Meet Our Furry Kids

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I can’t believe that we have never introduced our furbabies to you yet!!!  We have 4 furry kids…Molly the cat and Mike, Carlos, and Bella, our pups!  They sure do keep this old couple on their toes!

 

Meet Molly –

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We adopted Molly from the local animal shelter, she was a year and a half old when we got her.  She had been an “owner turn in” – why anyone wouldn’t want her is beyond me!  She is an awesome cat and a great huntress!  She will hunt down every moth and fly in the house!  She really is a great cat with a really good personality!  Molly is 3 years old now and loves her furry dog siblings!

 

 

 

 

When Chica and Roscoe (our pups Mom and Dad, like for real mom and dad) first decided it was time for puppies (yeah, not really a conscience decision!), David and I were so excited!!!  Great grandpuppies!  On a very hot day in August of 2016 Chica had her first 6 babies!  Of course I went to their house right after work to check out the precious pups and I knew immediately which one I wanted!

 

We chose the little black and white puppy with the snowman on his back (Mike got older the “snowman” turned into more of an exclamation point…now it’s just a black blob).

Molly was very receptive to Mike (Mike and Molly, get it?) and they were the only pets  for almost a year before the 2 younger pups came – the two of them really bonded !!!!

 

We always said that when we had a dog we wanted one just like Roscoe (my daughter’s dog and Mike’s Dad) – because he is the bomb dog! We got just what we ordered !!! Mike is so much like Roscoe it’s scary!

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Roscoe and Mike about the same age

 

Meet Mike –  (aka – Mike the Farm Dog)

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Not only does Mike look like his dad, every single thing is the same (except their coloring).  Mike is horribly spoiled (if you saw the amount of photos on my phone and the toys in our living room, you would seriously agree!), and Mike doesn’t know that he is a D-O-G, so if you know him, please don’t tell him 😉   Mike has slept in the bed with us since the very first night he came home, right as Hurricane Matthew was hitting our town and devastated our entire county in October of 2016.

He is seriously the perfect dog!  The only way he could be closer to being a human is if he really were a human!  He is our baby.  The one and only…until Chica got pregnant…again!

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Meet Carlos and Bella –

Ok…so it took a TON a fast talking to convince David to get another puppy!  I even let him pick the puppy himself!  Carlos was his choice…we knew we wanted a male (this is a good point to remember for a little later on in the story), we didn’t want to have to go through a little girl puppy and heat and spaying and all that jazz.  Then, out of the blue, David has this light bulb moment and says we should get TWO puppies so they will keep each other company!  We discussed and mulled it over for, oh, about 30 minutes and decided it was a GREAT idea!!!!  So…I chose Bella…the one that would eventually go into heat if we didn’t spay her!  Geez…what were we thinking?

These two are inseparable!!!!  They love each other more than any two dogs I have every known!  They are two peas in a pod.  Womb mates. Litter mates.  Crate mates.

Carlos is such a wimp…MY little wimp…I love him like I never thought I could love another dog (Mike is the perfect one, remember?).  And he loves his Mom just as much!  This little guy is afraid of EVERYTHING.  No, seriously, he is!  But, he loves to be outside and would stay out there permanently if you let him.

Bella is a FEARLESS little girl.  I have NEVER seen anything like it!  She isn’t afraid of anything!  I do believe that she got her courage and ALL of the courage that was supposed to go to Carlos in the womb!  She is not overly affectionate unless she wants to be.  She make her own decisions and doesn’t care what anyone else says.  She has no clue what the word “no” means and isn’t willing to learn.  BUT….she is the most beautiful (junior) dog – not really a puppy and not really a dog yet – that you will ever see!  And she loves her Carlos.  And he loves her.  And they both love their big brother Mike.  I love our little Bella Boo (aka Belly Belle), she makes life so interesting!

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These 4 furry ones are our lives.  Our furry kids.  Like, for real. They are all so spoiled and so loved.  We are the blessed ones that were chosen to be their humans.  Thank you Lord, you did good 😉

Until next time…

 

~ Blessings

Heather

 

 

 

 

We are on YouTube!

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Yeah….don’t get excited yet!!  We have uploaded ONE video as a test run…still lots of work to do…and here is a running list of things that need to be researched:

  1.  Find out how to create a CUTE banner for our channel
  2.  Get some ideas for video content
  3.  Get some courage somewhere to actually do a video with my {Heather} face in it!
  4.  Beg people to subscribe so I can have a custom URL !!!

Go check it out here (there’s only ONE test video there right now!

I’m sure I’ll be adding more to the list…if you can help with any of these, let me know!

