Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Congratulations Ladies!

 This is a word to all women shouting your abortions, fighting for the rights over your reproductive health, yada, yada, yada.  I'm happy to announce that all women ( and I mean women, not birthing people) have total control over their bodies and their reproductive choices!

It wasn't bestowed upon you by 9 supreme court judges, mostly of who are old white men.

It wasn't bestowed upon you by 435 members of congress (Senate and House), most of whom are old white men.

It wasn't bestowed upon you by executive order!

It isn't bestowed upon you by the state you live in!

It was given to you by God.  God gave you the ability to make choices about your own body.  

What isn't bestowed upon you, by God or anyone else, is power over the life of another.  That is not your choice to make, and it never will be.  

Your choice is made when you choose to have sex, protected or not, with a man.  Surely adulthood hasn't been reached without a basic understanding of how babies are made.  Hmmm, maybe not, b that's another post.  When you choose sex, you are taking a chance, and another persons life shouldn't have to be sacrificed on the alter of that choice.  I can talk.  I had an affair with a married man.  HUGE MISTAKE!  Was on the pill.  Got pregnant.  I could have ended the pregnancy, pretended it never happened, and kept the whole thing secret from everyone; including my parents. Instead, I carried that baby to term and never regretted it for a minute.  She's one of the best things that's happened to me.  I love her more than life.   She has never been a mistake.  

I said "Choose to have sex".  I AM NOT  talking about women that are raped.  I'm not talking about victims of incest.  That's a straw man argument pulled out of the air to justify what has now become a women's right to an abortion up until birth?  Really!?  

In fact if you tally up abortions due to rape/incest, health of the mother, birth defects, social economic issues, and mental health of the mother; they only total 3.5% of all abortions performed in the U.S.  That means the other 96.5% of abortions are for convenience!  

Regardless of the reasons espoused to defend abortion in general; there should never be any defense for a late term abortion.  If a woman is in the last trimester(6-9 months gestation), that "Late term abortion" should be called a "delivery".  Everyone should be able to admit at that point it's a baby, and U.S citizen.  That baby is entitled to all the rights and privileges of U.S citizenship.  I recently heard an interview where the news anchor asked " shouldn't late term abortion be allowed to save the life of the mother?".  I'm like "DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF!"  If there is ever a time when a doctor could even try to say they're performing an abortion to save the life of the mother, let me ask this question:  If the mother is in such dire straights that she has to undergo an abortion in her last trimester; why is she not able to go thru a c section or delivery?  What's the difference?  Both procedures can be physically taxing, and stressful to the mother.  Both could be invasive.  Why does an infant have to die at that point?  If the baby has already died, we're talking about the delivery of a still born, not an abortion.  If, in an emergency, a baby has to be taken early, everything is done to save that baby once it's born.  In the case of an abortion, that baby is left to die.  Why?  What changes?  The life of the mother has been saved.  Why does the child now have to die?  Someone please explain this to me.  

Ladies you have full control over your bodies.  Your mouth can say "no" just like everyone else.  If you like sex, fine.  Don't want to use birth control, fine.  You get to choose the level of risk you are willing to take.  You do you.  But if the dice doesn't roll your way, and you end up blessed with a new life to carry; guess what?  It's no longer your choice.  It isn't your body any longer.  You aren't the one that has to do the dying.  If you can't afford a baby, don't have time for a baby, need to finish school, etc; don't put yourself at risk.  It's really that easy.

For all the feminist out there spouting women's rights; might I remind you that at least 50% of babies aborted are girls.  Girls who never even had the basic right to live, much less protest how mean people are to think they should have to be a responsible adult.

Now that was my announcement to those "proud of your abortion", women.  I have another announcement for women who believed all the lies and had an abortion thinking that would solve everything only to find out it didn't.  To all the women who were told it wasn't a real person, but you now know different.  To all the women who once stood with the "proud of your abortion" crowd, but now see things differently.  I can't imagine how you feel or what you go thru each day.  My heart breaks for you and the child that was taken.  My announcement for you, ladies is that I serve a God who heals, forgives, strengthens and restores.  His love is without condition, and He will accept you as you are.  There is no distance you can go that He isn't right there.  There is no sin He won't forgive.  You have but to turn and find Him there.  He loves you with a never ending love.  You don't have to hide your grief behind bravado.  Let Him free you.  

