A Collection of Farm “Tails”

A runaway ram - come here the "tail"!

Life on a farm is very rewarding.  I love living on a farm and can’t imagine not living on one.  There are so many ways that farm living affects you.  It is a wonderful place to raise a child.  They learn so much from just watching and caring for the animals.  They see where their food comes from and they get a very healthy lesson on sex education.  I can remember as a child seeing a cow mounting another cow in a pasture.  We snickered and giggled like it was something dirty.  When our son would see that, his comment would be… “Someone’s in heat”.  We watch for signs of heat to know when to get an animal bred.  There are also very sad times on a farm.  When an animal dies in an accident or of old age like our sweet Buttercup.  She was at least 20 years old and had not given us babies or milk for the last few years.  She earned the right to be a pasture ornament.  

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There are also times of joy.  The birth of a new animal, or the first egg from new chickens, or getting to feed a calf a bottle.  Sometimes what happens is funny and character building.  So, I thought I would share some stories with you.  We call them “Tails” From The Farm.

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“Flying Pigs”

Loading pigs to go to the butchers is always a character building exercise. On our last farm, we made the mistake of making the pig pen up behind another pasture. There were lots of trees in between the fences, so you couldn’t drive a truck up there. It was good for the pigs since it was shaded and comfortable for them during the hot summer, but bad for us since we had to move the pigs from their pen to the trailer which was WAY too far away. So, we got smarter when we moved to this farm. We decided to put the pigs in a place where we could back the trailer right up to it. Their shelter was the drive through on our big barn. It is about 3 feet lower than the bottom level of the barn. We thought we were all set.  As the pigs got closer to the size to be processed, we realized that we were going to have to be creative on getting the pigs from the drive through level to the next level of the barn, which the trailer would be backed up to. The guys built a ramp and they slowly coaxed the pigs to walk up it.  This was after many attempts and moving a feed bowl in font of them. They were successful with the first two with this method. It appeared that the rest were coming right behind the other two. They got all the way up to the trailer, then changed their mind and turned around.  They jumped to the lower level of the drive through and we were back at square one. We set the feed bowls down and began to talk about the next step.  They were somewhat disappointed that they had been so close only to have them turn around at the last moment. The pigs started showing an interest in the feed again. They were not interested in going up the ramp though. The guys had the feed up on the upper level, but those pigs just steered clear of that ramp.  All of a sudden and with very little effort, they easily jumped the three foot barrier, with a grace and a flair usually reserved for a horse in a steeplechase competition.   They did not even touch the ramp as they flew gracefully through the air. It was quite a site to see and brought lots of laughter. We learn new things each year. Who knew that pigs could fly?  One day we may get it right.

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“Ram On The Loose”

I used to keep a small spinners flock of Shetland Sheep.  We would breed them each year and raise some for meat.  Each year, I would have to find a ram to use.  This particular year, a friend (John) was bringing us a ram to put in with our sheep. He was also going to be picking up our turkeys to take them to be processed. Our sheep barn was behind our house and garden.  The pasture we used for the sheep included our side yard on both sides.  We would switch them from side to side to allow the grass to grow and for the sunshine to take care of parasites, etc.  There are large trees back by the sheep barn and the sheep like to hang out underneath them.  John backed up to the pasture fence and picked up the ram and put him in the sheep pasture.  The sheep were all around back and out of sight.  I am sure he wondered what had just happened.  He had been caught, loaded in a vehicle, transported and put into a pasture all by himself. Sheep are herd animals and like buddies.   As we started to turn around to go and get the turkeys, the ram simply hopped over the fence and took off across our pasture and across the neighbor’s yard and into the woods. We started out after him both on foot and in the truck. Once he hit the woods, we never saw him again. We looked for a long time, but we had to go and get started on the turkeys so we would be done on time. I called neighbors up and down the road, so that they would know he was loose and to watch out for him. Thank goodness he was a very gentle and mild ram. One of our friends went out looking for him and found him.  He was in the yard of some new people we had met that lived on a busy road behind us. Two dogs had him cornered and one of them had wounded one of his legs a bit.

