Monthly Archives: May 2012

Rainy Days

This morning I drove down to feed the cows.  It was raining for the first time since we got the cows infact.  Yeah rah!!   That means this farmer doesn’t have to worry about gettin’ her corn crops watered.  All 30 of them.  Plants that is.   I usually walk with the dogs.  It gets our blood pumping and we can take in all the smells and sights.

You would think a drive would be down and back in the rain.  The sights in the rain were so wonderful (and strange) I ended up going back and getting my VERY COOL  camera that Pops gave me for Mothers Day.  He is such a joy!   It makes things look as wonderful as they really are.  My old camera made things look really bad.  Most probably user error.  This new thing,  you can’t miss.

Mystery bales

So here we have bales of hay on our property.  We have no idea where they came from.  We do not bale hay but yesterday they showed up at the foot of our driveway??  I love it.  You can bet there will be a painting on this  someday.  I’ve always wanted bales of hay hangin’ on the property.  Too cool.

I discovered a Hydrangea growing in a shed by the cows. It is taller than me.   huh?  I have tried to grow Hydrangea for 20 years.  How can this be?  What is going on around here?

Mystery hydrangea

This water thing is such a miracle.  Every morning I get up and go outside and there is always water on the ground usually in the form of a nice dew.  It is like manna for the Israel people.  Provision for the day to keep nourished,  not enough for tomorrow. But  just for today.     And today there is  more than usual  water in the form of rain and I noticed how  it sits on leaves and my car window and how it splashes on the surface of the creek.  It is truly a miracle that we have this available to us.   My goodness, why do I take it for granted?

Daisy

Our farm hand, who comes one day a week and saves our lives with his efforts,  loves our property as if it was his own.  Mr. Shady (Character).  Mr. Shady loves the outdoors as much as I do and he has a lovely place of his own that includes huge gardens,  animals ( including our Bart),  an outside bath tub! and a gentle hand that tends to every little thing.  He gave me a cactus “part” .  I have no idea what to do with it.  I put it in a bucket about two months ago with the intention to plant it.  He keeps telling me to not touch it,  it will prick me bad.   So I keep not touching it.  It is blooming in the bucket.   You have to understand it is not planted in anything!  It is just sitting there in the bottom of the bucket.  ??  But beautiful it is!  What a day this is so far. 

Have yerself a blessed day,

Karen

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Stop the Chaos!

I hope you had a great holiday weekend!

Jasper Johns

In our digestive system there can be huge chaos when we try to shove all of our yummy food down together.  It is no wonder our digestive systems even talk to us anymore with all the garbage we throw at it.  Any one item by itself may not be considered garbage but combine it with another and it turns to garbage.  The whole system is so integral to our overall well-being.

All food digests at different rates and each food type needs different enzymes to aid in the digestive process.  Some enzymes are acid and some are alkaline.    When these different enzymes try to work together they are neutralized and hampers digestion.

Steak. Me steak.

When, say,  steak which is a protein is taken with a baked potato which is a starch (carbohydrate),  the starch gets hung up in your intestines while it waits for the protein to digest.  The potato begins to rot in your system. (really yuck,  right?)   The fermentation that takes place producing alcohols and sugars  AND GAS.  Yeast gets an opportunity  to feed on the yeast that creates more toxins in your body.

potato

Proper food combining  enables proper digestion and CAN ACTUALLY CAUSE WEIGHT LOSS. 

Imagine that.  Imagine also not getting a fraction of the gas you probably are experiencing.

So here’s the poop:

EAT FRUITS ALONE.

WHEN EATING PROTEIN (meat, eggs, poultry, fish) ONLY COMBINE IT WITH NON STARCHY VEGGIES (all veggies except potatoes and winter squash.)

DO NOT COMBINE GRAINS AND BREADS (bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat,etc.) WITH PROTEIN.  Only combine grains and bread with non starchy veggies.