Until the next time…

 

Blessings ~

Heather

Let’s Make Elderberry Syrup!

 

 

We have a regiment wellness routine – especially in the winter!  We use our arsenal of essential oils to maintain our immune system naturally and this year we have been learning all kinds of other home remedies that we hear are foolproof!!!!

Elderberry Syrup is one of them! According to Edible Wild Food,  Elderberries are “sometimes propagated as an ornamental shrub, the elderberry bush is a member of the honeysuckle family. It attracts birds and butterflies and can be pruned back every few years to keep it looking good in a landscaped garden. This deciduous shrub produces a fruit that, in recent years has become very popular. The white flowers transform into dark purple fruit late summer. Although the flowers and berries are edible all other parts of this bush are poisonous containing toxic calcium oxalate crystals. Sambucus canadensis is a very close cousin of Sambucus nigra (European Elderberry).”

WebMD says:

“Elderberry is used for “the flu” (influenza), H1N1 “swine” flu, HIV/AIDS, and boosting the immune system. It is also used for sinus pain, back and leg pain (sciatica), nerve pain (neuralgia), and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) .

Some people use elderberry for hay fever (allergic rhinitis), cancer, as a laxative for constipation, to increase urine flow, and to cause sweating.”

As mentioned above, this syrup can be used to help ward off the flu and colds and also is great on ice cream, pancakes or anything that needs great tasting syrup added!

The recipe is really easy peasy…dried elderberries, a couple of herbs, and honey – preferably local honey – make a yummy syrup to boost your immunity, ease allergies, can help to lower blood sugar levels, and has been looked at for its cancer fighting abilities.

Here is what you will need…

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Here’s what you do…

Put the water, elderberries, cinnamon, ginger root, and clove in a 3 quart saucepan – don’t add that honey just yet though!!!!

Let all of this come to a boil and let it simmer for at least 30-45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about half of the starting amount.

 

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Remove it from the heat and when it’s cool enough to work with, pour the liquid through a strainer into a glass bowl or directly into a quart size Ball Canning Jar. Then squeeze the berries that are still in the strainer to get out all the remaining juice– I use a spoon to squeeze them in the strainer but you can use cheesecloth instead if you want.

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Toss the elderberries and let the liquid cool off to a little warmer than room temperature and add the cup of honey and stir well until the honey is melted. Pour into a jar if you used a bowl to mix it.

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You are done! Wasn’t that easy?  And fun!  Elderberry syrup needs to live in your fridge, and you can take some each day!  The normal adult does is ½ – 1 Tbsp for adults and       ½ -1 tsp for kids – use your judgement according to age.

 

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If you do get the flu – take the normal dose every few hours until you start feeling better, but let’s pray that you don’t!

Love and Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

Journey into Wellness

A few things I have learned on our wellness journey…

 

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Clean eating is the ONLY way to eat! Processed foods were slowly killing us! We are on the beginning of a path to healthier eating – extremely limiting gluten with intentions to eliminate it all together, cutting out processed sugar, limiting dairy products, eating more fresh vegetables and no processed meats (like lunchmeat), and adding good fats like grass fed butter, salmon, coconut oil, and I am also going to be making some “bone broth” to add to our healthy gut diet. What you feed your body has a direct correlation to your emotional health!!! Your gut health and your brain health are connected!  An unhealthy gut may be a factor contributing to depression, ADHD, Anxiety, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and more!  Gut health and a healthy immune system should be our tops goals!

 

 

suppsAlways keep your body systems at their peak, especially your Immune System! Having an immune system that STAYS above the wellness line makes for a much healthier winter!  We have a daily wellness routine of all natural supplements and essential oils that hasn’t failed us in 4 years!

 

 

toxic chemicals

photo source: Natural Resource Defense Council

All the toxins!!! I never realized how many poisons we were putting in and on our bodies daily!  Shampoo, laundry detergent, make-up, skin care products, cleaning products and so much more are full of chemicals that are cancer causing!  We now use all natural products in place of all of these!

 

 

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Kombucha is a natural probiotic! There are so many health benefits you get from drinking fermented tea – a healthier gut is so important, so that is the main reason I have started brewing my own Kombucha!  I’ll be adding my recipe here soon!

 

 

There is so much more that I could add to this list but this is a great start!  I’m so thankful for the journey we are on – we are not spring chickens anymore and I am positive that these 5 things will allow us to hang out on this earth a little longer than we would have had we stayed on the unhealthy path we were following – God willing!

Love and Blessings ~

Heather

Natural Wellness!!

