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When Panic Strikes…

Yesterday at 10:59 a.m. we received THE email from corporate that we’ve all been dreading.

By December 8th we MUST all comply and be COMPLETELY VACCINATED.

I spent the rest of my day fighting waves of anxiety, tears and anger. I’ve been with this company for almost 20 years, and now it’s over.

The Rooster and I took today off to look for new employment.

I refuse to be bullied into a “vaccine” that uses fetal cells, but more importantly that it is a government over reach and I will NOT be bullied.

It’s sad to leave friends that I’ve had for twenty years, but everything changes… and it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to.

When life throws you tyranny… remember to live a simple life.

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Honey’s Trip to the Market

I guess market is a nicer way of saying the butcher… we’d been wondering when Honey should go into the bacon factory because we are quite honestly clueless and new to the whole hog raising business. Google and/or Bing suggested by his shoulder width he’d be about 300 pounds.

By the way he pushed Rooster about the pen I would’ve assumed the same. My Rooster is no small man by any means and Honey was able to nudge him a bit. So we were flying blind.

We had gone into our local butcher and talked to Randy, our favorite guy at Integrity Meats, and he knew we weren’t going to be able to wait until the end of October either. So we were moved up the waiting list and we’re told a week maybe two and they’d have an opening.

Last Monday on the drive home we got the call… we were on our way to pick up oldest after school, still had to get youngest from school and I’d be off to guitar lessons. So Rooster and oldest were left to their devices.

We lined up a trailer on the drive and everything was set and ready. Just had to load Honey and head to town.

So picture it’s been raining all day, it’s chilly, and windy and the pick pen is a soupy mess. Insert Rooster and oldest with a very pissed off pig. Times like these I wish we had one of those doorbell recording devices…

After much cussing and escaping nearly into the beans reinforcements were called in. Yes, another tale of neighbor Josh and a wild critter ensued.

It finally came down to neighbor Josh and Rooster picking Honey up and physically putting him into the trailer.

Of course stories like these are better told by the original parties, but Rooster isn’t much for writing.

Youngest and I came home to find miscellaneous boards scattered about the yard. No doubt attempts at corralling Honey into the trailer.

Rooster and oldest retuned home at almost eight o’clock. Upon arriving at the butcher there was another debacle, of course. Honey now didn’t want to get out of the trailer, and had to be pushed into the indoor pens.

The sight that was Rooster and oldest when they came home was a little worse than I expected. Covered in “mud”, soaked to the bone, and smelling like they had rolled in the pig pen. Poor guys had quite the adventure and looked it.

Stories were told with great fervor over supper from Honey’s escape attempts, to neighbor Josh’s arrival, and unloading. These poor guys were exhausted.

That night Rooster said he was reconsidering having two pigs next year, and told me he no longer viewed rods as animal cruelty. I was honestly shocked, but had been awaiting this day to change his mind.

Since a week and a few days have passed since the great adventure we’re back to planning on two pigs. Hopefully we will be able to have found the farm of our dreams by spring, and will be able to have two pigs.

So just remember when life covers you in “mud”, soaks and chills you to the bone remember to laugh and live a simple life.

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Youngest and I’s adventure day

It’s been a beautiful fall day the sun is out, there is a breeze and it’s low sixties. We started the day with pancakes and a quick trip to town.

We picked up our allergy medicine, milk and a few odds and ends then headed to Papaw’s. Memaw was off garage sale peddling but my nephew was there with Papaw.

After a little family reunion we went into the woods to scope out places for youngest and I to hunt. We found a few lush places that will be ideal come next weekend.

Tromping through the back 40 on a beautiful day has a great start to the weekend.

Once back home youngest helped me move the ducks to the garden side of the runs, and I’d say they’re tickled pink…

It’s off to the showers for me as I’m now covered in everything but mud…. Yes, it’s poop.

Then time to make a nice batch of chili for supper. Tomorrow’s agenda in simplicity is raviolis, bread and noodles.

Rooster and oldest have been out enjoying the Youth Hunting season, and we look forward to them being home too.

In the still quiet of the woods remember to live a simple life. Even when you’re covered in poop it’s a great simple life.