When I prepare a meal I must decide whether I am having a grain/starchy veggie (rice, pasta, bread, potato) OR protein (meat, poultry, eggs, fish).  I cannot do both at the same meal.  Then with either one I can throw as much non starchy vegetable  at it as I want.

Sound confusing?  It really isn’t after you get use to it.

It makes pizza, sandwiches, and the ol’ American stand by of the “meat and potatoes” a challenge.  These are the kind of meals that put HUGE stress on our bodies.  Understanding the digestive process helps me justify these types of changes in my eating.  Rotting food in my system doesn’t make me feel good.  It gives me headaches, fatigue, constipation, etc.  The way I look at it is  our good Lord is going to shower me with as much pizza, cookies, sandwiches, etc.   I can stomach in heaven!  And I am going to be there a lot longer than my nano second here. And you can bet I will indulge!   So I can wait.  And while I am here I really want to feel good.  It is that important to me.  We just have so little time.   I feel sometimes  that if I don’t  get to have what I  want  or deserve  than I am being held in some bondage or that I am not “free” to do as thy will  .  But it is  that VERY THING THAT I WANT that may not be so good for me that is actually the thing keeping me from being free.  I get it backwards so often.  I am living and learning.  The hard way.

The whole idea here is to become more intentional  in the decisions we make about how we eat.  It makes you feel really good!

God bless,

Karen

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6:38 am Wake Up Call – US GOVT.

While you may think that this farmer gets up at 5 a.m., I am here to tell you that is not the case.  Not until those goats that have been pregnant since September drop their kids in my lap.  Then I will need to get up at the crack of dawn.  Actually,  I have been “nesting” since September in anticipation of the delivery.   Trying to get rest before the sleepless nights.  Wait….I already don’t sleep at night.  I have noticed the goats seem to have been ordered bed rest.  They aren’t movin’ much this last week.  Maybe soon!

As I was contemplating getting out of bed at 6:38 the phone rang  and the caller id read: US GOVT.  (Isn’t funny how that is always in caps? )   So my first thought, of course,  being the mommy that I am, was that they were calling to tell me that my son, who is in the ARMY,  had done something wrong or something had happened to him.   That is just where your mind goes when an office of authority calls you.  No…..It was the  US POST OFFICE in my little itty bitty town telling me that my chicks were in and come get them. Thank goodness that my boy is safe! He is.  He is on a pass this weekend having a ball not too far away from here.

When you order chicks on-line they come in the mail when the chicks are 1 day old.  They have enough nutrition stored up in their little bodies (One of God’s miracles among millions of others) to keep them flyin’ for a couple of days. 

They are alive and WELL! And yes,  they were hungry and were able to distinguish between the water, food and bedding.  Quickly, I might add.

We have somehow ended up with 64 birds here.  “How did this happen?”, the rooster said to the hen.  We don’t know.  But this gaggle of 26 that showed up here this morning are meat chickens.  Did you know that the chicken you buy at the store might be as young as 9 weeks?  They very well could  be younger than that.  I never would’ve thought…  We will keep ours for 12 weeks and that is o.l.d.  We are going to provide them a feed that is lower in protein to slow the growing rate down.  What happens to these poor chickens when they are allowed to grow too fast,  which is the case in ALL commercial outfits,  is their legs break under the weight of their bodies and they cannot walk.  ugh.  Dont want that to happen.  We are just venturing into meat territory and I don’t want anything scary to happen.  It is scary enough just raising the  stuff!

Speaking of meat chickens,  ever get tired of the same ol’ same ol’ barbecue chicken?   This is a wonderful change that DOESN’T INCLUDE SUGAR OR CORN SYRUP which is in almost every bottle of BBQ sauce:

This sauce is probably enough for 1 whole chicken.

1 stick Melted butter

a couple of T. Worcestershire sauce

lemon juice of 1 lemon

2 or 3 garlic cloves minced

melt and mix all together on stove top and baste chicken on the grill.  YUMMY.

Have a SUPER holiday weekend!

God bless,

Karen

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How’s Come The Shieling?

