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Monday, May 28, 2012

A slow hot summer beginning

Our summer has started out hotter than normal for this time of year. It has been miserable all weekend. The fellows have a long weekend with the holiday and a short work week. We have been doing some chores to keep caught up so we hopefully don't get too over whelmed later. Early last week we picked peas and got those trimmed and I canned 13 quarts of the next day. We do like sugar snap peas in winter as a sub for green beans as a green veggie. I will need to pick those again tomorrow and can more. The tater bugs are giving the taters a fit now so Rodger sprayed those today in hopes of slowing down the damage. Gosh we need lots of taters to use thru the winter. I do need to organize my cellar again so I can rotate the things that were canned last year are used up first. And from the looks of the garden so far we should have a good many beans and stuff to can again this year. I feel so blessed to know that most all our food is home grown and mostly organic. I also have been doing more research online on holistic medicine and herbal remedies. If I can tolerate the heat tomorrow I intend to gather some wild herbs to dry for later use in medicinal teas and maybe tinker with some tinctures and poultices. Maybe even some salve. I am now really convinced of the benefit of some foods and their healing properties. I have a skin fungus that has been a nuisance for nearly 2 years. Then I was reading where coconut oil is anti-viral and anti-fungal, so I thought heck what can it hurt. It seemed that ever time I took a shower the fungus would itch so bad and become so uncomfortable. I decided to coat the fungus area with some of the coconut oil and immediately it seemed to stop the itch. After 3 days of using the coconut oil on those places all of them have stopped itching totally. I was shocked but convinced. Especially since the kind of oil I used was the same oil that I use to cook with, not even whole and organic. On Saturday we had planned on taking a trip out of town to get chicken feed for the Cornish cross because they needed a higher protein feed that I can get locally. On that trip to the big city I made a stop at the health food store. I picked up some whole vinegar with the mother, a jar of organic pure unprocessed coconut oil, a bottle of oil of wild oregano and even got a bottle of colloidal silver. Most illnesses in the body are due to acidity, most holistic practitioners recommend 2 tablespoons of whole apple cider vinegar with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda mixed till it stops fizzing and add water till you can tolerate the taste and drink to alkalize the body. The coconut oil is good internally and externally, taken orally a teaspoon daily will rid the body of yeast over growth from taking modern meds, especially antibiotics. The oil of wild oregano is a very potent antibacterial and antiviral agent topically or taken 1 drop twice a day internally. Colloidal silver is the most potent antibacterial and antiviral agent known to man and kills any germ on contact. Taken internally it can prevent and cure most all illnesses. All these things are a good idea to keep on hand if like me your immune system is compromised by something like arthritis. The meds I take for arthritis suppresses my immune system so if I take the colloidal silver or oil of oregano I may be able to maintain better health so things don't sneak up on me like the last ear infection and sinus infection that got me a couple weeks ago. Rodger has a problem with sinus allergies and has taken over the counter allergy meds for over 2 years now. He now uses elderberry extract. He has been purchasing that but we are gonna harvest the many elderberries we have growing wild here on the farm. There are several wild herbs that we have tons of that I do intend to gather for later use.
Jason wanted to go back to Richmond today to get him a pair of work boots as he and his buddy didn't have time yesterday when they went out. He ask me to go with him and I did. I had forgotten to pick up coconut oil to cook with while Rodger and I were out yesterday. Rodger no longer eats pork products so I have in the past been using regular cooking oil when I had to fry stuff, which is not too often, for him. I decided that stuff is really toxic to the human body and told him we ARE NOT using that stuff any more. So I stocked up on the coconut oil and a jug of good olive oil for cooking. We also use butter and I use lard for things Jason and I will eat. All good healthy stuff. Any who, thas my rant for today.
With our hot weather I have to keep a close eye on my lil chickens. They can get too hot really quick and die from the heat. They are liking their higher protein feed too. So in about 4 more weeks we will have good meat in the freezer. I have 4 hens setting again. I did put eggs under all of them and now we wait and see how many babies we get this time. The last bunch the hens raised are half grown and pretty lil fellows. Luna still has 2 puppies and I did get a glimpse of them the other day. They are so cute and look like her. She should being them out soon so we can see them. I have no clue how many kittens my cats have. I do know 1 cat has 3 and not sure about the other momma. Jason's momma cat has some babies and he hasn't even counted them to see how many she has. I have a real soft spot for lil baby critters these days. Sometimes that is not a good thing too. A person could end up with far too many cats and they are a pain to give away unless they are really friendly and these are not at all tame.
Maybe in the near future I will get out the camera and give ya a glimpse of life here on the farm. Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

