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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Gyvuech

Mother Linda says…….


I’d love to be able to make a Gyvuech in my pottery class. It will be a trial not using the wheel to throw it, but it’s possible. And the intricate work on it will take patience and time…both of which I’m short on.

Right now I’m making a mold from a Polish Pottery butter dish that a lady from class brought in for me to use. It’s really all the detailed work that make these pieces so beautiful!

Mooove Over Chickies

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Here they come!!!

As an expectant grandma…I’m waiting pacing back and forth for the arrival of my bovine girls.

It’s been quite a while since our suburban DC neighborhood has had a parade.  And we’ve probably never had a cow parade.  Due to the soft lawn from all the rain, we decided to unload the girls on the street.

As motorist drove by talking on their cell phones they nearly threw their necks out!  It was tooooo funny….yep, it’s called a cow!

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Hello Josephine!

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I walked Josephine back to the barnyard and Cathy walked little Joy.  They both did fairly well, considering little Lady nipping at their heels.  Lady is having some identity issues, but she seems to be adjusting well.  Right now she sleeps at my feet as she observes she is the ONLY animal in the house.

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This was the first time Josephine and Joy have met, even though they lived on the same dairy farm.  Josephine was with the older heifers and Joy with the calves.

Josephine showed some wonderful motherly skills….she kissed Joy! ❤

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Mike helped me put on their new PINK halters.  Those babies are so bright I could see them in the dark!  Speaking of dark, it was 6:10 PM when they arrived to their new home.  We spent an hour with Mike and Cathy and then I spent time rubbing and talking to them.  When I went in the house they moooed.  I wasn’t sure what a cow did at night.  Our girls settled into their new barn and went to sleep.  When our Sweet Girl came home a little later they welcomed her with a couple mooos.  Then when our neighbor came home they welcomed him.  I guess the cows out of the bag!

I think the other neighbors must have been using binoculars as we walked the girls around the pasture trying to introduce them to the electric fence.  I could hear them….”oh my, no it’s not a goat, doesn’t seem to be a horse…oh my I think it’s a cow…two cows!”  I’ll go over later this week, maybe today and see if they’d like to meet our new girls.  I think the kids will be delighted…not sure about the parents!  Maybe when we have fresh cream I can bribe them. 😀

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Joy found the orchard hay that I put out for them.  Mmmmm this stuff is good.

They both have not been on pasture and they were so excited eating nothing but grass!  I wasn’t sure about the type of grass we had, Mike identified it to be Bluegrass.  The goodstuff!

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Josephine christened the new straw…Joy was like “hey don’t pee in my bed!”

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I didn’t hear them until 6:30 AM.   They were calling for me to come for a visit.  When I came in for breakfast and to shower they went back in for a nap.

This is way cool!

Chicken Mania

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As soon as I let the chickies out in the AM, they come running to see what snacks I’ve brought for them.

I think I’ve created a chicken monster! Anxious Annie is always the first to jump in. I’ve been bringing them Kefir and they just love it.

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Milk Mustaches for all. Doesn’t Rockie look mad? How dare I snap his picture with food all over his face!

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Help me, help me! I’ve gone and gotten my head stuck in this hear thing.

Rockie and Annie taking a bath together!

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Ah. That’s much better.

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Time to dry off.

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Please excuse the poop. This is where they’ve chosen to lay. Not in the box I so willingly gave them. Time for some clean straw.

Little Abigail Adams is doing fine. Her head is healed and she’s growing new feathers. I didn’t know how it would go if I put her in the chicken yard with the others. So, I gave it a go. It didn’t work. Her “sister” Henrietta really doesn’t like her and wants to beat her up every chance she gets. So, it’s solitary confinement for Abigail. I gave her a box, yes a regular box to see if she’d lay an egg. To my utter surprise look what she gave me! What a sweet girl. Yes, she’s a little crooked but she’s a sweet little hen.

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A rare sight. 5 hens 5 egg. Honey and I had them for dinner.

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One days worth of work. The egg on the far right is from Annie. She gives me jumbo eggs. Then from Annie down we have, Henrietta’s, Abigail’s, Jenny’s and the little egg which is almost white is from Wacky Waldo (Waldeen).

I love having a variety of hens because they give me a variety of eggs. And I know who’s laying and who isn’t. And these girls deserve nothing but the best. I can’t believe how hard they work all day long just to give me an egg.

Where Are Your Treasures?

I was reminded this AM, of one of my most favorite Scriptures.

Matthew 6:19-21

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

During such difficult times we really should turn off the TV, and radio and put aside the Wall Street Journal or Washington Post. For, we shouldn’t allow them to instill in us fear. I believe that when people are afraid, they will fall for anything OR anyone. And in light of our political atmosphere it seems as if that may be the case.

It’s times like this that we should remember what God has taught us throughout history. Do we want to be like the Israelites who kept walking in circles for 40 yrs. They had the promised land in sight when fear took over. They said, that it was a land filled with giants and they were like grasshoppers.

