bible · Book Review · Devotions · Parenting

My Baby

My youngest son can’t read yet, but he’s been asking me for a Bible to carry to church, which I think is pretty adorable. I was given the opportunity to review this new David Jeremiah Kid’s Study Bible, which the publisher sent me for free in order to write an unbiased review. Great timing!

Well I’ve finally had time to check this out- which means most of my Christmas cards have been sent, ha ha!

I love it! Being 6, this Bible is going to be exactly what he asked for. It’s a great little study Bible and I can read it aloud to him until he is able to read himself. There are lots of interesting illustrations which is nice, because he is visual.

The pages have a nice big font, easy to read and attention- grabbing colored headings. I’m pretty excited to give this to him; he’s going to love it.

It’s the NKJV, the same as what I read from, and that will make devotions consistent. I’ve seen a lot of kid’s Bibles over the years, having raised a few, but for boys I think this one tops the rest for a variety of reasons. Number one is the attention grabbers I listed above and number two is the translation. I don’t like all those low reading level Bibles out there. I think kids are smarter than that. The other thing is it’s a great size for smaller hands.

I’m pretty pleased with this Bible. My son is going to smile a big toothless smile when he opens it; I’m giving it to him as a gift.

Firefighter, paramedic, parenting, community service

A Letter to My Sons

This morning I’m sipping a mocha cappuccino, toasting my feet by a cozy fire. It’s 4 degrees outside. Early this morning I texted with my husband as so often I do. I  miss his warmth and gentle snoring in our bed. I have learned over the years however, that I must learn to do without that at times. We have a comfortable home- a comfortable life. A ranch, like I always dreamed of having, full of precious children and animals that I love. He has provided my heart’s desires. He works his tail off for all of this. I don’t fail to acknowledge this provision as I sit here in relative luxury knowing he hasn’t slept or eaten in over 24 hours. I also remember he will be home late because he’s going to visit a man home from the hospital that was a patient of his a few months ago. He saved this man’s life. He had been to the hospital to see him early on, but the man won’t remember that.

My husband is a paramedic, working on the other side of the mountains, so texting is our usual mode of communication. The crew has been up all night. Haven’t seen their beds as they put it. This isn’t unusual of course. It is however, miserable, especially when it’s cold outside and they are rushing in and out of it, trying to work over someone’s broken body in the road or a ditch in freezing temperatures which can be tricky for cold- numb hands.

Then of course, it’s hard to decompress from the adrenaline rush of waking up to a screaming alarm in the middle of the night. You try getting dressed and driving a huge rig down the road in 3 minutes flat, waking from a dead sleep.

Attempting to simultaneously warm up, and try to sleep after a night time call, if there’s time enough in between them, which there often isn’t, is sometimes futile. Anyway sometimes the call has been too sad, or disturbing to let most of the crew sleep afterward. Most of us couldn’t do what they do. There’s a reason heart attacks are their number one killer among firefighters. Lots of reasons for them (and their families) to suffer with post traumatic stress disorders after some of those calls as well. The things they see, hear, smell, feel, taste, and have to do would put some of us right over the edge. It’s not just fighting fires. Not at all.


So, as I sit here reflecting on the man I love, and have shared my whole adult life with, and his career, I am struck by the fact that our kids have no idea what a hero he is. How hard he works, and what kind of trauma, drama, and plain nonsense he deals with at work.

I wanted to let my sons know how much I admire and love their father. He provides such a rich life for us. Sometimes we take it for granted. Take him for granted. The times he’s too tired to engage with us, or the occasional period of time he’s working through something so horrendous he dealt with at work he can’t speak of it and goes quiet for awhile. I know that you have grown up with a man you sometimes didn’t understand. But you have grown up to be good people. Responsible and caring adults, that have been noted for having good manners and work ethics. I like to think your dad has rubbed off on you. I like to think you will practice some of his good habits and ignore the bad ones. I’d like for you to be able to stand up for what you believe, rescue orphans, and care for the elderly. I hope you see the needs of others and have the courage to do something for them.

