Be true to who you are…..

And the family name you bear……


Friday, January 12, 2018

Don't Waste Your Teaspoons..

Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: 
and a prudent wife is from the Lord.
Proverbs 19:14



Prudent: wise or judicious in practical affairs.
               discreet or circumspect.
               careful in providing for the future; provident.


When we first got married one of Shane's little grannies told me 

"don't be the kind of woman who throws her husband's earning out the back door with a shovel while he is working himself to death trying to put it in the front with a teaspoon."

That image has stuck with me. Man, has it stuck.

And there are days that life drags it out by the shovel full and there is nothing I can do about it.  But the things I can control.... those things, I had better be about the business of controlling.

I want to be a prudent wife.  I want the Lord to teach me to use my resources wisely.  So today as teaspoon-y as it will be we are going to talk about trash.


Think about what leaves your house as trash on a weekly basis.  Now think about the boundaries of your domain and think of where they can be used as resources...  In the near future we are going to be mapping that domain but for now, just picture it in your head.


~

My junk: cardboard boxes because I do most of my shopping online and also junk mail.  

My need:  the pumpkin field... It has poor soil and lots of rocks.

My solution: flatten the cardboard and chuck it in the field just before it rains. I don't toss it out any other time because we have dogs that drag it off but once it is good and wet it begins to break down into the dirt and they can't move it.

My solution for junk mail is a bit different.  I burn it then spread the ash in the pumpkin field.  I don't want my credit card offers accidentally getting into someone else's hands and ash is excellent for bugs and acidity in Missouri soil.



~


My junk: egg shells.

My need: my garden.

My solution is to place a cookie sheet on top of my fridge and train everyone to toss their shells up on it. When the shells are dry I either put them in the blender (this has proven time-consuming)

  

or 

double bag them and set the bag in a high traffic area of my house.    (Hey, I haven't lived through 25 years of broken items without knowing how to use it to my advantage..  just sayin')

The nicely crushed shells are spread on our fields during the winter and used in our garden around plants to ward of snails and add extra calcium during the summer.




~

My junk:  coffee grounds

My need:  again my soil.... I live in Missouri, this is going to be a never-ending theme.

My solution is to save the grounds and like the eggshells, they are put on the fields in winter and our garden in summer. BUT NOT the filters, those go in the compost bin for while they will break down and are excellent for the soil they do not break down quickly and I'm telling you from experience you will find yourself on the other side of winter looking like there is a bunch of used toilet paper strewn all over your field...not a pretty sight..




As a side note if I need to make a trip to the big city I am always on a lookout for the coffee shops and when I pass them I pull in and check their dumpsters.  I have brought home huge garbage bags full of coffee grounds in the past and my land is always thankful to have it.  Just be respectful and don't make a mess of their area.


~

My junk:  food scraps.

My need:  very little.  we have pigs and chicken that eat most of our scraps but there are a few things that I cannot feed them such as potato peelings, avocado pits, pineapple tops, hair either from shaving the dogs or the boys, stuff like that.  

My solution:  I took a lick tub, you can use a bucket, and knocked a few holes in the bottom. Then someone from my crew carelessly ran it over with the 4wheeler.  The last step added no benifit except to raise my blood pressure.








 I simply toss the trash in my beautiful lick tub and forget it. One year the boys had a few worms left over from bait and I tossed them in there too.  But honestly, it is completely neglected until I need it.





 Then I just scrape the unprocessed stuff to the side and scoop out as much as I need from the bottom to dress my tomatoes or add to a hole of a newly planted tree.






~



My junk:   scrap metal, broken parts from the tractor, trucks, cans... it is a joke around here to use a "mom" voice and say "is that recyclable?"

My need:  money

My solution:  designate a spot for recyclables, keep it as tight and organized as possible or my man will make "Clampett comments" Watch your metal prices then make a trip to town when it's high (or when the pile is making you crazy) and claim your money, honey.


*Note: there are no pictures of my Clampett pile.... a girl has got to have her pride,  ya know.



Well, there are a few ideas to get you started.  Get the children involved in looking for teaspoons and see what fun you can have. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Extra Credit

The Food 4 Less in Springfield had bananas for $.25 a pound.  So last Friday when Shane had a few errands to run in town I hopped in the truck and went with him.  Yes, people stare when you are pushing a cart full of bananas through the store but you get use to it.

my knife was long enough that I could spoon four bananas together and slice them all at once.