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Take Time to Decompress…

This week, and the past few have just seemed extra crazy. Between football practice and games, guitar lessons, dentist appointments, one kid quarantined, homework, garden chores (canning, freezing, dehydrating, chores, a critter thief in the coop, a 40 plus hour work week and common every day things to do I just feel overwhelmed. Frazzled almost. It’s not a bad thing to admit. The hard part is admitting it.

I’m admitting it. I’m waving the perpetual white flag, surrendering to admitting it’s just too much at the moment. And that is okay. I’m not the superwoman I am portrayed to be, and yet I’m not defeated; yet.

It is important first to realize you are overwhelmed BEFORE you lose your cool at work, snap at your beloved, or even worse snap at your children. BEFORE you get to this point, that moment of sanity when things are quiet for one second we need to acknowledge this is where we are. Frazzled. Exhausted. Overwhelmed. Tired. Whatever the word you are using for what you are feeling, say it. Out Loud. Wave that white flag.

Taking time for yourself to decompress from the day, week, month, or year is needed for your mental health, and probably the safety of your family to be honest. Even if it’s fifteen minutes of extra shower time, hiding in your closet, going for a walk alone, or listening to music in the car; do it. Everyone deserves this. Don’t feel that you don’t, or that you can’t. That’s the crazy talking.

Right now I am decompressing with a vanilla chai with EXTRA lavender, listening to the waves crash against a distant shore while youngest has his guitar lesson. Decompress with me…

Inhale deeply. Smell the salt in the air. Feel the mist of the waves on your skin. It’s cool and refreshing. Your hair dances gently in the breeze. The sun warms your face. You smile. Listen to the waves lapping the shore. Feel the sand beneath your feet. Beautiful white sugary sand slips between your fingers as you slowly exhale.

Decompression is all about finding the calm, the silence, the peace. Not only find it… seek it out! Breathe. Take these moments for yourself, do something you enjoy like reading a book, writing a silly blog, people watching; whatever it needs to be it needs to be done. Minutes. That’s all it is. A fraction of a much longer unit of measure. No one should ever be made to feel that you don’t deserve a fraction of an hour. If they do you seriously need to reevaluate your relationships, and take what is yours. Peace. Calm. Serenity.

So tonight I wish you all a calm and restful night, time to decompress, and just be… simple.

So when life is pulling you thin remember to live a simple life, and simply be.

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The Incredible, Edible… Nasturtium!

Nasturtium Leaves

I’ve probably been saying this wrong, and I know that I have been spelling it wrong. Nastrium that’s how I say and spell it. Nas-tree-um

I never knew about the plant until a trip to the local Organic Garden, DeKamps Gardens, and Pam had us try a flower. I was shocked it was peppery and amazingly beautiful! The boys of course politely spit theirs out, but I was hooked. Something new to spice up salads and make it extra colorful. Heck yeah!!

Every year since I have grown nasturtium in out garden. Not only does it benefit the chickens, and our salads but it beautifies the garden as well. Mounts of green with little pops of color here and there make it an appealing plant in so many ways.

This was the first year that I learned even more about this incredible, edible! Youngest and I were looking for tea recipes and wondered if nasturtium was a good tea ingredient, and it is! I’ve also just begun dabbling with making my own tinctures and extracts so I researched more throughly about nasturtium.

Nasturtium has so many uses!!! Let’s review a few!!

Hair spray!!!

Boiling nasturtium leaves and then straining gives you an all natural hair product!!

Acne treatment and astringent

That’s right! Making a tincture from flowers you can make an astringent that is said to clear up acne!! Say whaaaat?! And it’s all natural!

Dandruff

Making a nasturtium tea and applying it to your hair at the end of your shower can help clear up dandruff!!

Edible

BOTH the leaves and flowers are edible!! I add leaves to salads and the flowers make a pretty peppery topping! The chickens love a nasturtium treat! When the vines get a little crazy I just cut it back with scissors and give to the girls. They gobble it up! Even the pig appreciates a little floral snack from time to time! The neighbor girls think it’s hilarious to give Honey flowers to eat.

Tea

Yep, even nasturtium tea is a thing!

I hope you’ve come to appreciate this easy to grow plant as much as we have! Next season get some nasturtium seeds and give it a whirl!

And always remember… live a simple life!!