Taylor, you are a grown man who has been married for over two years already. You’re an excellent husband and responsible young man. Everywhere I go in this community I hear good reports of my sons, and your beautiful wife is such a welcome addition to our family. I’m so proud of you. You are an overcomer and a strong, brave man of character and conviction. I love that even though you’re only in your early twenties, you’re working hard, saving money and thinking of the future inspite of the physical pain you are in constantly. I’m so grateful you take the time to call and come visit your mama “just because” and that we are such close friends now that you’re an adult. I like who you are.

I pray you will emulate your father in that you love Jesus by getting involved in other people’s lives -trying to make a difference. I remember one time your dad went on a call to a little old woman who was suffering from dehydration. He probed her as to why she wasn’t drinking more water and found out she hated the taste of her tap water and just couldn’t bring herself to drink it. He came home, took the new Britta water filter system out of our refrigerator and drove it to her house. Maybe it was a small thing but it made him bigger in my eyes.

My point is, he didn’t just do his job, he cared. Son: care. Care about others. At the end of the day and at the end of our lives, what matters is the who, not the what.

Ben, you are a compassionate and hard working young man. On the cusp of manhood, you have so many directions you could go. I know you will succeed at whatever you decide to do, but I’m especially excited to see the difference you make in the lives of other people. You have always been considerate, affectionate, and strong as iron. I have watched you struggle through the teenage years to emerge a confident man of strength and integrity. When I’m in town I almost always meet someone who wants to give a good report of you, or a woman wanting me to know her daughter wants you to notice her. (ha ha!)

Just like your name means, you have been the “son of my right hand” and I have been grateful for all the ways, big and small, you take care of me, the little kids, and things around this ranch. Your employers recognized your value last month but I want to acknowledge that you are a major contributor to this family all of the time.

You are a talented and gifted person in the arts. Spiritually sensitive and yet tough, you stand up for the weak and speak up for others. I’m proud of those traits in you son.


Cameron, you and Ben haven’t really gotten the benefits of your dad working in the town we live in. We moved before you were born and came to us. You haven’t gotten to see your daddy drive the fire engine down the road, sirens blaring as we passed. That always thrilled the other kids. “That’s my dad!” they would shout. You haven’t gotten to take coffees or dinner to the fire station and crawl all over the engine and pretend you were driving. But you will hopefully know your dad is amazing and his job, while a big sacrifice, is also a big satisfaction. Some people aren’t  fulfilled unless they are helping others, and I find that to be admired. I hope you do too. I hope and pray you are the kind of man that is willing to sacrifice for the sake of others and do good to people, even if it costs you something. Especially if it costs you something.

You might not know this, but your dad’s coworkers go all over the world, using their skills as paramedics and emergency responders to help in crisis situations. They volunteer their own time, money, and sacrifice for others all the time. You won’t hear these stories in the paper most likely. That’s a real shame, because I feel like they should be told. These are just regular folks, with families, and problems, worries, relatives in trouble, bills to pay, weeds to pull and lawns to mow, doing extraordinary things.

They provide for their own, yet they are still reaching out into the communities and unto the ends of the world, to help in desperate situations many people can’t face and don’t want to think about. Facing and even entering into the suffering of others takes an emotional and physical  toll. It takes a person of character and purpose and discipline.


You are living a golden childhood because your dad is an outstanding man. I’d like you to know that. I hope when you realize it you are able to thank him.

Audie you have grandparents that are not only still married, but still in love, chasing each other around. You have a ranch to come to for adventures and fun, a solid family with rich faith and traditions for holiday celebrations, and a safe place to land always. You are cherished and have a heritage I hope you will be proud of.


No, most of the interesting and good things don’t get into the paper. The stories that should be told to encourage others are often not even whispered. Celebrating heroes has given way to the worship of celebrities, much to our shame.

There’s a great story going on right now. Well, it’s a sad story, but I’m proud of your dad’s part, and the other people involved as well. Not too long ago, a terrible thing happened. A tragedy of the sort that makes your stomach feel sick and keeps a person up at night. Picture a brave soldier, home from multiple tours in Afghanistan and ready to be with his family, build a house for his wife, and settle down to an ordinary life. He’s a good man, and his family is thrilled he’s finally back for good. Dad is on shift one morning and gets called out to an auto accident. A young driver plowed into the war veteran. Dad was able to save his life- just barely, but at the hospital later, they were unable to save his leg. He may yet lose the other leg. To survive enemy fire and then come home to be savaged by a car?! It’s so…I don’t have words for it. It’s maddening, that’s all I can think.