 In the mean time we were butchering the turkeys and I was praying that the ram would be found and that he wouldn’t hurt anyone when he was cornered.

 Before we started for home, we got a call that he had been found and was on the way back to the farm. This friend had chased off the dogs and had the ram sort of cornered in a gully. She called her husband and told him where she was. He called another of our friends who was closer and told him. She sat there and talked to the ram until our friend showed up to catch him. They put him in the back of truck and brought him home and put him in by the sheep.   We were thanking God for friends and neighbors willing to help out.

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This one is told by my husband Michael right after it happened. 

Michael’s “Tail”
You shoulda seen this one……………

Saturday was a busy day. Very physical, nice warm humid day. Got
it?……. I was doing animal stuff, making sure everything was as it should be. I
walked over to the cow trough to check the water level. It was really low,
so I figured I’d take the opportunity to rinse it out before I filled it.
It’s a 100 gallon galvanized tank, so you need to wait ’til it’s low to
clean it. I tipped it over with no problem, and the 10 gallons or so that
was left washed over the area. I picked up the hose, put my hand on the
trough & leaned over to start rinsing. Well, the next thing I know I’m
letting out this big ole yell……………. loud…….. sudden…….. did I say loud?

It seems as I bent over, my slim & trim (ha-ha) rear-end came in contact
with the electric fence. WOW!! I had concerns prior to that about the effectiveness of the charger………………..not anymore. The yell was involuntary. That thing bit me so hard that it just came out. The spot of the shock still smarts a little. I can just imagine the play-by-play from the cows perspective. When I turned to look at them, they were holding their composure quite well, but I could swear I heard unrestrained laughter after
I was around the corner & out of sight.

Farm living is the life for me………….

 

I hope you enjoyed our “tails”.  If you would like to hear more of these, let us know in the comments below.  If you have a “tail” of your own to tell, share it as well. 

Supper On A Stick

Shish kabobs are on the menu!!

My husband went to get out some meat this past weekend.  He often will cook up meat on the weekend and we use it for lunches and even some suppers through the week.  He pulled out a package and it said “Heel of Round”.  We had never seen that with our meat before so we decided to thaw it and make shish kabobs.   It turned out to be fairly large and very meaty.   So, he took about 1/3 of it off and we put the rest aside for another meal plan.  He cut up the piece into cubes and put them in a bag with some of my homemade salad dressing.  It is a balsamic/red wine vinegar Italian dressing.  We were going to have them on Saturday night and that did not happen.  So, they have been marinating until tonight.  

I cut up lots of summer veggies.  We had mushrooms, green peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes and Vidalia onions.  

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Since we did not grill meat on Saturday for the week, we went ahead and made hamburger patties as well. That little bowl is my vinegar fruit fly trap.  :)   

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We only had wooden skewers, so we soaked them in water before using them.  Then we put the shish kabobs together.  They look so colorful and summery to me.  :)

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He put them on the grill and oh my they were so delicious.  We have enough left for another meal.

The tomatoes in our garden have not done too well this year and what we did get are being eaten by something.  Some  are missing half or more of the tomato.  We may have brought in five tomatoes that were worth eating (not counting cherry tomatoes).  Tomatoes were one of the main things I wanted to can this year.  God provided for me.  We had a picnic after church on Sunday.  We were all talking about gardens and it seems most people did not do well with their tomatoes.  They had all gotten some from somewhere though.  One family said they were done picking and canning and they still had tomatoes.  They offered to let me come and pick theirs.  Another family said they had lots of peppers.  That was the Wonderful Neighbors.   They brought me these three buckets of peppers.

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I went over today to pick tomatoes at the other family’s house.  Their son who I believe is 15 or 16 offered to help me.  It was very pleasant to have a picking buddy and someone to talk to while we worked.  Here is what I brought home from there.