They do not require any added sugar just lay the slices out and let them go.





I have an electric dryer that I use in the summer because Missouri is too humid most days for a solar one but in the winter I hang my solar dryer by the fireplace and make our heat pull double duty. This year the price of bananas was so good I'm running both dehydrators.



If you don't have a dehydrator, the easiest way to get one is to start an envelope for one.  Put all loose change and spare cash into it until you have enough to purchase it.  I buy most of my homemaking eguipment this way. A solar one like mine is under $14 and won't take long to get, electric ones take a little more.  Amazon offers several nice solar ones but you'll find my favorite one for indoors  here  These solar dryers are also excellent for drying homemade soap  (that project is coming up soon).




That's it!  Easy and effective and now I have dried bananas to add to my muesli.... at least until the crew finds their hiding spot.


What is on sale this week that you could stock up on?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Breakfast

I love making breakfast for my family... okay, the truth is I don't.  I love my cup of coffee, my bible and the sun coming up while I sit on the deck...... trust me, it is a rare thing for either option to happen.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and while our house has a good supply of bacon, eggs, waffles and yogurt some days just try to rip my feet out from underneath me before I can even get out of bed in the morning...... you too huh?

Well here are two guilt-free cold cereal options to have on hand for mornings when the crew just needs to feed themselves.

P.S. both are good on yogurt too!



Muesli:

mix together Oats,
dried fruit (bananas, apricots, pineapple, dates, raisins, whatever you have)
and nuts (sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, again, whatever you have)
to make 8 cups of dry ingredients.



then in a separate bowl mix

1 cup honey
1 cup butter (melted)
4 TB brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon


pour over dry ingredients and stir well

spread in a roasting dish and bake at 350* for 30 minutes stirring every 10 until golden brown.




this will brown up quite a bit after removing from oven, do not overcook.






Grapenuts:


2 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup honey
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
7 cups wheat flour

mix all ingredients together to form a cake like batter.



divide between two lightly greased rimmed cookie sheets.

Bake 350* 35-40 minutes switching and checking half way through.



after baking and while still warm break cake into small pieces and grind in a blender.



I drop small amounts into the blender and use the ice chopping button. once ground I dump those and add more chunks to blender.

You can also wait until it is completely cool and run through a meat grinder but I find it to be too much to clean up.


after it is all crumbled up put back in the oven at 300*  stirring often until dry and crisp.
This one takes a lot longer than the Muesli to brown and dry out but it is so worth it.








Both recipes can be adapted to your needs.  We use honey because we keep bees. You may have maple syrup or molasses on hand neither are unpleasant.

It is a great idea to make both of these on the same day because you will only have to wash the roaster pan once.... and that is a win in my book any day.

Enjoy your kingdom today, Ladies!

1Tim 5:8

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Fifty-Two





When Shane and I got married I had no idea how to be a wife or a mother... I was a latchkey kid from a broken home who was later taken into foster care..... firm foundation would not describe any part of my life.  I was determined, however, to give it my best and care for my own. Twenty-seven years later I have learned a thing or two.... mostly of what not to do.  I look at my daughter and they are years ahead of where I was at their age but I know that there are a lot more gals like I was....

I wanted to be a Proverbs woman, a crown, a glory to my husband, a blessing to my children but  mostly a woman who could rely on her God to give her wisdom.  There were no older women so I learned by falling on my face.... a lot...

I want to offer something different.   I am certainly not confessing that I fill the role as an older woman teaching the younger but here is my goal for 2018.

Fifty-two weeks.

Fifty-two skills.


one a week.

precept upon precept; line upon line; here a little, and there a little.


blessing our children, loving our man and providing for our own as God's word instructs us.

I'm scared to death to make such a commitment, providing for your own takes a lot of time and leaves little time for writing about it.... my blogging has already been spotty at best but I am stepping forward in faith.


join me, won't you?