 Dad and other firefighters and paramedics visited him and his family in the hospital. They were all so deeply affected by this man’s fight for life. Here he is home from the war, but fighting for his life again.

They were deeply hurt for his wife. Their hearts broken for the lost dreams of building a home and life, that came home with this man- stolen by a brief moment in time- an accident. It’s just the kind of thing that makes you feel the injustice of all the world in one incident. Such a dark world sometimes. Jesus in us is the hope and cure for our own little corners, but not everyone has Him. We do, so we share Him as we can.

What won’t make the news is that these firefighters and paramedics have been helping to make the trailer that the soldier now lives in, to be wheelchair accessible. Bringing gravel for the driveway so his wife doesn’t have to push him through the mud. Installing a wheelchair ramp, widening the walls, screwing rails into the bathroom. They are working on trying to negotiate a cement company to come out and put a slab down to ease his wife’s burden. Have you ever pushed a wheelchair through gravel? Or mud for that matter. It rains all the time over there.

It won’t make the news that this war veteran hero had his life ripped apart and a limb as well, after he got home safely from war. Or that my husband, your dad, has the heartache of being a witness to the suffering it all cost. It won’t make the news that the very people who saved the life of this man have become some of his biggest champions in starting a new, different life than he dreamed. The story won’t be told anywhere else but here, most likely. But I think it’s a terrible and beautiful story. It reminds me how good our fellow humans can be. Created in God’s image we are. It’s so good to see His image reflected in people once in awhile.

I hope you are able to see our Heavenly Father’s loving heart in your own earthly father. He’s frail and faulty by comparison but he’s such a man! I love him for so many reasons, and I have a lifetime of stories like the ones here to remind me of who he is when daily life gets in the way and I’m mad about muddy footprints on the floor, or something else so unimportant. I hope you can remind yourself about the heroism of your dad on the days he’s grumpy and and just needs to be mind-numb for a day or two or ten. You won’t realize, because he won’t tell you, that he is trying to get over the memories of a call that rocked him to his core. That certain smells trigger an incident that no human eye should see, that when the kids are shrieking in the yard maybe it brings back memories of a car accident involving children who didn’t survive.

Here at home he’s just dad. He’s bucking hay and burning horns on the goat kids for me, or he’s mowing the lawn. When we did foster care he was also the guy changing poopie diapers, praying for addicted birth mothers, and letting babies sleep on his chest.

He used to be Ben’s football coach around the same time. He’s the guy who has invested time in the lives of young adults needing some guidance and direction- even to the point of giving them a room in our home and place in our family.

Jared, you are a better man and father because of your relationship with Doug. He’s been a father to you in many ways. He’s loved you with action, sometimes with a shove, or a kick in the pants, sometimes with praise and kindness. But he gave you what you need to make positive and live altering changes that benefit you and your baby girl.

Joe, since you were 15 years old you’ve been dear to us. You have enjoyed the warmth and love offered you here, I hope. This man has provided a home that’s open, comfortable and welcoming. You have belonged here. He’s given you that, and now you are a man and a close friend. We can’t imagine the holidays without you.

This man below is also a hero, as you know. He took off his cape long enough to come help out at the ranch when my paramedic was away rescuing people from themselves or others this past summer.

This a regular family guy, and a cop. He’s a good friend. I admire him as well. I’m friends with his wife and I see that he and others in his profession live similar sacrificial lives. You children have grown up together. Their children are also outstanding people in the community too. We wives know the cost (mostly) and we try to make a home for these men that is a safe haven. There’s only so much we can do. Fluffing pillows and hot meals make a difference I suppose. Thoughts of home and family drive them on the days they feel the effects of it all building up, because believe me, it’s not just a job.

Next time you meet a firefighter or a policeman, say thank you. It’s the least you can do. Remember your dad is just a regular guy at home, because on his shift days he’s a super hero with a whole crew of people just like him, dads, moms, sons and daughters and neighbors. They are real life heroes disguised as ordinary people. But we know they aren’t. They do things the rest of us can’t, won’t, or don’t.