The battle doesn't end with Row Vs Wade being over turned.  Yes, that's a small victory, but it just means the each state gets to decide.  There will be states who ban abortion totally, and some who allow it up until birth.  Other states will be somewhere in between.  

The battle isn't over until the unborn have a voice, have rights.  


Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Old Fashioned Baby formula (recipe)

(Sigh)  Part of me can't believe things are a crazy as they are, but then another part of me isn't too surprised.  

I haven't waxed political in a while.  I mean where to start!  There isn't time!  The hits keep coming from this administration, faster than I can write.  

While I think things through, I did want to share something to all of the parents, grandparents, caregivers out there who are going crazy trying to feed a baby.  What follows is a recipe for "Baby Formula" that my Mother, Aunts, and pretty much any baby on a bottle at the time was raised on.  Do with it what you will.

First I will say this formula isn't "fortified", so what mothers did then, and mothers can still do now, is buy the liquid baby vitamin drops at the store.  These are, thankfully, not in short supply.  You can either give these separately, or mix them in with the "Formula"

Now on to the recipe:

Baby Formula "The Old Fashioned Way"

1 12 Oz can of Evaporated WHOLE Milk

2 TBS Karo Syrup (the clear kind)-This helps with constipation in babies and adults for that matter.  This is NOT High Frustose Corn Syrup.

20 oz of distilled water; nursery water, filtered water, etc.  

Liquid Baby vitamins- to be used separately or mixed into the formula.

Mix it up and divide into 6 bottles or as many as you would use for 33-34 oz of formula.  

Now if your baby needs soy formula or some other special needs formula, this won't work.  Sorry.  An option could be Goat milk?  For a child with a special diet I would speak to your pediatrician.  He/She may have samples on hand to help, or can put you in contact with a resource for you.

DO NOT let the powers that be tell you that using cows milk is bad.  Many non-soy based formulas are cow milk based and so the transition shouldn't be too hard.

I freely admit you will need additional vitamins.  Mothers needed them then, mothers will need them now.  DO NOT use this unless you get the vitamins.  

Babies 10 months and older can begin to transition from formula to whole milk.  

DO NOT use fat free or lowfat milk for this.  Babies need the fat in whole milk.

Now look, I'm not a doctor.  I don't claim to be one.  I am a mother, and while my kids are older now, they have at times, used this recipe when they were babies.  I can say with conviction, I would give this before I let my child be hungry.  

Hope this helps.

I can tell you the price for Evaporated Whole milk at Walmart is .67 when in stock.  The price at Kroger is $1.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Well I'll be darned!

 I know, I know, your eyes aren't deceiving you, I am posting for a second time this week!  It's been a rarity I'll admit, but I just had to share the news!  We have big little news!

So I believe we've shared the fact that we had several hens brooding on eggs.  We'll they have all hatched!  17 baby chicks running amuck!  Here's a sampling

But that isn't our great little news.  

We've been running an experiment of sorts here on the homestead.  

We have a Bantam Rooster named Eli in our Bantam run.  Bantam chickens are about a third the size of regular chickens.  Seen below with his previous main squeeze Moria; another regular size chicken.  She is no longer with us, unfortunately.

Last year we ended up adding a regular size Black Australorp Hen to the bantam coop because she was being picked on unmercifully by the hens in the regular hen coop.  We named her Ossy because the way she dealt with the bullying was to hide her head in the corner of the run; head down to the ground.  So Ostrich like we named her Ossy.

Well Eli likes Ossy very much!  There were times, while we were in the yard, that we would be privy to how much.  

What happens on the farm, stays on the farm!  Well that is unless it's our farm and I have a blog (smile).

A little over three weeks ago we had one of our Bantam hens (Big Mama) go broody and want to sit on eggs.  I let her sit on two of Ossy's eggs and one other bantam egg just to see if anything had some of it.