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Because I want everyone to maintain their wellness naturally….

End of the year special…TODAY Only! 🙌🏻

This beauty is the Premium Starter Kit.

It’s my go to for everything, my main squeeze, my handy tool belt, my secret weapon, my wellness cabinet.

It comes with all of the oils pictured plus…
-A diffuser (you pick)
-A roller fitment
-Samples & supplements
-Little glass bottles
-Learning literature
-An entire community of oily friends to help and guide you on your journey
-An opportunity to start your own business if you ever choose to (and ZERO obligation to do so, if that ain’t your jam)

***And right now it comes with $25 back from me***

Ends at 11:59pm tonight! (12/31)
https://yldist.com/heatherstutchman/

🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

Love & Blessings ~

Heather

Is that egg fresh?

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If you have ever cracked a rotten egg unexpectedly, you know how important it is to have an idea if the egg you are about to crack is good or not!  YUCK!!!!!  That happened to me one morning and let’s just say, I didn’t eat breakfast that day!

Here are a few tips from Countryside Daily that will help save you from experiencing a rotten egg…

Float Test

I used the float test. While the float test is not 100 percent accurate, it has proven accurate enough for me. I use a 1-gallon bucket to do my float test. I fill the bucket 3/4 of the way full with water then add the egg(s) in question. Fresh eggs will lie on their sides on the bottom of the bucket. When an egg is a few days old, it will have one end that tips upward at a slant; if the egg is stale, it will stand on its end; and if the egg is rotten, it will float to the top. Any egg that floats in any way, shape, or form, I call it rotten. The way this works is that the air space at the large end of the egg enlarges as the egg ages and that airspace causes it to float.

Bowl Test

The bowl test is considered to be the simplest way to perform an egg freshness test. Usually, a bad egg can be determined without completely breaking the shell. It’s harder to crack because the membrane has become tough. It will smell bad even from the outside and just as you barely crack it, stinky thick rottenness will ooze out. Some eggs are harder to determine by examining them and you just have to use the bowl test. You’re bound to get surprised from time to time. An egg that looks dirty and old will turn out to be fresh and one that looks fresh will turn out to be old. If the egg I crack open doesn’t have a funny smell, has good color, and the egg white is clear, I go ahead and use it.

But always use the mantra, “If in doubt, throw it out.” If you’re checking more than one egg at a time, be sure to rinse the bowl really well if a rotten one is found. One time my grandmother was cracking eggs and an undeveloped chick plopped out into the skillet. It was gross and smelled horrible. She said, “Well, that’s why I should be using a bowl.”

Candle Test

According to the old-timers, candling chicken eggs is the most reliable way to perform an egg freshness test. They tested the egg with a candle, that’s how the test got its name. The same effect is achieved by shining a powerful light through the egg while in a dark room. You can buy a candling station, but a good flashlight or even a candle will work in a dark room. Remember that the darker the egg shell, the harder it is to see. There is no way to tell if an egg is fertile or not without candling it. If the egg is fertile, you will see a spider like formation which is really just blood vessels forming. Personally, I don’t candle to determine fertility, I leave that up to nature. To perform the candle test, shine the light source next to the large end of the egg and you will see the inside of the shell illuminated. If the contents do not fill the shell, the egg is not exactly fresh. The larger the air pocket, the older the egg. In a fresh egg, the yolk doesn’t move about freely because the air space is small. In an older egg, the yolk will move around more freely.

 

Needless to say…I ALWAYS use the bowl test when I am cooking eggs!!!  I’ve only had that one rotten egg, but believe me, that’s enough !!!!

Smiles and Blessings ~

Heather

 

 

Newsletter!!!!

Wow!!!  We have been soooo busy around the homestead the last few months…preparing for colder weather, the holidays, and super busy with local holiday bazaars!

One thing that I am super excited about is our new oily newsletter!  If you want to know about #AllThingsOily then you will want to get this newsletter delivered to your email!

Head on over to our business website and check out the newsletter and  Essential Oil 101 email class sign up links here.  Stay awhile and you will get your learn on about EOs (essential oils).

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I really am going to try to be more present here on the blog in 2018…y’all pray with me!

See you soon ~

Heather

What’s for Dinner?

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Since my husband started a new job and is working some evenings, I am on my own for dinner!  What you don’t know (if you don’t know me in “real life”) is that I don’t cook anything but breakfast foods…I will cook eggs, etc. for dinner, but all I cook is “breakfast”.  Ever.  Period.