So, yes, your dad gets the biggest steak, the biggest piece of cheesecake, and the best spot on the couch. Your mother knows when he goes to work next, he will likely be sleep deprived. Some drunk lady may throw up on his shoes and some drug addict may take a swing at him or spit on his uniform. He serves a public sometimes grateful, sometimes not, and sometimes disrespectful or violent.

There’s much you don’t realize about your father and what he does on shift. Much you don’t need to know and he doesn’t want to tell you. Give him the respect he’s due and take pride in the man who is your daddy and my husband and a stranger’s life-saver.

country living · farm and ranch · flocks and herds · Uncategorized · writer, homemaking, homeschooling, farm, ranch, christian, Bible, lifestyle


One of my favorite things about December is the annual Christmas play put on by the homeschool drama students of our valley, including my own children. The kids do an outstanding job, and the parents help in various ways. One of the biggest by bringing homemade food because two of these performances are dinner theaters meant to fundraise for the drama department. This is how we have such fun props and costumes.

I love watching my middle son perform, he’s got talent for sure. Something else I love is eating dinner in that large room (a sanctuary at a local church) and seeing all of the familiar faces. The other homeschool families that I really like but don’t get to spend much time with. We are an agrarian valley and most of us don’t get to rub elbows much except at a fair, animal breed show, or something equally animal or orchard related. Many families own apple, pear, or cherry orchards, and some run cattle. At the least most of us tend farms or ranches of some sort, homebodies tending our sheep, goats, gardens and children. Even the women who live in town usually have a garden and do some kind of sewing. We all live by the seasons, and in the fall we make applesauce and cider, in the spring we pickle asparagus and in the summer pick berries and cherries.

There are precious few times a year we get to catch up with each other face to face unless it involves some sort of shared chore, which isn’t a bad thing. The Christmas play is one of them. It sounds so small town, but even though we have that feel, we are a large valley full of productive people.

One of the kids in this cast picture is from a large family of mint growers. Fine people. As a matter of fact his lovely mother came over after the play and spontaneously grabbed one of my adult kids and prayed over him.Those are the moments I know God brought us here. I love this community. I feel rich living here. Many families have lived in this valley for generations. When I lived in the rain forest part of Washington state we used to take 4 week road trips every summer, my husband and I and our little ones. As we passed through here on our way to Idaho, I would voice how sorry I was for those who make their homes in Yakima. I saw no beauty in it. That was before I knew the people and animals that lived here. Before I saw how tender work-roughened hands could be. What it does to a family to have to work together, not just live in the same house.

I’m in luxury living next to horse trainers and apple growers, cattle ranchers and even though we don’t make our living from farming ( my husband is a paramedic and firefighter) we do make a small profit from the animals I breed and it is defiantly work I do. So, that qualifies us.

True to most hobby farmers, I’m an addict and it’s a labor of love. I tell people it keeps me busy and off the streets. It also keeps me from an active social life, but that’s okay. I’m glad to not be idle.

Recently we winterized outdoors and the winter maintenance for the animals was done. Feet trimming, worming, etc. all have to be done to keep the animals healthy.

The picture below is Miss B. I call her that, though her registered name is quite a bit longer. She’s a lovely little Nubian doe with exceptional bloodlines, already bred for 1st generation Miniature Nubian kids. That’s my focus the past several years. I breed for lots of milk and quality of it. I like cheesemaking quality milk which means super protein and fat content. I have a community of friends in other breeders and those interested in making cheese too. It’s helpful to have a group of people who share my interests.

Who else, for instance, cares to hear about the glories of a first freshening udder on a particular doe, or will listen to the birth story of a first time pig owner talking about her sow like she’s a beloved daughter? Who else knows our vocabulary? Women who farm are complex and tough, but tender and full of wisdom. I love them.

I find a beloved community in other moms too, but especially other homeschool moms. Some of us co op together and share the burdens and the joys of educating our own. This mom here amazes me with her patience with the little people. She has several children, is a college educated educator, sharing her knowledge with the rest of us, and a powerhouse skater who does roller derbies! I love her.

Some people would disregard an online community, but I don’t. I have met many people online with my same various interests who have also become face to face friends. I know you have to be careful, and I am, but some fellow bloggers and facebookers have become customers and friends. I taught soap making to a small group who I met online. I’ve been friends for years with a woman who inspired me to go all out with my love of all things farm related and make it a lifestyle.