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My favorite sandwich in the world is a fresh from the garden tomato and onion sandwich.  I took what you see below and put them on bread spread with mayo and then added salt and pepper.  I was in sandwich heaven.  :)

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How did your tomatoes do this year?  Did you have plenty?  I would love to hear what all you are putting up at your house this summer!!

This Can Be Life Changing

I never have nor will I ever push something on anyone.  However, when I find something that works, I want to share it.  I know a lot of you will click off of this very quickly, but you might just be surprised if you take the time to read it.  You might also find out about something that can truly change your life. 

Michael and I started taking this product and did not notice an immediate difference.  After a couple of weeks I began to notice that my sleep was a bit better.  I still do not sleep wonderfully, but the sleep I was getting seemed to be deeper and I could feel more rested.  I also noticed that a lot of my little aches and pains in life were gone.  Michael started taking this because he heard how it can help with your joints and his knees had been bothering him.  I started taking it more for weight loss.  Michael said his knees were feeling better, but he was not convinced it had anything to do with Plexus.  He stopped taking it for about a week.  By the end of the week, all those pains were back and he started back on the Plexus.  I am feeling more energy than I have in a long time.  I don’t know if I have lot weight because I am staying away from the scale right now.  :)  I do know that my clothes are feeling looser on me.  Just the energy and lack of just hurting all the time has given me new hope.  I am excited about what I am feeling. 

I have shared 3 more testimonies below.  These are people I have talked to and shared with.  It is amazing how their lives have improved in so many areas.  Thyroid problems including Hashimotos  and adrenal fatigue are being helped.  Please take the time to read them. 

This can really change your life!!

 

This is from Brenda Martin- She has an amazing testimony of restored health!

“I’m so thankful God answered my prayers with Plexus!!! As a mom of 11 and helping with our 2 home businesses, I developed Adrenal Fatigue and put on extra weight. After working on healing my adrenals with natural supplements and eating a low-glycemic diet for a few months with good results, I started understanding more fully the importance of blood sugar balance. I realized how closely its connected to our endocrine system, inflammation, mood, and sleep.When I stalled in my weight loss before reaching my goal, I heard about Plexus Slim and decided to give it a try! Besides quickly losing those last pounds to my goal, it boosted my fatigued adrenals, took away food cravings, and is now toning my loose skin! I even ran out of my adrenal supplement for about a week and hardly noticed. Normally that puts me in a state of exhaustion for days. In fact, just days before discovering Plexus Slim, I told my husband that I’m ready to get blood work done to find out what I may still be missing in taking care of my health. This product has filled in those missing links for me!! And continue to do so the longer I take it. This pink drink has taken away my afternoon energy slumps, I can fall asleep at night almost immediately and awake feeling so completely rested and ready to face the day!This also works for men! My husband has no more chronic muscle pain, no more night sweats, feels and looks younger, lost some needed pounds is a now maintaining a healthy weight because of faithfully drinking Slim every day.”

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Here is another testimony that can’t be beat by Charlotte Siems.

“Okay, it’s official! Doctor appointment today: I’m completely off two thyroid meds (Synthroid and Armour) and my thyroid lab results are, in the words of the NP, “perfect!” Never thought this would happen, ever. I’m also released from the gynecologist because the post-menopausal problems are GONE without surgery. May sound corny, but not to me: THANK YOU, PLEXUS!!! This has affected my daily quality of life! *tears*”

“I started Plexus Slim in January, and by the second bag, my post-menopausal problems stopped (surgery was scheduled but was postponed due to a more pressing sinus surgery). In my 3rd week of Slim I started ProBio5 and BioCleanse. It all works together. You can’t separate blood sugar, thyroid, hormones, etc.–the endocrine system is all related.”

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Here is another person whose life has changed for the better, Tiffany Boyd.

