Thursday, January 29, 2009

what a night

yesterday, jaden woke up complaining of a bellyache. she had had the same complaint the night before too. she barely ate all day and keep falling asleep sitting in chairs. she never naps during the day, even when she's sick. the the fever hit. and she cried. when i asked her where it hurt, she rubbed the right side of her tummy. i called greg who was at work with the truck and carseats and he hightailed it home.

after calling her doctor, who agreed it needed checking out (but was too far away for us to get to as it was closing time for her) we headed to the hospital with jaden and sage, leaving the older two at home to finish dinner and watch lavender. we arrived at 5:30.

at 7:30 we finally got seen and was told by a nurse that he'd have some cultures run to test for a virus. wtf? i said to him, so you don't think it might be appendicitis? he mumbled something about the pediatrician on staff would be in soon and fled. he never came back in again and another nurse took over (it wasn't a shift change, he just stopped seeing us, he was still wandering the halls after that.) the new nurse took us more seriously and asked a series of questions. the doctor got to us around 830pm. funny how we kept being asked the same questions over and over again...diarrhea? no. vomiting? no. sore throat? no. runny nose? no. on and on. didn't anyone actually write this info down?! it was insane. so the doctor said definitely something, either a uti or appendicitis. finally!

sage was going nuts at this point. mind you, we've had no dinner and he's not napped all day. we were told we wouldn't be leaving until at least 11pm as she wanted to do urine and blood work and a ct scan. so, i took sage home to get to bed and get some dinner and left greg with jaden, very reluctantly.

i forgot to mention that during the initial part of this, my daughter called to inform lavender had died. so, i had a dead goat in my kitchen and a sick kid in the hospital. oh, the joy.

i went home, got sage into his jammies, nursed him to sleep, ate a couple of hard boiled eggs and a bagel and then flew off to the store to get ice cream. greg had called while i was getting sage to sleep, jaden begging me for ice cream. the store, who's sign says open daily 7 a to 11p was closed. CLOSED. at 10:20pm. agh! so, i had to drive a few towns over to walgreen's, the next closest place. then, back to the hospital. about 5 minutes after i walked in, they came to take her to do the ct scan. that was at 10:40. then more waiting for the results.

everything came back negative except the urine. hooray! it was a uti! she gave us a prescription for a really nasty antibiotic and wanted her to take a dose last night. greg wanted her to have it even though i was against it. we went back to that walgreens to fill it and while we waited, i read off the list of horrorific side effects (including death). that was enough to get him to agree to wait and call the doctor today and discuss the necessity of this crap. so, the cranberry juice (no sugar added kind) is on the counter and waiting for her to wake up. not to mention a whole slew of herbs for teas and in tincture form to take.

we got home around 1230 last night. it really is sad the way our health care system is set up, all aspects of it. it is ridiculous to force tired and hungry kids to go hours without any relief like that. there has got to be a better way.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


at last!


'where my 'poon go mama?' - sage wanting his spoon back to drink his tea with. i love 2 year old talk.

in wintery news, WE GOT SNOW!!!! i don't really care for cold weather but i feel that if i've got to deal with it, there ought to be pretty and fun snow around. this is our first snowfall of the winter. pretty pathetic, isn't it?!

lavender is still with us. no changes. seemingly paralyzed. definitely not milk fever...i did an intense treatment over a 24 hour period with no improvements at all. i'm back to the penicillin and b-complex regimine plus i've strated treating for deerworms as a precaution. unfortunately, if it is deerworms, even if she recovers chances are she'll be too weak to walk ever again.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Available Now!

Looking for an herbal course to teach your children about herbs?

Want something fun and engaging that will teach them medicinal properties as well as how to make simple herbal remedies?

Need something that is fresh and updated on a monthly basis to keep them interested?

Well, look no further!

Introducing Herbal Roots, a monthly activity packet for kids!

Each issue is filled with stories, facts, recipes, crafts, mazes, word searches and much more. A calendar of daily activities is included to give ideas for herbal learning all month long. Includes chances to win free copies of the next month's issue and other great giveaways!

This month's issue is all about marshmallow. Go back in time to the Ancient Egyptians, learn to make real marshmallows, syrup, throat lozenges and much more!

And, as a premiere issue bonus, I'm going to give the person who refers the most sales a FREE copy of next month's issue! When referring customers, tell them to put your name and your blog name (if you have one) in the comments section when ordering...(be sure to list yourself as a referral when you purchase your own copy!). So, be sure and post an announcement in your blog, on facebook, myspace, twitter and in any forum you belong to! Get the word out that Herbal Roots is here!