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Diatomaceous Earth The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

Many people probably haven’t heard of this amazing natural product! I know the first time I heard about diatomaceous earth was on the Fox television show BONES. Temperance Brennan was talking about discovering diatomaceous earth near a body, or something along those lines… The details of the episode are lost to me, but the words stuck with me for sure. It is an odd word after all. Fast forward several years to having youngest circa 2012 the year I became afraid of everything.

Having kids changes you. Everything that was once safe was now out to harm your precious baby. BPAs, plastics, toxins in laundry soap, cancer causing bug killers, and weed killers were not only out to get my kid, but to take me out of the picture too. Things changed. I was now that hippy dip mom I always tease about. I made his laundry soap from scratch because DREFT was expensive and I couldn’t read all of the ingredients. All the articles out there said if you couldn’t read ALL of the ingredients pass it over, or it will kill you. I exaggerate, but you get the idea. Mom brain kicking in, and Momma Bear syndrome all bundled into one hormonal and overwhelmed package, ME, it was easy to get behind all natural products.

So in 2012 there was a new batch of ants that had invaded the house, and I had to get rid of them. How though when your tiny person is putting everything in his mouth, and touching every surface in the place?! It was then some how the word popped back into my head… DIATOMACEOUS EARTH. Back then I didn’t have the internet so I loaded up little one, and headed to the local library to do some research. Here’s what I learned….

Diatomaceous Earth is a naturally occuring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that has been crumbled into a fine powder. Short, less sciencey; version is that it is actually an aquatic fossil of an algae. It is often white, or off-white in color. Depending on the granularity, this powder can have an almost abrasive feel, and is odorless. Also known as DE, it has a variety of uses, and is also available as a food grade powder.

PEST CONTROL

DE is a deadly powder with tiny sharp edges that can cut through bugs protective layers and dry them out. An added benefit of DE is that insects cannot develop resistance! DE will not harm worms or any beneficial microorganisms in the soil. Honest to goodness this stuff is amazing! If I locate an ant hill in the yard, dump some DE on it. Notice ants or spiders, or ear wigs around the foundation, dump some DE on it. The chickens develop a bout of lice, dump some DE on them. The dogs find a batch of ticks, dump some DE on them.

Remember in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” when the dad is spraying Windex on everything? Elbow hurts, put Windex on it. Zit on your wedding day, put Windex on it… needless to say that DE is my Windex.

I take a(n empty) ketchup bottle from the dollar store, and scoop DE into it, and use it as a squeeze bottle. I puff the DE all along the foundation of the house, and don’t have to worry about it harming the dogs, kids or other animals. Yes, I did just say the the kids are animals. When I go into the chicken coop I liberally spread DE all through the bedding, and add it to their dust baths. When Japanese beetles come to devour my roses, beans, and leafy greens in the garden I just dust them with DE.

HEALTH BENEFITS

People actually take food grade DE. Apparently DE being made almost entirely of silica; which is a component of human ligaments, and cartilage, helps repair damage to these areas. As a dietary supplement DE helps move things out of your intestines and helps promote healthier hair, skin, bones, and joints.

For thinning hair it is said that after taking DE for a few weeks you will see new hair growth with a fuller healthier look.

For healthy sin production the silica helps collagen making your skin smoother and healthier.

Brittle nails become stronger in a few weeks after taking DE.

Internally DE can help create a more regular bowel movement and detox your digestive tract. Increasing collagen production can support healthy digestion and allows your body to absorb more nutrients and flush out more wastes. A healthy metabolism supported by collagen can help you manage your weight. Collagen also helps promote a reduction in joint pain because it strengthens the cartilage that cushions your joints. Some studies suggest that DE taken daily can help your cholesterol levels.

Externally silica is an ingredient in dental, skin care and cosmetic products, and can be used as a natural toothpaste. For your skin DE can be used as an exfoliant, mask, or body scrub.

in closing…

if you have never used DE, but are looking for an all natural way to rid your garden, pets, poultry, and house of insects consider using DE. It can be found at any hardware store in the garden products. You will notice that it is nestled between the raid, home defense and other toxic products. The one I get is easy to spot because it comes in a yellow bag. You will also easily spot it with it’s incredibly long name (that I can never spell without the help of Google).

When the creepy crawlies come crawling in … remember to keep it simple with an all natural , non-toxic product, and keep living that simple life.

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Heeeeeeeeeeeey you guuuuuuuuuuys!!!!