“Some of you might not know that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when I was pregnant with Molly. Actually it had gotten extremely bad and it had gone undiagnosed for years. I finally found a wonderful Dr who knew how to treat it but I was left with issues that needed to be addressed. I heard about Plexus and took the products to my Dr because I wasn’t about to take ANYTHING without his go ahead. He looked them over, told me they were all natural and to go ahead. Mainly, I wanted help with weight loss. Little did I know ALL OF THE OTHER benefits that would ensue. Lower blood pressure, better sleep, help with migraines and Chron’s disease, better cholesterol levels, help with allergy issues, relief from fibromyalgia symptoms. ..The list goes on. It’s unfortunate they named the product SLIM because it’s MUCH more than weightloss. It’s about restoring your body.”

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If there is anything I can help you with or if you have questions, please ask away.  If I do not know the answer, I will find it for you.  If this is something you would like to try, you can find out more here

Has Plexus helped you?

Let’s Give Each Other Grace

Do You Extend Grace?

We are all different.  :)  I know that is not a news flash, but it still needs to be said.  We are all different in many ways.  Even identical twins are different from each other.  My husband loves seafood and I do not.  He likes sports and I do not.  Our tastes in many areas are different than each other.  That is OK.  We were not all meant to be just alike.  I have noticed a trend lately and have seen it in many different areas.  I see people either making fun of others or trying to make them feel stupid because they don’t think like that person does on a topic. They portray themselves as experts when thy are not.

I will get to how this is being done in the food area in a minute, because that is mainly what I am writing about.  I want to share some other ways I see this played out.  I recently talked to someone who felt that if you lived in a big house, you were doing something wrong.  They live a very simple life in a small home.  There are some ladies who only wear skirts and dresses.  Some of them look down on other ladies who wear pants.  It can show up in music styles, types of church, doctrine and so many other areas.  Sometimes people don’t even know how they come across.  We are all different.  Different does not mean wrong! 

There are many ways to eat or “diets” you might call them.  There is Paleo, Low Carb, Low Fat, Gluten Free, Weston Price & Nourishing Traditions, etc.  How you and your family eat is YOUR business.  How I and my family eat is MY business.  :)  I have had several people tell me that I should not eat wheat or other grains.  Now, some have asked me if I have tried cutting them out of my diet, or have asked me to try.  I don’t mind that.  I will post something on the Facebook page and someone will respond with a comment like, “WE don’t eat that!”  That is OK to not eat that, but it is OK for the one sharing to eat it.  Some people have gone gluten free because they want to cut wheat and some other grains out of their diet.  Others cut out gluten because they have Celiacs and it makes them sick.  We don’t know about every person in another family.   I know some people who eat some stuff I would not, but they feel like it is OK for them.  Do I have a right to impose my eating plan on them?  NO!!  I have known people that eat lots of junk food and then complain about all the sickness that happens in their family.  I may suggest making some changes in their diet, but I am certainly not going to tell them what to do.

We need to think about what we say or what we write.  Instead of saying things like, “We eat Paleo because it is the correct way to eat.”  How about just sharing that your family eats Paleo.  It may be the correct way to eat for YOUR family.  Share what you do and just leave it at that.  Don’t add anything that makes it seem like yours is the only way.  Don’t look at people who are different than you and think that your way is THE WAY and that they fall short of that.  Give each other grace.

Do you see any of this going on in conversations around you, or is it just me?

How Have We Changed

Something has changed over time... what is it?

Before I begin this post, I want to go on the record as saying, I am not talking about anyone in particular, and I do NOT claim to have all the answers.  I was just pondering these things.