  When we bought our property  5 years ago we  wanted to name it something.  It kinda has that  “name me”  kind of feel to it.  If you can imagine all  the crazy names that got tossed around.  The best one was that our mother’s wanted us to name it Kenjo.  Short for both of their first names.   Of course.  They worked really hard for that one.  While we thought it was a lovely idea it,  we didn’t feel it quite fit the personality of the property.  We gave the canyon the honored name of Kenjo.  Kenjo Canyon.  It stuck and it is lovely.

My husband and I have a love for St. Francis of Assisi.  ( a lot of female bloggers refer to their spouse by “the” something.  The farmer, the husband, the man, etc.  Last time I looked my husband had  hot blood running through.  Not an “it” for sure.   To preserve his anonymity, yeah right,   I will call him Pops which is what his kids call him.  They are my kids too. )  St. Francis had a love for  nature and animals,  as do we.   We went around and around trying to come up with a name that had a connection to him but couldn’t  see  San Rufino or Fioretti or any of the other Italian references fitting in with our Southern Indiana landscape??  Not to mention that Pops is anything BUT Italian and I am Irish.  Not sure the natives in these parts could come to grips with that.  It takes much of what they have to get used to us suburbanites embarking on their territory.   Let alone us bringing our  elite language with us!  So we have a special Beech tree we use for a stop in our hike for prayer as did St. Francis.

So the battle began.  Pops wanted Double  G Bar Ranch.  OR is it the Double Bar G Ranch?   I don’t even know what that means!   OOOOKAY…….    I don’t think we  moved to Wyoming.. but maybe we did and I am still sleeping. 

I wanted the Shieling.  Pops wasn’t buying it.  At all.  Why?  My father grew up on a farm named the Shieling and my maiden name is enfolded in the word: Shieling.  My husband  wanted to be original which I totally ( well sorta) understood.  So, I needed to figure out how to  sell this.  I thought my dad’s family  made up the name.  After doing a little research I discovered  the “shieling”  had a definition and it fit our property to a T.   Women in Scottland and Ireland (I am Irish. )  grazed their flocks of sheep or goats in lower pastures.  (We have lower pastures.)  When the flocks and summer tired the pastures below, they ran the flocks to upper pastures. (We have upper pastures.)  The women would live in what is called a shieling up in the higher pasture while the flock grazed. (Our house is on the upper pasture.)  Thus The Shieling!

Not exactly what our house looks like, but an example of an original shieling.

I called Pops at work and he said, “YES!  Go for it!”  He is so kind and I am blessed to have a man who sees it my way occasionally , well,  probably way more than occasionally.   My brother’s family owns the original Shieling sign that my dad had growing up and he made a replica from that original for me to use here on the farm.  Isn’t is great when we can carry on even a small part of our family tradition?  I am so glad that he had the forethought to keep that sign among many other items important to our family’s heritage.  A relative of mine knowing I was starting a farm gave me a copper milk jug used by my dad to milk the cows when he was little.  I wouldn’t have known it existed if I hadn’t embarked on this journey.   Life is good.

Pops gets to brand his cattle with the Double G thing.  He is a happy man.

God bless,

Karen

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Spit that has Legs

Way back when  in a life not too long ago, I learned there was a thing called Candida.

Remember the song?  Candida?  “We can make it together”  sung by Dawn and Tony?   I liked that song.  But then I read about this other thing called Candida.  Not so much a song but a scary monster.  She and I did make it together for a long time but it sucked.  I’m getting to the point here….Candida (Candida albicans) is a fungus or  a yeast overgrowth that attacks different parts of our body and makes us feel really lousy.  We all have yeast in our bodies and  it should not cause problems UNLESS it gets out of hand.   The out of hand part is fed by sugar.  Yep.  Yeast feeds on sugar.  Thus sugar cravings.  The more yeast we have growing in our bodies the more we will crave sugar.

What a little darlin’ you are!