We are still alive here

I thought I might should post and let my regular readers know that we are still kicking here. All is well on the home front, feeling like we might be getting somewhat caught up with stuff for now. For a few days anyway.
I think the strawberries are done with their major crop for spring and will give me a lil rest. I am so thankful for the bountiful harvest tho. Got about 10 gallon in the freezer and 20 pints of strawberry jam made so that should do us till the next season of berries. Friday night we picked the first of the English peas. I sure hope to have enough of those to can some. I cooked the ones we picked on Saturday and they were so dang good. Put some taters in with em and made fried corn bread and I had green onions. I am convinced heaven is right here. A country meal fit for a king. Or queen.
Mothers day weekend we finally got the rest of our garden in. The sweet corn, green beans, maters, peppers (3 types), sweet taters , cukes, eggplant, and squash are all planted. Rodger was in the field mowing earlier today and said the sweet corn is starting to come up. This weekend Rodger hoed and plowed out all the stuff that was planted earlier in spring to keep the weeds at bay. It all looks real nice now. I still might plant 2 more rows of green beans in our garden. We use lots of green beans here. That is the only green veggie Jason will eat so we have them a couple times a week. I noticed other day when I was in the garden that the tater bugs are not so bad on the taters. If they don't get any worse than they are now I don't think I need to worry much. I am happy about that. I did end up planting about 200 tomato plants again this year tho. And about 100 peppers total. I didn't have enough peppers last year so maybe I will this time around. We are supposed to get rain tonight or tomorrow so that will help things spring up faster. I did get my herb out of the green house and planted into the herb bed this evening too. I have about 15 nice sage plants now that hopefully will provide enough sage for our use. It takes a lot when ya start making homemade sausage in fall. I kept a few tomatoes here to put in the herb bed too for quick slicing tomatoes and to save the seed from. I am pleasantly surprised that I don't have more weeds in the herb bed than I do. I know I weed it a few times a year but seems like last year there were far more weed problems. But then again the herbs are bigger and can shade some of the weeds out. I need to get my lil Mexican cukes planted in the bed too. They are fast maturing and will do fine starting later. Maybe tomorrow if it don't rain too much.
A couple weeks ago on one of our strawberry picking trips to the field, Rodger with a lil help from me got the raspberries weeded. They have lots of lil berries setting on them now. Am hoping for a good crop. I love the flavor of fresh raspberries.
As of now my greenhouse is empty. I got all the pots out this evening and set them on the borders of the herb bed near the house so I can water them without having to leave the hose lay out in the sun all the time all the way to the end of the yard. The grapevine cutting that I attempted to root did great. I got 34 out of 40 and they sure look healthy and hearty. I took cutting off the kiwi vines when I pruned them too this spring and most of them have roots now. I am not sure if the rooting hormone that I used to dip them in made a difference or the fact that the sap had already risen when they were pruned. But seems I had more take root this year than last. I really have had a good season starting odd stuff this year. I planted some asparagus seeds that I gathered last fall and had in the fridge all winter and most of them have come up too. I just took them out of the greenhouse and set them out so I can keep them watered till they get bigger. I think maybe my next task will be to weed the asparagus bed and strawberry bed again and maybe get mulch put down. Once the garden comes in I just don't have time not ability to keep all the beds weeded. My knees and back just don't allow that anymore. So I am gonna have to think of ways to cut the work back because Rodger and Jason don't have time to do it either. Jason will have his own things to care for soon. He and Rodger took the lil tractor and bucket and built raised beds near the rock wall at his house and a bed in front of the front porch. I gave him some maters, peppers, herbs and flowers to plant there. I will be much easier to keep neat and he wont have to go near the top of the rock wall to mow now. Much safer too.
I had a brain storm last night and decided today that I would start picking flowers and stuff to dry to make homemade potpourri. I love the smell of potpourri. Not to mention it can look pretty too. Up the road from our house near an old house site that are lil tiny old fashioned roses blooming now and they smell heavenly. With Rodgers help I picked about 2 gallon of those roses to dry and some lavender from my yard, lemon mint, and fever few blooms. It does look pretty right now but will fade as it dries. I do need to get the fixative oil to put in it after it all gets real dry and store it away for later. I have stayed kinda busy today but nothing strenuous hopefully that will make me hurt tomorrow. Guess we shall see in the morning.
Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Almost dry enough to plant