Well HE DID IT!  That little fella, a third the size of the love of his life, actually produced two cute little baby chicks with Ossy.  

While these are Ossy's eggs, Big Mama is their mother as far as they, and she, are concerned.  She's Bantam as well, and a very good mother

So there you have it.  It can be done!  Not sure what size they'll be til they're grown, but we do know Love conquers all, and apparently can climb mountains!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

So are Heirloom the only seeds to save?

 Good morning!  Well it's morning here anyway.  Not sure exactly when you're catching a glimpse of this, but still....

So how yall doin?  How's yer Mama?  How's you're family?  

My mom is doing well now.   She had a nasty bout with Shingles that lasted over 5 weeks!  UGH!  As for our family, we're doing well.  Rubic is on two feet at last, albeit with a walker.  That won't last long.  He won't need the walker in a week or so I bet.  

I'd like to say that's going to free up time for me, but it probably won't.  Not only is this the busiest time of year for me, but because Rubic had his wreck due to a seizure; he can't drive for 6 months.  So I will be taking him to every Doctors Appointment, Physical Therapy, etc.  Once he gets back to work, unless he can work from home, I will be taking him there as well.  This is just temporary, and I'm happy to do it.   Before I quit my job and came home, I had a co-worker ask if I thought I'd be bored.  I told her I didn't think so, and I was right.  I've always had a lot to keep me busy.  

SO!  Now that the chit chat is out of the way, lets talk about the topic at hand:  Saving seeds from year to year!

I've always been told that ONLY Heirloom, open pollinated seeds can be saved from year to year.  This statement made things confusing when I'd see a volunteer non heirloom plant from the year before.  I'd let it live in the garden anyway.  My motto is if you made it thru winter you deserve a spot.  It would produce true to parent, some of the time.  That is if it was the same plant as the plant that produced it.  Head scratcher.  I will say some times we ended up with a weird Franken Veggie, but that was rare.  

I will ask this of seed producers: Isn't it a bad business model to have to recreate your product(hybrid seeds) every year rather than them recreating themselves?  Also, if Heirloom seeds are the only ones that can recreate themselves, why do they cost more?  I saved seeds from ONE Heirloom Kale plant last year and had so many seeds; I was giving them to everyone I met, just about.  I still have  more than enough seeds for many gardening seasons into the future.  

Can you say Marketing Maybe? 

Years ago I'd bought speckled lima beans at a feed store.  I didn't save the seeds; they weren't Heirloom, but nature saved them and they kept coming back every year.  Finally last year I purposely set aside 100 seeds from these plants.  I planted a few to see how they would do, and

Pepper plants from seeds saved from a store bought pepper

That's not grass.  It's wheat from wheat berries I purchased last year

What potatoes I have this year were planted from store bought potatoes that had sprouted in the pantry. 

Year before last I bought cow peas from tractor Supply; non heirloom.  Last year I decided to save seed to see how they would do.  I planted some recently and here ya go:

I've replanted watermelons seeds from store bought watermelons, pinto beans, and popcorn as well.  What do you have to lose?  Nothing!

As a result of my past experience, I've come to these conclusions:

A)  Non Heirloom seeds can also be saved for future use IF they aren't hybrid.  

B)  Hybrid seeds can still be saved for experimental reasons.  If they produce well the following season, then keep saving them.  Just be prepared to have a Franken veggie, cause that might happen.  No harm no foul.  The seeds were free!   If they produce true to their parent, then save them again for the next year.  A plus for saved seeds is you can be liberal in planting.  They're free!  You'll get a lot of seeds from saving them.  More than enough to keep you in seeds for a good while; especially if saved every year.  I've already started saving my butternut squash seeds rom my harvested squash from last year.  This year I plan to save everything I can.  Free works for me! 

So have you ever tried this?  How were your results?  

Saturday, April 23, 2022

And then there were 8

 Sorry it's been a couple of weeks since last I posted.  Everyday has had something needing my attention.  It's that time of year!  I'm outside most day, weather permitting.  I'm thinking we're at the "time to plant warm weather crops" point.  That means an even crazier schedule.  Normally this wouldn't be as crazy, but you add in doctor visits for our son; it's a little nuts.  