The symptoms of this unfortunate event can be literally devastating,  affecting :

THE WAY YOU FEEL

Inability to focus, Poor memory, Brain fog, Irritability, Anger, Dizziness, Depression, Crying spells, Panic attacks, Low libido, Persistent extreme fatigue, Hyperactivity, Cravings for sweets and alcohol, Insomnia, Poor coordination.

YOUR DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

Acid reflux, Bloating, Flatulence, Nausea, Diarrhea, Constipation, Stomach cramps, Indigestion, Burping after meals, Mucus in stool, Hemorrhoids, Itching anus.

YOUR SKIN

Acne, Cysts, Hives, Night sweats, Psoriasis, Eczema, Dermatitis, Fungal infections of the nails & skin, Athlete’s foot, Body odor.

YOUR MOUTH

Thrush (white coating on tongue), Swollen lower lip, Halitosis, Metallic taste in mouth, Bad breath, Canker sores, Bleeding gums, Cracked tongue.

YOUR RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

Persistent cough, Mucus in throat, Sore throat, Sinus congestion, Chronic post-nasal drip, Flu-like symptoms, Hay fever symptoms, Sinusitis, Asthma.

YOUR EYES AND EARS

Eye pain, Itchy eyes, Sensitivity to light, Blurred vision, Bags under eyes, Ringing in the ears, Ear infections.

YOUR GENITO-URINARY SYSTEM

Recurring yeast infections, Recurring UTI’s (urinary tract infections), Cystitis (inflammation of the bladder), PMS & menstrual irregularities, Fungal rash.

YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM

Frequent colds and flu, Allergies, Sensitivities to food, fragrances and chemicals.

YOUR WEIGHT

Inability to lose weight, Water retention, Weight loss.

OTHER SYMPTOMS

Headaches, Heart palpitations, Chronic body pain and/or joint pains, Muscle aches and stiffness.

How many of the above symptoms are a part of your everyday life?  If you were able to say yes to over 5 then you may want to explore this further.  If you have over 10,then it definitely is an issue.  I had darn near every symptom.  The sad fact here is that many of these symptoms have become normal and expected aches and pains in our daily routine.  Doesn’t have to be! And shouldn’t be.  Remember, God made us to thrive and be balanced.

So there is this really cool thing you can do to test to see if you have Candida.  It really worked for me.  But then again, I was basically a yeast ball.

When you get up in the morning, before brushing your teeth, drinking or eating, fill a clear glass with water and spit in the water.  Let it sit for a few minutes.  Notice what your saliva does.  Does it sink?  Sit on top?  If your spit forms legs and the legs slink down into the water or get cloudy that would indicate that there is a yeast overgrowth in your body.   If it sits on top, that would indicate a normal saliva sample.  

What now, brown cow.? …..Yeast is alive.  It feeds on sugar.  So to get rid of it, we must starve the little darlings.  All those above symptoms if ignored can fester, get worse and possibly lead to REALLY bad stuff.  79-97 percent of cancer patients are found to have Candida.  It just is not good to have too much of the stuff living in your body.  It is a living fungus.

In coming posts, I will go into detail about how to go about ridding our bodies of those highly destructive toxins.

God bless,

Karen

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A Treasured Treat That Just Got Better

Good Morning!  Glorious day! And Happy Friday!

Let me introduce you to Ghee if you have not met her.  ( It is not the cat. The cat is Maggie.  She is just wishing you a beautiful day. )  Ghee is clarified butter.  She is great for cooking since  she has a high heat threshold, 485 degrees.  Compare that to 180 degrees for olive oil.  It is great to use for all types of cooking including baking.  It is casein and lactose free for those that have a sensitivity.  It does not need to be refrigerated although I do.  I don’t need to be refrigerated.  I refrigerate the ghee.

Every time I saute vegetables I get outstanding results.  Guests always comment on what ever food I cooked with Ghee.  It just gives them a yummy warm flavor.

