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The Last of the Summer Wine

This year as summer wound down, and fall began to creep in we had an unwelcome egg thief. Which caused me to lose my mind, and rip out the remains of the garden.

As I began ripping out the last of the tomatoes and peppers I began to find little hoards of food in the nasturtium. Piles of cherry tomatoes, beans, and corn. Our eggs were disappearing at an alarming rate, and I was grossed out by the suspect. A rat.

I didn’t want a rat eating on our food supply, and getting us sick so I destroyed it all. I set traps. I got one. I moved the ducks over to the garden side to eat up whatever was left of the garden and they did an amazing job.

It’s disturbing when these beasts move onto the farm, and I want them gone. We thought we had gotten rid of the problem, but alas there is evidence to prove us wrong. Holes under the coop, and into the run and garden. DAMN IT!

We’ve done our best to put up water at night, only feed in the morning and clean up what’s leftover, gather eggs daily, and keep everything cleaned up. This week we mowed down the butterfly garden to keep from having another place for them to hide food.

To me it’s heartbreaking that the garden got taken out early, and the butterfly garden mowed. I love my gardens and all that they provide for our family.

Currently traps are set but these bastards are smart and avoid them. We tried live traps when we thought it might be a mink, but this beast dug under the live trap and pulled the nail out of the bottom. If it weren’t for the dogs I’d set out poison and hope this bastard beast dies a miserable death, and all of his family too.

Maybe I’m overreacting but these beasts are destructive and disgusting. Any suggestions on how to eradicate these beasts would be greatly appreciated.

asimplefarmin@gmail.com

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The girls… The Lady Lumps

Whatever you call them I am an absolute advocate for breast health!

Regular monthly self exams are vital to knowing your breast. Monthly checks are a great way to identify any change in your breast tissue.

If something feels off call your Ob/Gyn. Do not hesitate and do not feel silly. It’s your life we’re talking about, and one simple phone call could save it.

What happens after you call your Ob/Gyn… you’ll be asked to come in for an exam. After they ask you a couple of questions over the phone. How long has the lump/change been there? Is it painful? Is the skin hot to the touch? Often they will also ask if there is any seeping in the area.

Next at your appointment the Ob/Gyn will perform an exam. If they also feel the change they’ll suggest an ultrasound. Mental note if you have dense breast tissue they will not find anything with an ultrasound. This is where the rabbit hole opens up to scary town.

After the ultrasound is the MRI. It’s painless and gives a more definite picture for your team of doctors. They will know quickly what they are dealing with and you will either have good news (it’s nothing) or the bad news (it may be something).

Simple enough it could be a cyst, and at the worst case it may need to be drained. Yes, it sounds horrible, but it’s not that bad. I recommend not to watch though.

If it could be something you NEED to advocate for yourself. Insurance companies do not want to pay out for anything these days, and you need to be aware of what should be the next steps. That is why I am writing this blog. I’ve been down every rabbit hole with this, and can tell you first hand you never ever want to hear the word. The “C” word. It’ll completely knock you on your a$$, and can destroy you if you let it. Knowledge is power.

After the MRI deems it possibly something a biopsy will be done. Not comfortable, and you’ll be sore for a couple of days after, but nothing ibuprofen can’t manage. Wherever your “spot” is they will extract tissue, and tag the area with a metal clip. This clip will light up on MRI and mammogram to make sure the area is focused on often for any change. The worst part of the biopsy is laying on the table with your girls out in a room of people you don’t know. Get over it. This journey is going to take you to a new level of comfort with having your boobs out.

After the biopsy it’ll go either way treatment plan or preventative plan.

I won’t talk on treatment because I am not a medical professional, but I will say this… get a second opinion before starting any form of treatment.

The preventative plan could be a rotation of exam, MRI, mammogram. Timing depends on your situation, but remember to advocate for yourself and be comfortable with the plan. Typically you start on a three month rotation and over time the monthly spreads out to a six month, yearly rotation.

Once you have had a scare DO NOT let this issue slide. Stick with the plan, continue self exams, call immediately if there are changes. If you are not getting the attention that I have mentioned from your Ob/Gyn my advice is find another doctor who will take you seriously. This is not an issue to push under the rug. Many women are in a bad situation because they didn’t get their yearly exams or mammogram, or because their doctor blew them off.

Stay the course. Take deep breaths. Make sure you have a great support system, and a great medical team. Continue to live your life!

Best wishes to anyone out there reading this blog.

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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!