Available NOW! through my etsy shop.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


lavender is still in a holding pattern. i asked the great folks at goatER (a yahoo group) what their thoughts were on the situation and they think that she may have hypocalcemia. so, i'm trying to locally locate the proper supplements to give to her. i swear this area is really awful when it comes to trying to find anything useful when treating goats! and, what's even worse, the stuff i'm searching for is for treating cattle! you'd think with there being so many cows around, both dairy and beef, that there'd be something available. not so.

i think given the situation, she is enjoying being inside. she gets bits of apple and pear along with her food. she's really quite handy to have in the kitchen because as i core an apple or pear, i just feed it to her. she's not eating the hay so much but she's eating grain when i offer it.

for the first time, i have a ray of hope that she is going to kick this and pull through. IF i can find the supplements! i may have to order it through jeffers which i hate to do because it will take a week to get here. :(

ETA: i found a formula made for horses at rural king that had all the minerals in the others so i got it and gave her a dose around 330pm. we had her sitting up, she stayed that way for about an hour and then got tired so we adjusted her so she could rest her head. i also stopped the pen and b complex. by 830, her head was back into the dreaded against her body position. so, i started up the pen and complex again and started heavily drenching her with electrolytes. i'm not sure if it's dehydration or the listeriosis but i'm not taking any chances. so, basically, we missed 1 dose of the pen. i'm not sure what's going to happen now.

one more day...

until the launch of Herbal Roots! here's another peak inside:


mmp, i'm sorry, i completely forgot to answer your question about the soil block maker.

i really liked it and will be using it again, as a matter of fact, a friend of mine is thinking of purchasing the tiny inserts maker and the larger block maker and then we can share what we have to make different sizes.

they held up really well and i mostly poured water into the trays so they could absorb it. i think some people put them in a container with holes so it can drain and set that in a tray w/o holes but i really didn't have any problems with it retaining too much, possibly because they were in the green house and the water evaporated quickly. i did water the tops occasionally and there's a comment on that post from someone at that said:

Actually bottom watering and top watering are effective. I prefer to use Fogg-it Misters and increase the gpm as the seedlings get older. The top watering strengthens the stems of the plants and they love mist and fog.
Bottom watering is for the busy gardener. Fill the pan up with about an inch of water once a day, or depending on the weather. They are actually blocks, not cells. If you want to make a homemade soil cell maker check out

that website has a lot of great information on it. i highly recommend them, i truly think they are worth the initial cost!

Code of Ethics

in my master naturalist classes, we had to write our own code of ethics. although it's supposed to be geared towards m.n., i feel like it's my own personal life code of ethics...

Mother Earth will be my classroom.

The sky will be my ceiling

The ground will be my floor

The trees will be my walls

The sun and moon will be my luminance

The plants will be my carpet

I shall use her infinite beauty to bring children to life:

To wake them up with the delicate patterns of butterflies, leaves, flower petals and snake skins;

To nurture them with textures of rock, tree bark, soil, clouds, animal fur and bird feather;

To heal them with ripples of water, dances of barn swallows, lighting of fireflies, gazing of stars and buzzing of bees;

To instill in them a wonder of nature, a pride in preserving, a joy in reclaiming, a respect for all living creatures big and small;

I will teach through story telling, nature walks, peaceful activities and gentle observance:

How to heal

How to reclaim

How to give back

How to respect

That which we have damaged, destroyed, taken from, been intolerant of and turned a blind eye to.

And to open the eyes of the youth of today, tomorrow and yesterday to all the glory that surrounds us that we must protect for the greater good of all.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Two More Days...

until the launch of Herbal Roots! i'm very excited! Here's a sneak peak of what's inside:


we have a severly ill goat right now. i'm amazed that she's still holding on and i'm not very optimistic that she'll pull through but i'm rooting for her.

it started out a few weeks ago, i noticed she was limping on her hind leg. i thought maybe our big wether had butted her and possibly hurt her. she is pregnant, due in a month or so (i have the date written down but i don't remember it) and i wondered if the weight of the baby was aggravating it.

she kept limping so i thought, well maybe her hooves need trimming, although it hadn't been more than 2 months, they do grow very quickly. so, i trimmed them. they didn't look bad at all.

then, on tuesday, she started falling down. uh oh. i thought selenium deficiency since we haven't offered as many loose minerals lately and sometimes pregnant does are susceptable to it, so i started giving her supplemental vit e/selenium combo.