Friday, September 8, 2017

Throw up the Flag

A while back I found this hive queenless.. they had several queen cells formed and I thought they had the situation under control.  When a hive is growing and breeding a new queen you need to give them space.  If you open the hive on a newly hatched queen you can cause a disruption in pheromones and cause a riot that would make Ferguson look like five year olds on a playground.


Several weeks later I decided to check and make sure the hive was queen right.  It wasn't. Why, it wasn't I don't know...perhaps she was eaten on her madien flight. perhaps she grew weary and couldn't make it back. Maybe she never even made it out of the hive. Maybe the rest of the hive followed her and none of them returned. There are a million "could be's"

Regaurdless, when I opened the hive instead of finding a thriving body I found this...wax moth. box after box.  frame after frame. covered in putrid filth.


While the bees were busy dealing with life, they had turned their back and the enemy crept in.




The hive was three boxes high and I began to disassemble it rather roughly.  In the bottom box, however, I found a cluster of bees maybe the size of a softball still trying to live in all that mess.

It broke my heart.

my bees do that a lot.

with tears in my eyes I started to move slower, quieter. I pulled the two frames they were gathered on and speaking softly to them I looked for a queen. No queen.  So I shook them gently into a neigboring hive to rest and recover and then get back to work.  Some of the bees flew into the air rather than dropping into the hive but I knew that with their hive gone and their sisters in the other hive they would soon join it.  I finished my disassembling.

Much to my surprise when I went back to the fourwheeler with my last armfull of stuff, hanging on the bottom of one of the boxes was a small cluster of the bees that had flown.  "Girls, this won't do.  you can't live here." and I scooped them up and dropped them on the porch of the other hive.  They threw up the white flag and went in.

Driving off,  I got to thinkin'.

So. much. like. me.

So. much. like. you.

us.

So. much. like. Him.

Do we understand that when our Saviour sees us living in our filth.  Struggling through this life caught in the webs of our sin.  Trying to do it on our own.  Giving our million and one excuses as to why we are where we are.

It breaks His heart.

I do that a lot.

But (I love the but) His compassion moves Him towards us.  Our repentance, our surrender,  He cannot refuse.   He lifts us.  He gives us new life.

We don't have to continue living in our filth.

We don't have to return to it.

He wants only good for us.  To give us life and to give it more abundantly.

"And He that sat upon the throne, said, behold I make all things new.
And he said unto me, write: for these words are true and faithful."
Revelation 21:5

How blessed we are that He is willing to wade through the filth to find us.

How blessed are we that He is true and faithful.

All we have to do is throw up the flag.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Tibbers

Over the last year, the word "hedgehog" has been one of the most used words in our home... second, I believe, only to the word "chicken".  And "chicken" wins only because at diverse times people other than Grace use it... such as. "hey memaw, what's for dinner?"  and I will reply "chicken."  It's close people, very very close.


Grace has never been big on academics, she's a natural kid.. arts and animals.  But her hedgehog obsession has done wonders for her desire to learn.  She had a jar to keep her money in and ran a strict budget, shopping on line and buying things as they came on sale.  She kept a ledger of all her funds.  She read articles and visited websites to study hedgehogs and then gave oral reports on her hedgehog findings to anybody willing to listen.





Did you know there are 17 species of hedgehog?  She only studied 9 because the rest were ugly.

Did you know a group of hedgehogs is called a prickle?

Did you know baby hedgehogs are born with a layer of skin holding down their quills and the mother then cleans it off allowing the spikes to be exposed?  Don't you think that momma hedgehog is thankful that the Lord thought of such things?

She made lists and graphs and charts of foods (good and bad), of colors and characteristics, of what she would accept and what she would not accept as far as looks and temperament.

An entire year of saving and planning.

So on Tuesday when she got home from the berry farm and added her wages to her jar you can imagine the excitement that ensued when she found out she finally had enough to buy her critter.


Wednesday morning, after chores, we cleaned up and headed for town.  Half way there my phone died (I always forget to charge that thing)  and we had no gps.  I was ready to turn back but she was determined we would make it.  

"We must look at this as an adventure." she tells me.

suicide... I'm thinking it's suicide.  I can't find my way out of my driveway on a good day.

But, crazy enough we found the pet store.

They had one hedgehog.

one.

who just happened to be the perfect color, the perfect age, and almost the perfect temperament...