I did want to update you guys on the broody mama.  She managed to hatch out 8 babies.  My apologies for the lighting.  I grabbed this pic just as my phone died!  

We aren't sure how many males and females there are; odds are it's half and half.  We do have another hen sitting on eggs.  She's sitting on 8 that we know of.  Those should hatch around the 30th.  If no other hen goes broody by June 4th, we'll incubate one last batch.  This plan was put in place a few weeks ago, before all the chicken and eggs shortages started.  I'm glad we put this in place.  Come fall we will cull 4 older hens and all but 2 roosters.  We were going to sell some of the hens, but we may keep them all and sell eggs.  Not sure yet.  

Been crazy busy.  Sorry for the short post, but will post more later.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022 tiller! Plus Spring on the Homestead!

 My Dad once told me that the more moving parts something has the greater chance of it breaking.  Those wise words have helped me a lot over the years.  It goes without saying, then, that one of the most reliable tool in my tool chest is the one with the fewest moving parts. With that being said, may I introduce my tiller! 

 One moving part; two if you you count my arms.

We haven't had an actual rototiller for quite a few years now.  We sold it when we realized how it had sat unused for a few seasons,  Poor thing needed a new home where it could be truly appreciated.  It wasn't that I didn't love my tiller.  It had served us well, but once I'd moved to raised beds, there wasn't a need for it anymore.  It was hard to get the tiller  in and out of the beds anyway.  As a result, I'd just gotten used to using a shovel and cultivator.  Even last year when we expanded the garden to include the side yard, which isn't done in raised beds; I still prepared and planted the entire area with just my shovel and cultivator.  It took a few weeks of work, but I did it.  In addition, I plan to expand the garden further this year.  Who needs lawn right?

To be honest, I've really not missed having a tiller.  There are times I think I might want to borrow a tiller to do a large area, but then I decide to just start working on it and see how far I get.  It never fails.  I end up getting what I needed accomplished, and without all the fuss of a tiller. 

 Another plus in this day and age is no gas used.  Now that I can take to the bank!

You guys can chime in to let me know if you're the same way, but I hate( I'm using the word hate here) getting on a treadmill or other piece of exercise equipment for a workout.  I'll do it if I have to, but my preference is to be outside digging up my garden, shoveling wood chips, or some other outdoor highly physical activity.  I have a sign in my garden that reads "Mom's gym".  That would be right.  So another benefit of my not using  tiller is negating the need for a gym membership!  I'll take that to the bank as well.  

Springs seems to be up and running (I hope)  still don't have my warm weather crops out.  I do have Onions, Broccoli, Kale, Lettuce, Snow peas, Dill, Spinach, and potatoes going strong.  The Strawberry, Blueberry,  and Blackberry plants are a buzzing.  I thought I'd share a few pics of how things are shaping up so far this year.  Over the past few weeks I've managed to catch a few shots, just for our own use(I thought), but thought I'd share them with you guys as well.  

BTW< Broody Mama managed to hatch out a few chicks.  We can't see them yet, they're still under her, but we're proud of her.  She did it!  Now onto pics!

I love our little farm!

I also wanted to share a little walk thru my tiny greenhouse.  It's crammed full of seedlings, so it's a mess, but I'm loving every bit of it!

So how are things in your neck of the woods?  Have you planted something?  Share!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Day 9 of possible baby watch!

 Ummmm, no, not me.  Perish the thought!  Can you imagine Dh and I new parents at the age of, well, ahem, grandparents.  We'll just leave that there.  

Nope, our day 9 baby watch is for a possible broody hen.  I keep throwing in "possible", because last year we had a couple of hens that failed and failed badly.  We did have one that managed to hatch 2 chicks from the 20 eggs she had under her.  The number was her choice not ours.  She  kept letting hens in to lay.  It was a mess.  We couldn't get her separated from everyone else and it was just crazy.  It wasn't the number of laying boxes.  We had three.  It was just a preference on the other hens part, and her unwillingness to defend her nest.  Still she ended up being a good mama to the two that hatched; one hen and one rooster.  The rooster now runs a coop of his own at a neighbors house.   The hen is a part of our flock.  