Community is a funny thing. It’s so necessary and yet in our modern world we have both enlarged it and shrunk it down to almost nothing. Some folks make their own little world very small and live there, lonely. It’s easy to do, the way we don’t much rely on our neighbors anymore. Many of you don’t even know-maybe haven’t even met your neighbors. Instead you medicate yourselves and become addicted to entertainment. It’s so much healthier to have relationships with people close to us. Even if you have just a little time, you can make more. I know I could sacrifice a little Facebook in exchange for making a pot of soup and share it with a neighbor.

The kids and I used to use snowy days as sledding days and also make homemade rolls and soup to deliver to the retired neighbors who went through the neighborhood plowing driveways.We live on dirt roads and tractors are plentiful.

Around here we round up each other’s loose cattle or the stray horse, look out for each other after surgeries and such…I feel like community is definitely within our control. We can reach out and we can pull people in. Maybe we give up too quickly?

Last night at the play I looked around at the children I had first seen as infants, the new young couples I had known as children, and the older folks who were now going by Gramma and Grampa, who were just parents when I moved here. I felt comforted and a sense of finally, for the first time in my life ever, having some roots. Maybe not generations deep like many of these families, but certainly roots nonetheless.

My children, unlike my husband and myself, have been able to grow up with the same children they are now young adult friends with. They have attended each other’s weddings and even welcomed a couple of babies. I look forward to sitting at an annual homeschool Christmas play many years from now, proudly smiling, and watching my grandchildren perform. I’ll nod my head and mingle around the room saying “hi” and catching up with the other old ladies, all too busy on their farms still to hobnob much, like me. We’ll talk rabbits, and sheep, spinning wool and the price of beef, apples and if it’s been rainy we will lament the split cherries the past summer. We will bake pies and hopefully still run into each other in town and stop for a latte and a bit of chit chat. We will see each other at the fair, buying ice creams and cotton candy for our grandchildren and I will hopefully still feel I belong here. I’ll welcome new neighbors and so will they. Because that’s how we build community.

You don’t have to live in the country to build a little community. Sometimes one or two neighbors can change to atmosphere of a whole apartment complex or city block.

Making soup and cookies to share really could change the world.

Radical, huh?

Health · Uncategorized

Effortless Healing Review

Effortless Healing

9 Simple Ways to Sidestep Illness, Shed Excess Weight, and Help Your Body Fix Itself Effortless Healing


Come January, when we are all feeling the effects of too much…everything, most of decide we will live on kale and start workout programs. See my shoulders slump here. I’m much the same. It’s those Christmas cookies that do it to me. I’m a sucker for sugar cookies and peppermint mochas. I have a T shirt that says “Your Pants Say Yoga Your Butt Says McDonald’s” and let’s just say it hits too close to home this time of year.

I don’t know if you are a Dr. Mercola fan, but my husband- who is crossfit kind of fit, and I both get his newsletters and have taken quite a bit of his wisdom to heart for many years. Dr. Mercola is a real doctor.He is an experienced, board certified physician who also just happens to buck the system and tell the truth about health and especially diet as it pertains to our health. He is convinced the body was made to heal itself and I agree. God created our bodies in His infinite wisdom to maintain health, we are the ones who keep our bodies in a state of toxic chaos and disaster with a modern day diet of too much with too little. Too little nutrition, too little exercise and too little of what we need while shoveling in an exorbitant amount of false food we could and should do without. Anyway, Dr. Mercola has great advice to share and I was please to be offered his new book from the publisher for free in order to write an unbiased review.

The book has an easy to read format and approach- it’s not overcomplicated in order to impress, but just the opposite, it’s been simplified to make the information accessible. The pages are full of helpful and insightful advice that could really change your life. It’s not effortless though. The title is misleading in that regard. Interval training and diet changes are hard. Period. But if you were to follow the protocols in this book, you would see the changes are simple. And you would see results. For sure. Simple is not effortless, or even easy, but the book, Effortless Healing , will, if utilized fully, be a more simple way to live. Healthy is simple.

There are two things in this book that I cheat on- the sugar and the physical fitness. Even so, I am rarely sick. I plan on re-reading the bulk of this book and implementing the dietary advice for sure. I’ll start on Dec. 26th. Because…sugar cookies.