Hey you guys! News from A Day in The Simple Life!!! We started a cool little hot mess of a podcast!

Had to share with all of you followers, new and old! So excited!!!

So from A Day in The Simple Life with wild hair, and coffee breath… remember to Live A Simple Life and follow our podcast!

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SO There We Were…

**This post may contain sensitive material for those weak at heart, and don’t understand raising your own food sources how chicken becomes chicken on your table**

photo of chicken
Photo by Kirsten Bühne on Pexels.com

So, it was a nice cool Saturday morning yesterday, and we decided (after consulting our calendar) that it was the day. THE DAY to butcher our Cornish Cross Chickens. We started with 16 birds, and decided to keep two. One possible rooster, and one possible hen; in the hopes that they would breed in the Spring and give us another “free” round of meat birds. Rather than buying them at the local farm store it would reduce our spending a little.

We got started after lunch as we had a few other chores that needed tending to. Rooster mowed while I got buckets of green beans, basil, mint, jalapenos and poblanos. buckets. You read it right. Rooster also changed the oil in my vehicle as it was time for such maintenance while he did that I straightened up some messes I created from the week before. I’ve been hanging trim throughout the house so you can imagine the chaos surrounding that.

We got out a plank for the first step in the process. The plank was placed on a slight incline on the property so any mess would roll off of the plank and be easily washed away when we were done. We got out the property utensils for the job super sharp cutlery, cutting boards, bowls to put the meat into, and got started.

Together we took the task at hand with ease, and there were only a few hiccups along the way… One mishap was that I forgot the routine about half way through, and forgot to hold the chicken properly and paid for it. So here comes the humor….

So there we were…. like all great stories begin… Rooster had a headless chicken held by the feet and we’re both covered in blood from the mishap a chicken or two ago. We looked like ax murders straight out of a Halloween film, but the rural version. We had just turned to head up the hill to the butcher station when the AMAZON delivery man appeared between the house and garage. “Hey, who’s car is that out front?” Rooster and I exchanged glances that said “Seriously? Does he not notice we are covered in blood, and holding a dead chicken right now?”

The Amazon man went on to rant and rave about my prized possession in the driveway. He kept assuming the car belonged to Rooster because as I am reminded frequently it’s a dude car. Anyways I digress, after correcting Mr. Amazon that it was mine the usual look of shock came across his face, and you could tell he thought that I was joking. Continuing with the usual tale that THAT was HIS dream car growing up, and not even once glancing at his surroundings (us, the ax murderers). In closing he said he never knew the car was here, and went on to tell Rooster it was a good looking car. Sigh. IT’S MY CAR!!!

Once Mr. Amazon left we had a good chuckle at the sight of us, and recreated the conversation differently (how we were expecting the conversation to really go).

AMAZON: Hey, what the hell are you doing out here? You’re covered in blood! OMG! (all the time running back down the driveway to his getaway vehicle.

We had a good chuckle about either possibility of conversations, and carried on with our business.

When we were done we took the meat cuts inside and washed them, got them into vacuum bags, sealed them and got them in the freezer like a well oiled machine. Shower time was the best yesterday. Getting the grime of the day washed away, and relieving stiff muscles and aching backs.

So, remember when life hands you excitement of a beautiful sight; take hold of that moment, and don’t notice the ax murdering scene before you. Embrace others living a simple life.

Enjoy the Labor Day weekend everyone, and thank you to all of you who have been following our stories. Feel free to share with friends and family as we would love to share our stories with everyone!

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There’s a chill in the air…

Remember in the movie Mary Poppins the wind changes directions and the chimney sweep starts singing “Winds in the east, mist coming in. / Like somethin’ is brewin’ and ’bout to begin. / Can’t put me finger on what lies in store, / But I feel what’s to happen all happened before.” That song is stuck in my head this morning.

Why you may ask? Because this morning it is windy and chilly here in northern Indiana. To the point that I’m wearing jeans and a hoodie to do the morning chores! It seems a little early for the first of September to be chilly, but I guess what’s to happen all happened before.

So with the change of temperature today my goals have changed a little. I’ll be planting a fall crop of lettuce, picking tomatoes and anything in the garden. This batch of tomatoes I’m going to sun dry for a nice addition to soups. Herbs need taken in as they are looking a little wild lately. So they will go in the dehydrator to be saved for later savored flavor.

