orleans again this winter break to help rebuild a strangers home that was destroyed by Katrina. His long term plans are always changing which is probably nothing new for a 20 yr old young man. And he is a man. He ventured off to hike the Appalachian Trail for 4 days alone this summer marking his 20th birthday. His health was iffy then but he conquered this giant. Only to do another hike with a friend covering 27 miles of mountainous terrain in 2 days! He is still battling Lyme Disease, but is improving with a stronger immune system. For the moment he’s “training” with thoughts of entering the Special Forces of the Marines OR joining the local Police Academy OR venturing to Alaska and living the wild life with the wildlife!!!! Gun in hand, living day to day! What a guy!!! That’s our Ben! He rolls in every once in a while to grab some food and clean clothes but is mostly on his own, working at the church and enjoying life!!!

Honey & I will celebrate our 27th anniversary this March!!! Wo how did that happen? God has done amazing things in our marriage and we are enjoying our time together in our empty nest! Not to say that this jump into an empty nest is easy after having my kids home with me forever! It’s getting easier to pass by their bedrooms and offer up a prayer for them without tears. The house does stay clean longer, but with Boomer and Lady it’s an endless battle with dog hair. Boomer has lovingly acquired the name Lazarus! Constantly keeping me caring for him. Lady is wackier than ever and now with our newest additions….5 chickens, she is on daily guard!

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Honey is still working on stuff that I can’t talk about…so I won’t. He’s busy around our little place trying to get the ground ready for a barn/shed to be delivered. We spent endless hours clearing our back 40 this summer. Tons of multiflora rose to be wacked out. A gazillion poison oak trees to kill. Hours of mowing. Home repairs. You know the routine. Now he’s enjoying his hibernation months sleeping and resting for the upcoming spring and summer. He is the love of my life and one woman shouldn’t be allowed to love this much!!!

Me, well I’m enjoying and rejoicing in my new found gloriously miraculous healing. It’s been almost a yr since I’ve had huge breakthroughs using herbs and food to heal my body from Chronic Lyme and 3 co-infections. My doctor has proclaimed me his “healthiest patient’!!! How cool is that!!! See miracles still happen!!! I’m a living testimony and I hope to give others hope to heal! I’m enjoying this Christmas like no other. I have energy and motivation that surpasses many years past. I also turned 50 in October!!! Dance on!!!!!

Becca and I launched my website, Butterflies & Bumble Bees; my labor of love for Dalit women in India. I’ve been studying herbalism for the past year and am developing some of my own remedies which includes my favorite Chai Tea that I learned to love in India. As well as preparing my own tinctures and lotions and salves that seem to be a hit with my sisters friends.

AND now I’m becoming a cowgirl!! We bought 2 Jersey heifers so we can have our own supply of raw milk, raw cheese, raw cream, raw butter……..Raw dairy has played a huge roll in my healing! Of course since we have to have calves to have milk, I’ll sell my calves to help pay for hay or we’ll put meat in the freezer! And who knows I just might throw in a sheep or two!!! I do love lamb and you know I love fiber!!!

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JOY is 2 months old. Isn’t she the cutest ever.

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Gerdy and I were introduced in a torrent of rain! She’s almost 2 yrs old.

Wait till you see my new pink Wellies that Honey is giving me for Christmas! Oh I’m going to hate to mess them up!

I’m already enjoying my Christmas Ladies Artec Carhartt coat.

I told Honey that now all I need for Christmas is a BIG FORD 350 with a red bow! He laughed HARD!!!

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Life here at Peaceful Acres is good. We worship a glorious God and His Son Jesus. We pray that you will find the peace that only He can give, because he is The Lord of Peace; Jehovah Shalom.

Stitching Up Some Summer Fun!

Among all the crafty things I love to do, sewing is one of them. I learned to sew when I was thirteen. It was a very trying jumper. My poor mother, a seamstress, was so patient and I was a brat. When I was a toddler my mom custom made clothing for the wealthier women in our town. To this day, I know how to finish a seam the old way, not using my serger! My love for fiber, food and flowers flourished as I grew up and was a natural genetic addiction. And being the good homeshcool mom that I was, I tried to teach my daughter to love fiber, food and flowers. Her bent is more in the technical realm but she loves design and beauty as you can see here. We did our stint with the Howard County Fair and brought home several ribbons. I also did my time as a blue ribbon quilter and brought home not only ribbons but prize money. As a crafter we never turn down a new passion so my time is divided among many crafty things.

I’ve really been turned onto Amy Butler Designs. Her fabrics and patterns inspire me, mostly because they’re booming with color and design and I lovvvve color! Becca, my 24 yr old daughter, and I have gotten the itch for some CUTE summer skirts. We went fabric shopping the other day and came home with a cute stash. I did buy some lovely fabrics by Amy Butler from Fabrics.com for a slightly discounted price and plan to stitch up some cute items to sell in My Etsy Shop. Ok. I know there’s a theme here: CUTE!

These are the skirts I’m stitching up for Becca and myself.

I have a favorite “April Cornell” apron that I made a pattern from and I’m whipping up some aprons to also include in My Etsy Shop, Butterflies & Bumble Bees.

I hope to get some of these stitched up today. But following my history and anything slightly associated with math ;( I’ll probably remember why the seam ripper was invented! For ME!