So I found myself alone the first evening shift and had to come up with something to eat! I remembered seeing a yummy looking recipe on Facebook…something with smoked sausage and cabbage.  I finally found something similar online, but I knew I wasn’t gonna be firing up the grill – the recipe I found was foil packets on the grill!  So, I thought to myself…I am 56 years old, I can do this !

And I did !!!  Let me tell ya, this is the best darn stuff !  This is how it went down…

First I cut up the Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage in cute little sideways cut pieces and just browned them a little to give them that “grilled” look and to get some juicy flavor in the skillet.  When it was well heated, I took it out and put it in a bowl for later.

Then I put a little oil in my Rachel Ray Oval Dutch Oven from QVC, cut up a few potatoes (I don’t measure anything y’all…I’m sorry!) and one good sized onion and tossed the potatoes in the pan and pan fried (I’m guessing that’s a good term to use) them until they were about 1/2 way done.  I tossed the onions in and stirred it all up and let it cook until the onions were no longer white and crunchy.

Next, I put a head of cabbage (I cut it up in good sized chunks while the potatoes were cooking) in the pan with the potatoes and onions and added about a cup of water to the hot skillet, covered it and let the cabbage cook until tender (or however you prefer it).

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Finally, the sausage got tossed back in on top of everything and stirred up well, then I let it simmer for a few more minutes, covered.

 

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Voilà!  It’s done!  Boy, was it good !

Easter Eggs!

 

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Finally !!! One of our Ameraucana pullets is a big girl now !! A hen!

We found our very first “easter egger” bluish-green egg yesterday !  Our six EE girls were born last February – we got them in mid-April – and we have been waiting for this day since then!!  I was soooo surprised when I went to collect our 5 eggs yesterday (our 5 laying hens are usually on it daily…sometimes we only get 4 though if one is taking a rest day!)  and there were 6 eggs – a smaller bluish green egg along with the normal 3 white, 1 brown, and 1 light brown collection.

Pullets (“baby” hens) typically start laying eggs around 6 months old, but that depends on the breed.  Larger breed like Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks and Orpingtons will start laying a little later, but smaller breeds such as the Leghorns, Stars, and Australorps will start laying sooner.

We got all of our laying hens when they were already laying, so this is a learning experience for us!!!  We are excited that our other 5 Ameraucana (Easter Eggers) will start laying soon, and we also have a Barred Rock and a Blue Andalusian that are the same age, so they will be getting ready to put their eggs into the mix too!

Here is one of our Easter Eggers…maybe this “big” girl is the layer of our first blue/green egg yesterday!

 

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GERD – do you have it?

GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is no joke!!! Even so, I do LOVE my coffee in the mornings but I have got to cut it out !!! (I need to find something new to put in the {{awesome}} mug my oily friend Elizabeth at Living the Nourished Life gave me!!)

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Some of you may know that I had gastric bypass surgery (RNY) in 2004, and after this surgery it is highly recommended that caffeine (and a myriad of other things that can cause damage to the stomach lining) be avoided – so, my daily coffee has really affected my stomach negatively.  This is one of the things that I have had a hard time giving up – although I did cut out coffee and caffeine of all types about 3 years ago after a short stint in the caffeine world, but somehow this little culprit snuck back in within the last year !

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My GERD has gotten worse since my coffee binge, and it will have to go !!!  Having a “pouch” instead of a stomach with working acid pumps (I can just envision little pumps in my stomach!), make any irritating drink or food “off limits” for gastric bypass patients!  Check out this article on what foods and drinks to avoid if you have heartburn here.

After my gastric bypass surgery I was prescribed Prilosec for occasional GERD flare ups, and for many years I didn’t take it at all…I didn’t need to!  Since the coffee, I have had flare ups and have taken it occasionally, then daily fo

r awhile – but these 2 articles changed my thinking drastically!  The first one is from Science Daily and the second one from a Canadian Health website.

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Photo from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170705113546.htm

What a scary thought that a prescribed medication may actually do more harm than good!!!  But this is NOT unusual!  Another reason we started using essential oils for a healthier alternative!

The icing on the proverbial cake is that caffeine also decreases bone density!  I also have Osteopenia (pre-Osteoporosis) and caffeine is a HUGE no-no!  Read more about osteoporosis and  coffee in this article at WebMD.

 

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So, my diet and coffee intake MUST change y’all !!!   I have also started using my DiGize Essential Oil in a roll-on form over my abdomen, and it has helped soooo much (what took me so long to do this????  Hubby uses it daily!  Hello?)

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My next project is to get some help from my friend and followers to make a list of yummy (and healthy) smoothies to replace my coffee in the morning! Does anyone have any suggestions for me ???  Leave them in the comments!