It also has an alkalyzing affect on your body.  I will be going into alkaline vs. acidic environment soon.  We all have very acidic conditions and it is a breeding ground for all sorts of nonsense.

Yep! This would be corn. Can little people like us grow corn? We’ll find out!

When I eat movie theatre popcorn, I dont know about you,  but I leave feeling like I have been injected with tar or something.  I realize I eat a ton of it but the whole deal is terrifying.  Bad salt, bad oil, bad, bad.  The same goes for microwave popcorn.  It takes me a good 24  hours to recover.  It tastes great though, doesn’t it?  Anymore, that is not enough.  My food HAS  to have some redeeming quality.   I’m sure there is some dog food that tastes pretty good. That doesn’t mean I am going to eat it.   I am extremely tempted by the cookie and snack bar at Petco.  Those things have to taste good, right?  Maybe not…..

This popcorn will become your favorite popcorn  and you will want to watch movies JUST so you can make it!  Coconut oil makes it wonderful by itself and sometimes we do not butter it with ghee and it is delicious.  The fats that we use here are  completely beneficial for your precious body.

YUMMY POPCORN

Use  a heavy pot with lid on stove.

Heat on high 1-3 Tablespoons of Organic Unrefined Coconut Oil

Measure out 1/2 cup of preferably organic popcorn (many groceries sell it in bulk now)

Cook the popcorn the usual way on the stove on high.

Heat several tablespoons of ghee to top the popcorn.  Salt with Celtic sea salt or another of your favorite sea salt or seasoning.

Enjoy the movie!  If its good, let me know, I’ll watch.

God bless,

Karen

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Are You a Well Oiled Machine?

This morning’s walk to feed T-bone and Rib Eye

Like secret service men I send my dogs out in front of me on our walks.  They perform  snake patrol.

Most of us are oiled machines, but the operative word is “well”.  I want to wade into this water gently and thoughtfully because we have been hearing a line of bunk for so many years that it has become truth and it is killing us.  Also, I want to try to be simple and not bring all the technical stuff into the mix because, a) I dont understand it and b) it is b.o.r.i.n.g.  We are only getting some of the story and the part of the story being left out is quite necessary for us to hear.

I would love for us to begin to open our minds to think differently than we have been trained.  A whole food is wonderful until it is introduced to  processing and chemicals.  Until. Until. Until.  Things change after that. Dramatically.  Processing and chemical treatment change the composition of food.  Period.  We don’t get the same benefits of corn when it is tortured and brutalized.   No regard to its natural state has been considered.  When you over cook anything, you kill it.  So instead of approaching a food with -is it low fat, no trans fat, high fat, – it would be kinder on your body to ask if it was processed, how and was there anything added.  Anytime they add something, it usually means they have had to take something.

Before I begin, let me state that fat is imperative for healthy living.  When we talk about a low-fat diet we are eliminating crucial elements from our diet.  This is what fat in our diet does for us:

OUR CELL MEMBRANES ARE MADE UP OF 50% FAT.  They will die without it.  What a squeaky machine we are without it!

FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS , A, D, E, K  NEED FAT TO CARRY THE VITAMINS THROUGH OUR BODIES.  THESE ARE CRITICAL VITAMINS.

FATS PROTECT THE LIVER FROM TOXINS

FATS ENHANCE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

FATS LOWERS LIPOPROTEIN WHICH INDICATES A POTENTIAL HEART DISEASE ISSUE.

FATS ARE NEEDED FOR CALCIUM TO BE SUCCESSFULLY UTILIZED IN BONE HEALTH.

THE LIST GOES ON

We have learned from the people ( FDA, Food industry, Drug Companies,  Doctors, CIA, FBI, ABCDEFG, etc.) that:

Monounsaturated fats are good.  Olive oil and canola oil are the two main.

Polyunsaturated fats are good.   Margarine, Vegetable oils.

Saturated Fats are bad.  Coconut, Butter, Animal Fat, Creams

So far,  so good.