I’ve copied quite a bit of info for you below, from Dr. Mercola’s website so you might decide for yourself if the book is worth buying. My suggestion is that it’s worth every penny.


From the website:
In Effortless Healing, I give you my top, proven tools for fighting the effects of somatopause, including controlling your weight, getting rid of stubborn fat deposits, and slowing down the effects of aging so you can look and feel your best.

Here’s a sampling of what you’ll discover in Principles 3, 4, and 5:

How to wake up your fat-burning enzymes to lose weight
Tame your appetite and radically decrease your cravings for sweets and junk food
The popular salad ingredient I advise avoiding
An often overlooked reason why you may be feeling hungry all the time
Dramatically lower your risk of cardiovascular disease
Factors that make your waistline grow, no matter how much you eat or exercise
The pre-exercise mistake that’s linked to brain shrinkage and weight gain
4 popular, yet harmful myths that can sabotage your weight loss efforts
My two most effective strategies for correcting the metabolic imbalances that are at the root of obesity and chronic disease
How to enjoy long-term weight loss results without feeling deprived
Lose weight without having to ever count calories again
How to effortlessly teach your body to burn fat faster
The morning mistake many people make that can make you gain weight
7 of the worst foods to eat for breakfast if you want to lose weight
How to not be on a diet for the rest of your life
A crucial component of weight loss that most people ignore
The popular metabolism-boosting advice that makes you gain weight
How to dramatically boost your human growth hormone (HGH) without taking pills


Vibrant health is your birthright and within your grasp. You just need to know when to get out of the way and how to give it a helping hand.

In Effortless Healing, I provide you with ways to do that, many of which you may not be familiar with. But all are powerful and research-proven to work.

Some of the secrets I reveal that you can put to use right away include:

✔ The single most important health step the average person can take (Principle #1)

✔ Often ignored, yet life-saving tips for reducing your cardiovascular disease risk (Principle #2)

✔ An inexpensive way to remove some of the pesticides on non-organic vegetables (its sitting in your house right now) (Principle #2)

✔ The best 3 vegetables to use if you’re new to juicing (Principle #2)

✔ The common mistake people make when they add fermented vegetables to their diet (Principle #2)

✔ The most important lifestyle improvement you can make to prevent and treat chronic disease (Principle #4)

✔ Lower body fat, dramatically improve muscle tone, firm your skin and reduce wrinkles, and boost your energy and sexual drive within a few weeks using this proven technique (Principle #4)

✔ Improve your insulin sensitivity by nearly 25 percent by spending less than a few hours each month doing this (Principle #4)

✔ A simple lesson you can learn from children and wild animals to improve your health (Principle #4)

✔ The mistake many exercisers make that keeps them from seeing benefits (Principle #4) ✔ The popular exercise that can damage your heart instead of help it (Principle #4)

✔ The best piece of exercise equipment for beginners (Principle #4)

✔ One of the most effective remedies against osteoporosis that also slows aging and returns your gene expression to youthful levels (Principle #4)

✔ Two-second stretches I do in the morning to improve circulation and increase muscle joint elasticity (Principle #4)

✔ The ancient movement that helps mild depression, sleep problems, and ADHD (Principle #4)

✔ Why if you’re over 40 you MUST step up your movement program (I show you how to get started) (Principle #4)

✔ One of nature’s most potent, free cancer prevention strategies (Principle #5)

✔ Why if you’re older than 50 your body may not produce as much vitamin D from natural sunlight (Principle #5)

✔ Two harmful ingredient to avoid in sunscreen (75% of them contain these) (Principle #5) ✔ Two supplements that can help protect your skin from burning from the “inside out” (Principle #5)

✔ How to help your body produce vitamin D when it’s too cold to go outside (Principle #5) ✔ The heart-risky mistake many people make when they supplement with oral Vitamin D (Principle #5)

✔ Nine signs you may have a gut flora imbalance (Principle #6)

✔ The popular food that can turn your gut into a continuous “living pesticide factory”, producing a toxic pesticide from within your own digestive system (Principle #6)

✔ Why babies born by C-section have higher rates of asthma, allergy and autoimmune disorders (and how you can best help them) (Principle #6)