two days later, her head starting bending to the side, into her belly. crap. listerosis (encephalitis). not good at all. luckily, i had purchased some penicillin a couple months back so we had some that's not expired. so, for the past 30 hours, i've been shooting her up every 6 hours with penicillin and vitamin b-complex. her head is no longer bent back but she is on her side and has been for about 24 hours. she thrashes her legs all around trying to move. she will eat grain if offered and rumen starter if offered and i've been giving her water with a drencher which she gladly drinks.

she bleats loudly. yesterday, i noticed she was blinded (another symptom of encephalitis) but today, she seems to be able to see again so that's encouraging but nothing else seems to be changing.

because it is so cold outside (and in the barn) and she keeps throwing the blanket off, we are bringing her inside to keep warm. it will definitely be nicer to not have to trek out there at midnight in 10 degree weather to give her shots to her! i'm supposed to keep up the dosage until all symptoms are gone for 24 hours. i have no idea how long it will take to pull her through, if indeed i've caught it in time.

it breaks my heart when one of my animals are like this. every time i go through something like this, i swear i am going to give them all up because i cannot bear the hardship of losing them. the past 10 months have been a nightmare with the goats. i have lost so many that i feel like i'm not worthy of owning such lovely creatures. will i ever be able to outsmart the diseases and beat them before they beat all the goats?!

it's times like this that i feel like a failure on the homestead.

Friday, January 23, 2009

who wants some love?!

meme from karl who got it from Naturally simple who got it from Tabitha who got it from...

The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me. I will try to make these be about or tailored to those five lucky people. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:
- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!
- What I create will be just for you.
- It’ll be done this year
- You have no clue what it’s going to be.

The catch? Oh, the catch is that you have to put this in your journal as well, if you expect me to do something for you! And please link to your blog so that I can visit and read in case we are new friends.

ETA: the winners are:

Thursday, January 22, 2009

i love it so much, i didn't want to list it!

my newest wallet on etsy!

for becky

this first photo shows a close-up of the page marker and of what the pages look like inside the book.

this shows the stitching on the spine. your book would be stiffer since i'll line it with a heavy card board (think thick poster board).

this is more what i have in mind to make it more durable.

before i forget

i post every thursday at women not dabbling in normal. this week, i wrote about making herbal cough drops. if you haven't been there before, check it out! every day of the week feature a different writer and every week features a different theme. there's a lot of great information over there!

life here has been busy. seems like the only time i see the computer anymore is to do work. i hope all the time i've been spending getting my etsy shop going turns out to be worthwhile!

last night, sage and jaden were dancing in the living room and it got a little rowdy. jaden pushed sage and he fell and hit his eye brown on the edge of the tv cabinet. it was rather dark and he came running in to me and crying and i picked him up and he started nursing...after awhile, he got down and my oldest daughter exclaimed 'look at his face.' at first i didn't see it and said it was just his hair covering his eye. then, i noticed lots of blood. he had gashed open his eyebrow, a gash about 1/2" long. it had already stopped bleeding and he refused to let me clean it off. greg got home a bit later and coaxed him into his lap so he could clean it off. i offered a butterfly suture and that was that. this morning, it's swollen and i'm sure that's gonna leave a mark but he's acting as though nothing happened. kids! they are so amazingly resilient, aren't they?!

Friday, January 16, 2009

life on the farm

i was digging through my old pictures trying to find a picture of an herb when i came across this old picture of's about a year or so old. this captures her perfectly...the sparkle in her eyes, the smile on her face. she is (usually) such a beautifully sweet little girl so full of love and joy. since sage has been around, i feel like i've lost her. i am so caught up in trying to keep him safe (and the house from being destroyed) that i never seem to have a moment to cherish her like i did the first two years of her life. it breaks my heart to feel this way and i'm working hard to try to get some of those moments with her again.

it has been cold here with no snow. :( we haven't had one single snow this year other than 1 dusting that was gone before it even touched the ground. if it's going to be this cold, it should at least be pretty. we've been sleeping downstairs because the upstairs is in the low 40's at night. brrr! but, downstairs, it's in the 60's right now. we have a futon and 2 papasans that we scatter between the living room and playroom and camp out on. very cozy! the wood stove is in it's 2nd winter here and is heating better and better. next year should be even better as it takes a few years to break them in.

the does are looking pregnant, some of the sheep are (some it's hard to tell through all their wool). i'm hoping the sheep are pregnant, i've never actually seen woody acting anything more than a little brother to them. i'm looking forward to some mutton this year! it's been a few years since i've had it, we just can't justify the cost but now that we raise our own, yum!