Are you a grasshopper?

I’m not.

God has taught me, especially through these last 8 yrs of suffering that He IS all sufficient. That I don’t need to worry or fret. He will do as He has promised in Scripture to do. He will do as He has always done. He is faithful and I can take that to the bank. He is in control. He has never forsaken the righteous.

I’m reminded that this earth is not my home. That I can take nothing with me. That the only things that really matter while I walk in this place are the eternal souls of people. I only want enough. Enough to provide for our basic needs and enough to continue to support the outreaches we are involved in all over the world. We will never stop giving to the work of the Lord even when hardships come. We hold everything with an open hand.

So I do what I’ve learned to do…..REST & TRUST. I rest in the everlasting arms of my Father God. There’s no better place to be.

He loves me and He loves you.

~~~

My family went through some very difficult days when I was growing up. My father was in some shady business deals and we lost our home….in the 1970’s there were no bankruptcy laws that protected the one in debt. We lost it all. Our home went up for Sheriff Sale. We were virtually homeless and we lived in poverty.

I learned a lot. For one, I never want to go back to that place. We lived without running water. Yeah, a basic necessity we did without. A neighbors hose was our water source. God bless our neighbor. Our homeless home, did not have heat, but it had one fireplace. Our house was not insulated, yes we could see out the cracks. We lived on food stamps and received food baskets from the church. It was a very humbling time. Especially since I was only 17 yrs old. It was during those times of suffering that I first drew ALL my strength from my Saviour. As a new believer, I read Scripture constantly for it was my source of hope.

Hope is what’s needed when you have nothing. That’s why I have such a compassion for the poor. Not for those who have lived outside their means. Not for those who have lived up to their eyeballs in debt and want to continue in that lifestyle. No, for the poor. The fatherless. The homeless. The hungry. The naked.

What’s really important right now is your family and your relationships. Pull together and come up with a plan. If you have a plan then you won’t panic. Get the whole family involved….make it fun for kids, don’t scare them.

Whatever you do, get out of debt. It’s not too late to cut up your credit cards and start paying them down. Then start increasing the payments on your home if you can….a little here and a little there. Before you know it, it’s payed for. If you are in debt then talk to your creditors. Make a deal with them so that you can pay whatever you can. Go in and talk to the bank. They use to be very willing to work with people. I’m not sure anymore.

Then start saving. You should have a goal of 3-6 months of a paycheck in savings. If you loose a job, then you will need this to live on until you find another. If you have sticky fingers then put your savings into a penalty CD. At least if you really really need it you’ll pay the fine and still be ok. But it will be safe making a little interest.

First make a budget and stick to it using a cash envelope!!! It works. STOP using credit!!!!! Only pay CASH! Your budget should look something like this:

SAVINGS $$$

Giving $$$

Mortgage $

Electric $

Debts $

Water $

Food $

Clothes $

When everything is paid then you can figure the food and clothes and maybe entertainment. You should always save 10% and give 10%. I learned that from the late Larry Burkett and it’s been a truth that has gotten us through rough times.

These are some things that you can do to stretch your paycheck.

1. Turn off all your lights during the day. Only use lights at night that you really need. Don’t light up the whole house and for heavens sake turn off the outside lights.

2. Eat less meat. Eat more soups….they stretch the dollar further. And make sure they are nutrient dense!

3. Start cutting back…if it takes 10 teabags to make pitcher of tea, use 8.

4. Only do full loads of laundry.

5. Hang your laundry on a line or a rack.

6. Turn back the heat and grab a sweater or snuggle with your honey under a blanket! 😀

7. Use as much passive solar as possible….pull open the blinds and shades and let the sun in!

8. Shop at the Thrift Store. I heard that sales at Good Will are up!!! I have an eye for designer clothes….don’t ask me why, I never bought them new, but I can land them dead on at the thrift store!

9. Don’t run to the store for a couple items. Make a list and only go when you must. Learn how to shop 1x month. It’s really not hard. I’ve been doing it for almost 20 yrs. Except for perishables…but they freeze well too! Plan a menu and then you’ll be able to shop less.

10. Pack lunches. We always have, so I can’ t begin to tell you how much you save. A sandwich, some veggies or fruit and a drink. I’ve always packed Honey’s lunch and even on Saturdays, he wants his yummy sandwich! Many times I packed leftovers. I think most lunches out run around $3-5! My swimming teacher bought lunch the other day and it was $13!!!!!!!!! That’s outrageous! I’m sure I pack a lunch for Honey for around $1 or less. You can go lower!

11. Use off brands. TP. PT, Tissues.

12. Stock up. Buy in bulk whatever you can. Dry goods will keep. But only buy what you eat. Don’t think that since you have to you will like something….you won’t!!!!!

13. Here’s one of my favorites….watch your electric meter spin! Then go in and start turning off appliances and see what’s using the most electric. We always can figure out what needs to go.