We had a break in the rain here and the garden and corn field are almost dry enough to plow and plant. Yippee!! I will be glad to get the rest of our garden in and get it growing. The stuff we already have out is doing great. The peas are starting to produce and probably by middle of next week I will be able to pick and can some of em. I will need to get my lil "scooter" in the garden too so I can weed the carrot row and lettuce. When we plant corn this weekend Rodger will use the tractor and corn drill to plant our sweet corn and beans. I like this method as the planter puts down the fertilizer as it goes. So we don't need to tote a bucket and side dress the plants. I have far too many tomato plants again this year and we wont be planting them all. But it is hard to even give that kind of stuff away here as no one wants to come get it. They expect you to bring it to em. Or bring them the fruits of your labor. The strawberries are still producing like crazy. Rodger and I (helped a lil) picked about a gallon this evening. So another gallon to add to the 10 I already had in the freezer. We are set for strawberries now. With him doing most of the work we did get the raspberry row almost done. The weeds were awful in there. We will probably go back tomorrow evening and finish pulling the weeds out of them. They do have some lil berries setting on the plants. So am hoping I have some raspberries this year too. Maybe they wont wear me out like the strawberries have. Heck I have lost this whole week almost and not got much done. On Tuesday I did manage to get my big herb bed weeded so I can transplant some more herb plants in there. But dang for the past 2 days I have felt like crap warmed over. Not sure whats muh problem but its wearing me down. I guess its just a bad week with the fibromyalgia. I saw my arthritis doc on Monday and got some not so good news. He says my arthritis is progressing faster than he likes. He always checks my joints for deterioration and when he checked my knees he said "you are not far from having knee replacement". I thought dang it and I thought I was doing OK. But my knees are hurty and I don't do steps at all. He thinks the disc is gone in the knee joints but did say there is a procedure they can do now where they inject a jell substance in the knee joint and it gives ya more mileage from you knees with less pain. So if my insurance is cooperative we are gonna try that soon. Seems like when I get one thing fixed something else falls apart or falls off. Cant imagine whats next. Anyway, I keep plugging along and doing what I can and what I enjoy.
My baby chicks will be here early next week and I still don't have the laying hens moved yet. Another project for this weekend while the fellers are home. Seems there is so much to do and so little time. But we keep going forward.

Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Still working in strawberries

The strawberry plants have out done them selves this year. I do think this is the first time I can say I am tired of messing with berries. We have about 8 gallon in the freezer, plus what we keep ready for strawberry shortcake, and we made 20 pints of strawberry preserves yesterday. Today the guys picked another 2 gallon of nice berries. But they told me they are not producing as many now, so I think maybe they have come to the end of their big crop. The raspberries are starting to bloom now, so we should have plenty of those as well. Even after the grape vines got nipped with frost they do have some lil tiny grape clusters on them now. So maybe a few grapes this fall. I have baby chicks that should be here next week and still don't have my laying hens moved to the other house yet. Oh my!! I think I am behind again. I am sure you have heard that from me before and seems I never get caught up in summer time. I just today finally got around to cleaning out the freezers and tossing stuff that was probably not good. I think some bags of peppers had been in there for a couple years and they don't keep good that long. So the chickens had a feast this evening. I think I just work when I feel able to and not hurt so bad. The left shoulder is still causing some problems but the doc said most likely it would from now on. Oh joy!

We have had rain most every night for the past couple weeks. Sometimes not much but still enough to keep the ground too wet to work in. We don't have all our garden out yet. My tomatoes in the greenhouse are huge and need to be in the ground so they can get some growth before they bloom. Its not really late for the garden but we are usually done planting by May 4th or so. I am sure it will all work out, its just me that is anxious to get stuff planted so I can watch it grow. I am a lot like my dad in that respect I think. I sure do love to watch the miracles unfold every day in summer as beautiful things grow and bloom with every little shower of rain. My flowers that I moved last year are blooming where they were dropped in a new place and the rose bushes are starting to bloom too. Such beauty this time of year. Although our yard is covered with lil tiny white blooms from the clover that is growing there cause we cant mow and it wet. The chickens spend their days chasing bugs all over in the tall clover. My lil chickens that the 3 hens raised have been weaned and are hanging out together like a clan. Once in a while they will lose somebody and they will holler and go running to find they buddies. The hens that raised the babies are laying again. So they play momma sometimes and laying hen sometimes. They have all 3 been great mommas.

I have a doc appointment tomorrow out of town with the rheumatologist to see what he thinks of me and if he needs to make changes to my meds. I think we will be discussing a better plan for pain management. I just hate the long ride to see him. The next day I will be house bound with my back and joints killing me. Oh well just a thing I have to do.

Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.