When I was a girl growing up in my parents home, I had responsibilities and chores.  There were things that were expected of me and if I had to be reminded all the time, there were consequences.  Now, I am not saying that I never acted up and rebelled against things.  Just ask my Dad and he will set you straight on that one.  There was just more of a sense of giving a child some responsibility and expecting them to do it.  I had set chores that had to be done each day like setting the table and helping with the dishes.  There were also weekly chores around the house involving dusting and vacuuming.  I had to practice my piano and just generally help out.  Helping in the kitchen was allowed and expected.  I was never not allowed to use a knife that I remember.  I would be given jobs to do for big holiday meals.  I am sure my Mom probably kept an eye on what I was doing, but I knew I was expected to get it done and in a timely manner.  

I have observed people in restaurants with their children.  Go get an ice cream cone and listen as people interact with their kids about what they are allowed to order.  There is often a lot of sassing, pouting, threats, and ugly faces.  I don’t know about you, but I would have gotten my hide tanned and not been allowed to have anything.  The same would have been what would have happened to my son.  I heard a story once and I loved it.  This woman took her 6 children into the mall and while there, they stopped to get an ice cream cone.  She got them each a small cone and they were enjoying their treat.  A man came over and asked how she managed to have happy children when they only got a small ice cream cone.  His children were not happy unless they got a banana split.  I loved her answer.  She told the man that if and when her children were no longer happy with a small ice cream cone, that they would not get anything larger, but they would get fewer small ice cream cones.  Gratitude goes a long way.

I know this is not a universal statement but somewhere along the line, something has changed.  There are many children who are whiners, complainers and very disrespectful.  They have few if any chores at home and not only do they not help, but they expect to be served and sadly, that is what often happens. 

If children are expected to help out and they work along side dad and mom, it gives them a sense of belonging and being important in the family.  I also feel that expecting them and allowing them to help you in the kitchen gives them life long skills that will be very valuable.  Teach your children how to use knives to cut things up.  Start them with something easy and small.  It often takes longer to get things done with them in the kitchen helping, but it will truly pay off over time.  Many of the families I know have younger girls of 10 or 11 that can step in and whip up a meal if mom is sick or something happens.  Not only does this make her a great helper, but she is a giant step ahead of many of her peers  when it comes to getting married.  

This also will give them the skills of cooking with real foods and putting meals together that are healthy.  You can share why you are serving that salad  along with the meat and rice.  By the time she or he is on their own, they will know how to put together a balanced diet and to cook for themselves or their family.  Because of all the illnesses and all the news articles about what they are doing to our food, more and more people are wanting to eat healthier. They are listening and trying to input changes.  You can give your children a head start.  By starting with our children,  and realizing they are very helpful and resourceful people and allowing them to contribute to the family by helping, will help to change the next generation.  

Lets start changing things back to where they were.  Give your children responsibility.  Work along side them and give them a sense of accomplishment.  Let them use some of the tools that belong in a household.  Many kids are thought to be too young to handle these tools when in fact they are not.  Teach safety.  Show them exactly what you expect.  We lived next door to a family with 6 children.  I watched their 5 year old boy sweep the kitchen floor one day.  He did a better job than I would have done.  He moved chairs, got in corners, etc. He had been trained and did what was expected of him.  

Do your children help you in the kitchen?  How old do you allow your boys to split wood?  I would love to hear some feedback on this.    

Celebrate With Teresa!

Come and celebrat with Teresa Tapp!

This is an exercise program that anyone can do.  It was designed originally to help people with rehab.  It is a right brain left brain program as well that helps your brain function.  It also helps to cleanse your lymphatic symptoms.  

There are several levels of workout including one for those who have more weight to lose and are recovering from surgery.  You will love these work outs.  Get them while they are on sale.  You will not be sorry. 

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Here is a video showing one of her moves that helps to lower your blood sugar.  It took me a few times to be able to do it, since it is using both your left and right brain.  :)

We Need To Rethink and Retrain

How do we portray food's role?