14. LIKE unplugging appliances. We unplug everything not in use….the toaster, the coffee maker, et. Especially if it has a digital readout…it’s sucking electric. We don’t have a single clock plugged in anymore. I do have a battery clock in the family room. I love the rhythm of the ticking.

15. Use a power strip. Make sure you plug all those unwanted machines into it so when it’s off they aren’t sucking electric. You’d be surprised how much you save doing 14 &15!

16. Drive slower! When taking off, remember you aren’t a jet plane and imagine a raw egg under the accelerator. Press very gently…it’s not a race and chances are you’ll see that guy at the next light and you can wave. One of our favorite sayings today is….”I’ve got more time than money!”

17. Make what you can by scratch. Cookies, bread, yogurt, kefir, soups, hummus….everything. Not only will you save money but you will have better quality food that is nutrient dense.

18. Eat nutrient dense food. You will eat less and save. It’s more filling.

19. Learn to sew and mend. Learn to knit and spin.

20. Learn to grow your own food. I figure every time I go the garden and cut lettuce, I’m saving $5.00. I’m putting up small hoop tunnels for my greens this winter. They should be finished next week.

21. Obtain and grow heirloom plants. You will always have seed and will never have to dish out any money again, unless you want to.

22. Learn a skill that others will want.

23. Get a copy of The Encyclopedia of Country Living. It teaches you how to do everything. Even birth animals!

24. Get chickens.

25. Get a goat or cow.

26. Learn to cut hair. I’ve been cutting my families hair forever….27 yrs! That’s a ton of $$$$ saved!

27. Wash clothes in cold water. It’s really ok. Mine always come clean. Unless you really need the hot for disinfecting, like diapers.

28. Use cloth diapers. I did!

29. Turn back your hot water heater.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. I know you’ll think of many other things you can do to cut the cost of living.

Our Cold Weather Solutions

For those of us living in the areas where the weather is getting colder, I’m always reminded of an item we use that I have a love hate relationship with. Mainly, I guess I really hate winter. I love the sun! I can already feel my lack of Vit D from my weekly dates with JOHN….JOHN DEERE! Four hours of sunshine 1x week was too good to be true…although at the time, I’d rather of been doing something else than cutting 5 acres!

My Honey and I have been “green” before it was cool to be “green”. In fact, lots of Becca’s friends and a few of my readers, think I’m an “old” hippy. In some ways I am. I was a flower child when I was a teen…flowers every where in my room. But Honey doesn’t think we’re hippies. We just live a simple life. One way to live simply is to keep what $$$ you can so you can use it as you like or need. And so you can give!!!! (one of my favorites!)

I love these panels because they keep our house warm. I hate them because I think they are ugly and because they close up the rooms from day light. If the sun is shining however we take them out of the windows and allow for passive solar. This post is for my new friend Paula, who lives in Alaska! Woo, talk about cold! Too bad we can’t get a little global warming on some of those frigid days!!!!! (I haven’t fallen for that one!)

I do care about the earth. But not in ways that others might. I don’t worship the earth, but I do worship the ONE who made the earth. It’s not that we think it’s better to be “green”. We care about our electric bill. I hate mailing a check to our electric company in the winter. It’s painful. Since our kids have moved out, our usage has dropped in HALF!!!

This is our new alternative to cutting back on our electric bill this winter.

We bought the 1,000 sq ft model with a blower. This is a much less expensive alternative to a wood stove and wood. It is suppose to cut our electric usage in half. That’s a big deal. Our electric bill currently is around $100/month, but come winter and since we only have electric heat, our bill goes over $500/month!!!!!!!!!!! BGE is warning us, our rates will increase……Really????

Now for the Insulated Window Panels

OK, now these things are ugly. I haven’t recovered them in years. I’ve got new fabric, but I just haven’t done it. You can see how tight it fits. There is quite a bit of sun today and there isn’t any coming in around the edges. Honey put some of that window sealer stuff around the edges to get a really tight fit.

Basically, the supplies are that blue building insulation…you can get it at a hardware store. Then we covered only one side (the side facing in), with insulated bubble wrap….we got this stuff back in the early 8o’s when no one but us were into solar or being “green”. It’s basically foil covered bubble wrap.

We don’t know what the R factor is on the panel, and I would really be stretching my memory to be correct on remembering the foil bubbles….it was a good R factor though. Or we wouldn’t have bought it!!!!!

I made a slip cover that fits tightly. Sew up three sides so you can take it off to wash.

You can see how tight it fits. It was a pretty sunny day and no light is coming in.

Then to cover all the ugliness, I pull down the mini-blind.

Man, does the room warm up in a hurry when these things go in the window.

Hopefully the new infrared heater will keep our feet a lot warmer.  Having an unfinished basement sure makes for cold floors, even though they have a lot of insulation in them as well.  Hey, if Honey can insulate it, then it’s insulated!!!

Like I said before, we are Mr & Mrs Frugal!!!