✔ One of the most important steps you can take for your unborn child (Principle #6)

✔ Why certain dietary changes may help depression better than antidepressants (Principle #6)

✔ Five natural ways to help treat eczema or atopic dermatitis (Principle #6)

✔ Simple, fool-proof fermented vegetable and kefir recipes you can make at home (Principle #6)

✔ Hidden reasons why you may not be getting all the sleep you need (Principle #7)

✔ How you may be raising your risk for cancer without knowing it (Principle #7)
✔ Six foods that help you sleep more soundly (Principle #7)

✔ The feel-good way to boost your immune system and reduce allergic responses if you have skin or nasal allergies (Principle #8)

✔ A simple self-test to evaluate the quality of your breathing (and how to improve it) (Principle #8)

✔ A pleasurable way to neutralize free radicals and reduce chronic inflammation (Principle #8)

✔ The easy-to-find spot on the ball of your foot that joins with all the energy pathways in your body for healing (Principle #8)

✔ How to quickly clear emotional blocks from your body’s bioenergy system to restore your mind and body’s balance (Principle #8)

✔ The simple-to-learn technique that was shown to be twice as effective as talk therapy in subjects with depression and anxiety (Principle #8) ✔ The popular “health” food that can wreak havoc on your thyroid, digestion, sleep, mood, and weight (Principle #9)



Dr. Mercola
Dr. Joseph Mercola is a physician and New York Times best-selling author.

He was voted the 2009 Ultimate Wellness Game Changer by the Huffington Post and has been featured in several national media outlets including Time magazine, LA Times, CNN, Fox News, ABC News, the Today Show, and The Dr. Oz Show.

His mission is to transform the traditional medical paradigm in the United States into one in which the root cause of disease is treated, rather than the symptoms.

In addition, he aims to expose corporate and government fraud and mass media hype that often sends people down an unhealthy path.

country living · farm and ranch · flocks and herds · Uncategorized · writer, homemaking, homeschooling, farm, ranch, christian, Bible, lifestyle


So if you live in the country you will know the term “winterizing”. It means not only filling the barn with hay, but also checking that your heated water buckets work, the heat lamps are in order, installing the floating heater in the horse’s water tank, flushing out the sprinkler system and turning the outside water off, filling up the 40 gallon drums (or whatever you use) with water in the barn for daily bucket fills. It also means everyone gets dewormed and other misc. treatments depending on the animals.

Winterizing also means making sure each flock or herd has it’s mineral needs met. It means feet need trimming, so they are in good shape for managing ice and snow, as well as especial care for the barn dwellers who need trims more often because they are prone to hoof rot.

Today our good friend, neighbor, and farrier was out to trim the horse’s feet.

I like to gather all the various leftover squashes for the goats, chickens, and sheep. They are full of vitamins and also the seeds help control worm loads.

We keep Livestock Guardian dogs, so we like to make sure the girls are in good shape for winter. Maremma Sheepdogs are the best in my opinion, and they prefer to be outside in all kinds of weather. They tolerate the cold extremely well, so if you see this kind of dog and a farm or ranch in the snow- don’t despair, they really don’t mind.

This little lady just came yesterday from the other side of the mountains and has not grown a winter coat. It doesn’t get as cold there and certainly doesn’t reach the frigid temperatures we experience at night. She will need a little TLC until her coat fills in, so she is in a stall with a heat lamp and coat at night.

Winterizing around here also means taking any road trips before the snow comes. Yesterday I picked up the spotty Miss B you see above, and of course my youngest son and I had to stop at our favorite Bakery/coffee roasters in Packwood, Washington.

For the past several years winter has also meant the Christmas play my middle son performs in. He always has a lead, because in my humble opinion he is extra talented 🙂

Here he was last week at a dress rehearsal taking a cookie break.

Winter also means the little people will sing in the Christmas choir at church. I love this! They love the new outfits I buy them. Below is my grand baby holding part of a Bible verse. Every month at our homeschool co op we learn a new one, and the creativity of the other moms when it’s their turn always makes me smile. Of course I’m older than them, and too tired for shenanigans. I just bribe the kids to learn their verses with candy.

Hey- I’m in Gramma mode.