Think about all the ways we think about food and how we talk about it.  If we have unhealthy attitudes and problems with food, we often pass them on without meaning to.  I recently read something that a young mother posted.  She struggles with food and her perception of herself based on the numbers on the scale.  She feels she has had  breakthrough in that are this summer.  I am thrilled she is moving beyond that.  There are many prejudices you hear about these days.  However, prejudice is not just about what color tone your skin is.  There are all sorts of them around.  People are prejudice against fat people.  No all people, but there is a large segment that is and they may not even know it.  This post is not about how people need to not be prejudice, but on how we allow their prejudice to affect us, specifically in the weight category.

The picture above is often talked about.  “How to get your kids to eat vegetables”.  “Why kids hate vegetables”.  “How to sneak vegetables into your children’s diet”.  When you hear people talk about children and vegetables, it is not usually a positive thing.  This next picture is the opposite.

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Now, lets talk about sweets, sugar, cakes and ice cream and children.  “If you are good, you can have a doughnut”.  Eat one more bite of those veggies and you can have dessert”.  “You have been so good, would you like a treat?”  Do you see the difference?  Just in the way that we talk about food, we are sending messages to our children.  

My niece and I were talking about this whole subject and I was relating a story to her.  Someone was trying to tell me where a specific business was.  I wanted to go there, but was not sure where on the long street FULL of businesses it was.  They would ask me if I knew where this certain business is or that certain business.  I did not know where any of them were.  Then they asked if I knew where Sonny’s BBQ was.  Now, THAT I did know!!  Well, this place I wanted to go to was between Sonny’s and Burger King on that same side of the road.  Now, I could drive right to the place.  If we go on vacation to places we have been before, we often remind each other what places we want to eat at while we are there.  Food plays a bigger part in our lives than we give it credit for.    

We need to swap all of the above around.  You are at the fair and you know your senses of smell and sight will be assaulted with all those foods that we look at as treats.  How about before we get there, we decide, we will have one item of junk food or even two items.  Then when we talk about them, especially to children, we can say, “We have been really good about eating healthy, so we will allow one unhealthy thing today.”  Tell them that up front and let them choose their one unhealthy thing. We could even follow up with how we will have to drink some extra water when we get home and the next day to help wash the junk through.  Don’t make the dessert a treat.  On the other hand don’t use the withholding of it, as a punishment.  “If you don’t finish your food, you won’t get dessert”. 

Make dessert the rare thing.  Make yummy healthy snacks together.  Make fruit leather with a dehydrator.  It is simple and easy and kids love it.  Plus, if they get to help make it, they will love it even more.  Dry apple rings and pieces.  They taste good and are easy to grab and go.  What about fruit and yogurt.  It tastes good and if we talk about it like a treat, then it is special and they will want it.  I love to cut up an apple and dip the pieces into peanut butter.  I saw the cutest idea for Autumn.  Someone took peeled oranges (they actually looked like little tangerines), and stuck a piece of celery in the middle and it looked like little pumpkins.  Look on pinterest for healthy, but fun and cute ideas.  

How about adult treats.  Make a trail mix with healthy items like nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and some raisins.  Apple rings cut into smaller pieces work well in trail mix.  Apple rings make a good snack for adults as well as children.  Make chocolate coconut bark.  It tastes delicious and you are getting healthy fat into your diet. Break it into bite size pieces or I have been making mine in these.   They easily push out and I can open the fridge and grab one and pop it in my mouth.

Plan ahead.  Think before you speak.  Try and change the way we talk.  Lets talk about all those wonderful summer veggies we can eat right out of the garden and how good they taste.  I am always thrilled to be able to buy local produce and try new things.  Try some new ways to cook them that will be fun.  Make a fire in the back yard and cook over the fire.  Talk about how they did things in the old days.   Maybe dry some apple rings on a string in your kitchen.  Find an orchard that doesn’t spray toxins all over the apples.  Go and pick apples.  That is so fun and then make applesauce (it is a breeze to make applesauce using one of these).   Make dried apples, dip apples in homemade caramel sauce or peanut butter.  What a treat and a fun one!!  

What are some ways you can think of to change the way we look at and talk about foods?