Currently we have a hen sitting on 16 eggs.  These are due to hatch around the 3rd of April.  So far she's been fairly constant in her attention to the eggs.  She's on the nest each time I go out to check.  She's steady so far.  In addition to that, she seems to be defending the nest from the other hens.  Our egg count hasn't fallen off as of yet.  This tells me she's keeping the other hens from entering the nesting box where she sits.  She's like "I've got my own kids to worry about, I'm not watching yours too!".  Now all of this is subject to change, and probably will since I said something to the world (well or my few readers, lol).  

There are things we look out for this time of year to let us know when a hen is Broody.  When she's wanting to sit on eggs and become a mama.  The first tell tale sign is she will refuse to leave the nest and can actually get aggressive to anyone( or any hen) trying to gain access to the nest.  Now when I say aggressive, I don't mean violent, but I do mean she will peck at my hand to warn me off.  She never hurts us, even when we insist on lifting her up to look underneath.  Why are we looking underneath her?  Well another sign of a broody hen is she will pull out all of her breast feathers to better keep the eggs warm.  Lastly, she'll almost seem trance like.  Hens will rarely get off the eggs except for a break or two to stretch their legs, eat and drink.  Aside from that she sits. In fact, today I didn't latch the run gate well enough and all the chickens got out.  All but her.  She stayed; rock solid, on those eggs.  Now the others just went on a free for all and bout trashed my garden.  GRRRRR!  But she held her ground. 

 I tell you I won't make that mistake again, FYI. 

Last year we ended up investing in an incubator because it seemed all of our hens were insane.  It's a very nice incubator, and came in very handy last year.  It's here should we need it.  At this point, if this hen decides to leave the nest, we'll transfer the eggs to the incubator to finish out their gestation. All that being said, we're allowing her to hatch because...

1) Takes one less thing off our list!  It isn't a crazy amount, but having chicks under your care adds feeding, watering, temp watch, brooder cleaning etc, to our to do list.  While we can if we have to, it's nicer not having to!  Plus it means no brooder box in the house, and not having to use the incubator means not adding to the power bill!

2)  They will already be established as part of the flock,  That means no trying to get them to know each other, having to keep them in a separate coop, etc.  We're wanting to bring up another Rooster to join Lucky in the coop,  This will make it easier.   

3)  This Mama hen will mother these babies for a while, and will defend them with her life if need be.  I've seen it.  Well I've seen evidence of it.  We have a Bantam hen we call "Big Mama".  She broods very easily.  She's hatched out both Bantam chicks and Full size chicks,  She hatched out Lucky.  I went out one morning a few years ago, and saw evidence of an animal getting into the bantam coop where she had 3 babies.  It had found a way by chewing threw the wood in a place not readily seen.  From what I could tell, she was on the nest with 2 of her babies; one full size, one Bantam.  The third had just hatched, but was too weak from hatching to be able to get back under her.  It was taken, unfortunately by whatever got in.  Big Mama did everything she could to defend it and her other two.  Feathers were everywhere!  She had seriously put up a fight, but could only defend the babies already under her protection.  

A sweeter story happened a few years ago.  We had a full size hen hatch out about 14 chicks.  They had gotten old enough to venture out, but couldn't figure out how to get back in the coop once out.  It started raining, hard.  I went out to the coops and saw this poor hen, soaking wet, laying over the chicks who were perfectly dry.  She had stayed out in the rain to keep them protected.  She looked so pitiful.  I grabbed her up and tossed her in the coops and began grabbing chicks by the handful to toss in there with her.  She freaked out at first, but quickly realized what I was doing and took over the job of ushering in the ones I tossed thru.  In short order we had everyone in shelter, including Mama and they were safe and dry.  

So, here's hoping for some babies soon.  We'll see if she can pull it off.  Anyone want to lay odds?