i'm about fed up with our great pyrs. they keep attacking our turkeys, we've caught them playing football with a few chickens and they even harass the sheep and goats. the goat retaliate and butt them but it doesn't seem to phase them. i'm about ready to give them the boot. i'd rather have a donkey that we could ride or an alpaca that i could use the fiber from to protect the sheep anyway.

i'm very excited about the monthly herbal packet that i have been working on. i had to completely re-write february's packet (the herb i had chosen wouldn't work for some geographical locations and i'd prefer not to alienate people so i am using that for march). i'm still in the process of writing the issue but it's coming along, sage allowing. i'll post some teasers pictures once i get some uploaded into the computer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

latest listings...

my newest tins, available on etsy: believe, heart of gold and i like your nerve!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


what the cover of the first issue of herbal roots WON'T look like!the results of my informal survey were highly divided, which was surprising to me...i thought about doing two versions but i am doing so much hand work on it that i can't imagine doing it twice at this point. having fairies or gnomes, etc. would also require me to create an entirely different version of the stories, poems, activities, etc. so, for now, the only 'magical' creatures in it will be woodland animals and plants. once the ball gets rolling, if there is enough interest, i may try to expand and create two versions.

if all goes well (read, i figure out how to work the scanning and pdfing process), i hope to launch the first issue sometime the last week of january.

Friday, January 9, 2009

nina's creations

nina chose to make gifts for everyone for the holidays...i kept forgetting to post some of them. here is what i have photographed:a handbound leather journal...i didn't photograph it well, did i? inside is lined with green felt and has pockets for pens/pencils. there are about 200 pages sewn into the cover as well.

this was a felt coin purse she made for her step-sister who loves all things skeleton and panda. she did all the stitching.
backside, complete with bone skull button. the inside has a red felt divider to separate it into 2 parts.

sock owl for sage

thanks everyone for your comments on the herbal activity ebooks! keep them coming please. right now, it seems people are divided for magical/non-magical. the one i've been working on now has a fairy in it but i think it can be easily adapted to be w/o. i'll just have to create an alternative cover, story and color page.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


i've been contemplating making an online monthly online herbal activity book for kids. it would be very family friendly and have several activities, including recipes, crafts, coloring pages, monthly journal, stories, songs, poems and herbal lore.

i'm wondering though if it should be all inclusive to herbs or if a smathering of all things fairies, gnomes and other magical wonders thrown in would be a welcome addition?

basically, it would be an online pdf that people could print and put in a binder to do each month and possibly have further activities, recommended stories, books, maybe some online links.

i prefer to keep it in pdf format to keep costs down but i am pondering offering a hardcopy too. the nice thing about pdf's is that if someone has several kids, they have the option of printing a copy for each kid to enjoy.

ETA: pdf's would cost around $6, hardcopies most likely around $10 including shipping.

so, i need some feedback. what say you, my viewing audience...if you were to want a monthly activity book (pretend you do!) would you:

want it to be herbally inclusive or include other magical creatures as well?

want it in pdf form or in hardcopy form?

what a way to spend the day...

hooping and dancing and singing with the kids. exhausting but a blast! (except for poor sage who kept running into the spinning hoop....not a good combination considering it's right at face level for him).i've been spending most of our days trying to get back into a routine of life around here that includes housecleaning, laundry, homeschooling, crafting and play. there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day for everything we want to do!
jaden has been playing with clay and drawing pictures of fairies, unicorns and other fantastical things. sage lays on the floor and intently plays with his cars. he loves car and tractors. nina was into needle felting until she lost 1 needle and broke the other one. i need to get some ordered asap for her. caleb has been into legos and writing all things eragon into his handmade leather journal that nina and i made him for solstice.
it's been a chilly winter with very little snow but the wood stove has been keeping us quite toasty. sure beats the $600 monthly gas bills of past!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


i was at a friend's house today and she made these vegan, gluton free cookies. omg they rocked!

i could have eaten the entire plate. fortunately, i also had a lap full of embroidery floss that was a mass of tangles that i was trying to get undone so i had plenty to occupy my hands (and i didn't want to get the floss greasy!).

we cheated and used trader joe's chocolate chips but still. serious yum.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

i'm in love

check out this etsy seller's stuff. it is amazing. i wish i had 2k to blow on frivolous items because this would be the first:
along with a few of these thrown in for good measure:
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