It’s Come To This…

Obviously every year of life brings changes to us. Physically, emotionally, spiritually…and I’ve appreciated them for the most part. Change can be painful but usually good, generally speaking. But Since I’ve entered my 40’s there have been more changes than I had anticipated. Past the mid-40’s it has really sped up at an alarming pace! The emotional changes have been welcome. I’m enjoying some much needed maturity and some people would tell you a bit more would be nice. But the physical changes have been more or less shocking. For a previously thin person able to eat whatever I wanted and rarely dream of any form of exercise it has been a rude awakening to the struggle of the middle aged spread. One whiff of a brownie and boom there’s ten more pounds! Hateful scale.

Then there’s the issue of my hair. Nothing will do but it has to become dry and brittle and more curly every year. And then I come to my eyes. Already near sighted now I am consigned to wearing readers to see anything in any detail close up. I’d like to tell myself I can pull off the “naughty librarian” look with these glasses, but the truth is, it’s just getting plain elderly. I remember my grandma looking at me over the tops of her readers all the time, and now, well, that’s me.

I have a memory of when I was very young and taking care of a darling little lady in her 90’s. I was brushing her long hair and she told me something I’ve never forgotten. She told me that even though she looked in the mirror and saw a very old woman, inside she was still that 19 year old girl she used to be.

I am starting to relate to that.

I need glasses to read, and take a fistful of supplements every day just to live, but I still like to be home alone with the speakers blaring my favorite music so I can dance like a crazy person with no one watching.

I’m more careful with that now. One of my sons took a video of me dancing wildly and put it on Facebook. The little rat. At least I’m getting closer to the age when I can be really weird and people will overlook it, but my kids will still be embarrassed.


country living · farm and ranch · flocks and herds · writer, homemaking, homeschooling, farm, ranch, christian, Bible, lifestyle

So Much…

I used to think I didn’t have enough time or money to do everything I wanted to do. Now I just don’t have the energy. I used to dream of having horses and living in the country. Now I do and I wish I had the energy to ride my horses more. Much more. I wish I had a green thumb and grew an amazing garden every year that fed us and overflowed to friends and neighbors and maybe even the local food bank. I suck at gardening. Pulling weeds just isn’t that easy. Those things are like dirty laundry, whenever you turn away they multiply.

I’d like hurry up and write a novel. But I decided first I’d need to buy Scrivener and learn to use it so I could do it right. Learning Scrivener is exhausting.


And I’d love to learn to make washed rind, and bloomy rind cheeses from the milk of my own herds and flocks. But I’m too tired from trimming their feet and taking care of their babies and updating their records.  I’d like to take up felting. I don’t sew or do any other kind of needle crafts but felting- that looks like something I could do. I perused Etsy shops recently to find out what kind of things I needed to be equipped to take up this great new hobby. That was exhausting. By the time I figured out what all the little tools were for, and which ones I might really need to start up, I felt like taking a nap. I’ll get back to that another time. I’m sure. Much like learning Hebrew, which I started and stayed with for a year, but then life got busy…

I think maybe I love the idea of learning new things more than actually learning them. Researching a new project of hobby gives me fresh energy and I get so excited, but then after the fun part is over and I should actually do something with all of the books and or equipment I have purchased I just kind of wilt.

I’d like to have the energy of your little Sugar Gliders, but I’m more like a drowsy cat in the window seat. If I had a cat there, which I don’t because…well, Sugar Gliders.


I’m like a hamster on a wheel the last few years. I ran on crazy to get me through the years when I was raising a bunch of my kids, homeschooling them, and doing foster care for infants on top of that. Drug affected infants don’t sleep and usually have digestive disorders and reflux. So…I didn’t sleep much for a few years. And trying to manage all of that was insane. I’m glad we did it, but I’m still not sure how I survived- or if I did! I got so used to survival mode I might still be stuck there. I feel a little shell-shocked. This past summer I read quite a bit again, and I sunbathed as much as possible. I am a freckled mess now, but I definitely am able to think more clearly. Maybe I’ll lose that 30 pounds I gained and get back on my horse by next year- really and metaphorically.


There’s so much I want to do. It makes me tired just thinking about it. So for now I’ll curl up by the fire and enjoy lots of good books and my favorites on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and  the PBS app. I love my iPad.