WHAT WE HAVE NOT LEARNED:

Monounsaturated Fats (olive oil and canola oil) cannot sustain their nutrient benefits if heated beyond 180 degrees.  thus becoming a non food.   So  really shouldn’t be used for cooking high temps.  I am really guilty of this and am trying to be more conscious of it.  I used to bake with it too which is not recommended.  Also, because of a high demand they are being processed to an extent that many of them come to your table nutrient deficient.  Look for FIRST COLD PRESSED. UNFILTERED AND CLOUDY.  Many groceries wont have this.  Most groceries will have first cold pressed but you will probably have to  order the unrefined online or shop at specialty stores.

Polyunsaturated Fats are the biggy here.  ugh.

Excess consumption of polyunsaturated oils has been shown to contribute to a large number of disease conditions including increased cancer and heart disease; immune system dysfunction; damage to the liver, reproductive organs and lungs; digestive disorders; depressed learning ability; impaired growth; and weight gain.*

New evidence links exposure to free radicals with premature aging, with autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and with Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s and cataracts.**

They go through an extensive process which  can be a heating/steaming situation 3 times!  What would you call that once processed?  Probably not something that our precious bodies would recognize as food.  Again,  NON FOOD ITEM.

When it is heated on our stove it becomes rancid and oxidizes.  So when I think about eating something that is rancid… ugh … and just because I can’t see the rancidness, doesn’t mean it is not there.  Would I eat a piece of bread with green mold on it?  Of course not!

Saturated Fats.  This is the good part!  They are very good for you    IF ( and that is a big IF. ) they are not processed to death. Again, we have to become every conscious how food is treated before coming to our door.  Dr. Oz and the likes of him are having to eat their words on this subject. He mentioned a few months ago he has a tablespoon of coconut oil everyday.  It was not too long ago that coconut oil was a NO NO.   If these fats are not tainted with chemicals and heavy processing, they are hands down the best source of fat and have huge benefits.  All the benefits I list above, call for saturated fats.  I have eaten all that I desire of butter, ghee, coconut oil, and animal fats  in the past 7 years and my health soars!  I eat mucho.  My tryglecerides were so low that a doctor recently told me that if he  hadn’t known better he would have thought his patient came from a concentration camp.  He had never seen them so low.  In other words…from a different world.  My cholesterol levels are perfect.  Please remember,  I used to not be healthy.  AND I don’t gain weight as a result of my intake.  God would not make food for us and then have us all become ill from it.  We have tainted our own food supply.

It is vital that we get our food from good sources.  That is the key here.  Not –  low fat, high fat, sideways fat, straight fat.  It has to be nontainted, non processed, GOOD FAT.    Consider your source always.

It is my prayer that we begin to look at this from a new angle …..Instead of being on a low fat diet or a low carb diet, or a high protein, or whatever diet ( those are food groups for heavens sake!  Needed for survival!)  Try going on a low chemical diet.  Or a low processed diet.  Or a low antibiotic diet.  or a low steroid diet.  Or  a local diet.   Or organic diet.  Those are NOT food groups.  Does that make sense?

And…. margarine….What IS THAT anyway?

Have a Super day!

God bless,

Karen

  *A general review of citations for problems with polyunsaturate consumption is found in Pinckney, Edward R, MD, and Cathey Pinckney, The Cholesterol Controversy, 1973, Sherbourne Press, Los Angeles, 127-131; Research indicating the correlation of polyunsaturates with learning problems is found in Harmon, D, et al, J Am Geriatrics Soc, 1976, 24:1: 292-8; Meerson, Z, et al, Bull Exp Bio Med, 1983, 96:9:70-71;Regarding weight gain, levels of linoleic acid in adipose tissues reflect the amount of linoleic acid in the diet. Valero, et al, Ann NutrMetabolism, Nov/Dec 1990, 34:6:323-327; Felton, C V, et al, Lancet, 1994, 344:1195-96

**Machlin, I J, and A Bendich, FASEB Journal, 1987, 1:441-445

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