She is standing in the middle of the store holding this little hissing, spitting, ball of spikes and turns to me with eyes so big  "do you want to hold him, memaw?"  I'm thinkin' ... I'd rather run my bare arms through a thicket of blackberry bramble thankyouverymuch...no, I'm good.

The last requirement was that he had to have a black nose because they were the cutest... she rolled that little ball around until she could see inside his cocoon and when I heard her muffled squeal, I knew he passed and we headed home.

The entire ride home was chatter..

"He's spikier than I thought he would be..."

"sis, he's a mini porcupine!"

"Not really, they are not related,  I told you this already. and I know, I just thought he would smooth down better. Maybe after he trusts me...."

"I think he is a four-toed hedgehog, I will have to post his picture and ask someone.. I hope he is."

"why don't you just count his toes?"

(blond moment pause)

"Oh. yeah.. (counting) HE IS! a four-toed hedgehog!"

*sigh*

So after a year of plotting and planning the Holverson family has a new addition. His name is Tibbers and surprisingly he has warmed up to Grace pretty quick...although, I'm not sure that he has a choice.


  
now, how am I going to keep her interested in math and reading???









  




Friday, April 28, 2017

Chasing...

It's Spring.  The farm is bursting with babies.  Calves, chicks, bunnies, ducklings and piglets.  I love this time of year.

so. much. life.

Our hives are also bursting at the seams... Sarah and I have been making splits as fast as we and our equipment will go.  But it hasn't been fast enough. We breed Russians.  Russians are known for their fast build up and swarming tendencies.  It's why I love them, they are prolific, it's also why I hate them, we are always pulling them out of trees.


The past few days the swarms have landed in the tops of our oaks...  fifty feet in the air.  I resigned myself to letting them go after we cut one tree down and it failed to result in a capture. With sixty hives on the ground, it wasn't life and death that I retrieve them but still, they were mine and I felt bad that they were hanging in a tree exposed to the birds and wind and rain.

Then my wonderful hubby, feeling bad for me, rented a 55ft boom lift.  His reasoning was it was cheaper than if we were to buy two packages and the bees above us were better than packages because they were my genetics, Missouri genetics,  that I had been working on for the past five years.

This old lady did NOT get in the boom lift.  I am too well grounded for that but Sarah and Andrew went in my place and the photo credits all belong to them.


The bee yard they absconded from.
It is a pretty view up there.



See, I did help. I got them set up. lol




let's catch some renegades.. but first, let's take a selfie.


If you look real close you can see Preston and Daddy 
in front of the gas tank watching.




The first batch of girls was pretty easy, just a bump with the bucket.



Speaking of buckets, Grace and I made sure these two 
didn't get away while the kids were up the tree.



The second batch had been hanging there for about three days when
they decided to move into this little guys house.  
Needless to say, he was less than impressed and 
I think a little thankful to see the bees captured.


there was a hole in the tree that Andy enlarged with a chainsaw.
They then used a modified shop vac to suck the girls out.


It is guaranteed when you live on a farm.  At some point in your life, you will be chasing animals... Maybe it's the bull running through a fence or chickens that get out of their pen. or pigs... don't even get me started on chasing pigs.  And even a little more frustrating bees hanging just out of reach... Sometimes it is bothersome and other times it is downright exhausting.

One thing that is constant, however, is the chase always reminds me of our Saviour's love...  To know the pull on your heartstrings from a wayward critter.  To give up your time, your resources, your energy to bring them back safely into the fold.  To care for them enough to pursue them.  A small picture of a Redeemer's mighty grace.

Have you thought lately, of what Christ gave up for you?  To leave glory and all the comfort it provided to chase and pursue you.  The love He must have felt to go to the cross just so He could bring you safely home... Amazing love. How unworthy we are of it... maybe even more unworthy than a wad of balled up bees...

So I praise Him for redemption.  

I praise Him that when I run He doesn't rest until I am safely back in the fold.  

I praise Him for making a safe passage for me.

Maybe today, you could take a moment to praise Him for not giving up on you until you were saved. And if you are not saved maybe today you could give up the chase and become fully His.


"For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

He gave all he had for you.

"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."  John 10:9


May you surrender to Him and finally find rest in His pastures.