A little tip if you can’t spare a canning jar to store your dried herbs in Dollar Tree stores sell airtight jars, wait for it… FOR A DOLLAR!

Today I am also going to inventory what we have stocked up and maybe make some dry soup mixes later this week. Another tip… dry soup mixes make excellent holiday gifts!

This change in the weather has me thinking about what to make for homemade gifts… I’m thinking about quick quilts or blankets, and dry soup mixes maybe a loaf of artisan bread…. Sounds very cozy doesn’t it?

Speaking of cozy check out my pen to paper pal who makes cozy items from natural, undyed, pure sheep wool! http://www.hookinsheep.ca She’s located in Canada and would love some American customers!!!

Well off to the garden, friends! Remember when the wind changes it’s all happened before… and live a simple life.

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Oh-M-G BEES!

Earlier in the warm season the neighbors discovered a honey bee hive in the walls of their summer kitchen. Hundreds of thousands of bees had made walls of honey for probably a hundred years. I’m surprised it wasn’t oozing out of the joists.

They called a northern Indiana bee association volunteer to come and remove the bees. By the name I assumed that they would move the swarm to another hive, but they did not. They killed the bees! I was astonished as bees are on the verge of extinction and we rely heavily on them for pollination which in turn produces food for us to eat.

13 bee facts you didn’t know

  • Bees have five eyes and six legs
  • Honey bees live in hives (or colonies). The members of the hive are divided into three types: Queen, Workers, and Drones.
  • There are more than 20,000 species of bees.
  • Bees can see all colors except red. That and their sense of smell help them find the flowers they need to collect pollen.
  • The average beehive can house around 50,000 bees.
  • Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which means they have one serious sense of smell.
  • Worker bees go from one flower to another, collecting nectar. In one collection trip, a bee visits 50 to 100 flowers.
  • Carpenter bees create tunnels that usually look about one or two inches deep, but they can be up to 10 feet long.
  • The queen bee lays all of the eggs in a colony. At the height of the season, she may layover 2,500 eggs per day.
  • Honey bees are great flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second.
  • It takes 21 days for an egg to develop into an adult bee.
  • Honey bees pollinate more than 100 different crops in the U.S.
  • Over the past 15 years, colonies of bees have been disappearing, and the reason remains unknown. In some regions, up to 90% of bees have disappeared.

Amazing creatures aren’t they?

The buzz about bees for this blog topic is because we have a swarm of bees inhabiting the pig pen. Not the hundreds of thousands that the neighbors murdered, but a small gathering of bees. Whom “Honey”, ironically, likes to piss off by shaking the sunflower they are residing on.

I’m not worried about the bees per say until they bother someone. “Honey” seems to give two shakes about the buzzing things and really doesn’t mind them inhabiting the roof of his house either.

Minutes after taking this picture the swarm had tripled in size.

I called the northern Indiana bee association not knowing that was who the neighbor used as a contract killer, but quickly was informed of such.

I talked with a man named Rick who informed me of the following. At this point in the season removing a swarm of this size would do no good. The bees would not have enough time to create a hive before the impending weather change. Secondly he told me that these bees “shouldn’t” be aggressive as they have no Queen to protect. He’d sure be happy to come out and destroy them for us though… for seventy to one hundred dollars.

At this point in the conversation I am just completely baffled. You would think that this association would be geared more towards saving bees and not destroying them.

I’m dumbfounded really and truly. Maybe the decrease in the bee population has everything to do with us morons inhabiting the planet. Our pesticides we use to keep the crabgrass out of the sidewalk, the nuclear warfare can of Raid we use to deter ants and spiders all are killers of the one thing that will keep us from extinction. The bee. Not to mention if people have an unwanted swarm and they feel they are doing the right thing by calling the local bee association, but in turn end up murdering more bees that weren’t really even bothering anyone. We are all buffoons. Dumb dumbs. Cotton headed ninny muggins. Seriously.

When the swarm first showed up honestly I was excited! I consulted the great and powerful OZ we know as Pinterest to diy a bee box, how to get the bees in the box and all about making honey. All this and the powerful OZ crushed my dreams of a bee hive with the same explanation that the bee murderer gave me… rats!!!! I wanted to save the bees!!

I will however let them die a natural death rather than having them murdered. So remember when life sends you bees, save the bees, and live a simple life.