Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bluebonnet baby

It's a Texas tradition!

Every little Texan gets a picture sitting in a patch of bluebonnets!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A new garden project!

Like I need another project while parenting five kids and working full time, but here it is, our medicinal herb garden!

I know it doesn't look like much right now, but that's changing this week! Doug and Kyle got some stones to define the garden and we laid down tons of wet newspapers to snuff out the grass. It all gets a big helping of soil and compost and soon I will be ready to plant.

In peat pots all over my laundry room are seedlings, LOTS of seedlings! Ever since discovering medicinal herbs three years ago, I have developed a "wish list" of plants that I want to grow. Unfortunately, that list keeps getting longer and longer!

Hopefully by mid summer that little plot on the side of our house will be filled with wonderful holistic remedies for our various ills. I can't wait to make tinctures, teas, poultice, and salves with:

Arnica, Motherwort, Evening Primrose, Mullein, All Heal, Feverfew, Boneset, Echinacea, Plantain, and Cowslip.

And if you're feeling a little under the weather and in need of healing, come have a glass of water kefir and some organic herbs with the
Crazy Herb Lady of Wharton!

(Hmmm...sounds like a great name for a new blog!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

5 months old

At this time last year, I was merely existing day to day thinking she would never survive.

But God is so good.

And now our day to day living is full of hugs, kisses, the most glorious laughter and smiles!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

They're (almost) baaaack!

Have you filled your feeders yet?

The hummingbirds are coming back to the U.S. after wintering in South America THIS MONTH! You know they'll be hungry after their long journey so fill up your feeders with a 1:4 part sugar/water mixture. No need to dye the water, I had just used up the last bit of commercially prepared "nectar" I had in the fridge.

Hummingbirds will return to the same feeders year after year and we can't wait for our hummers to get back to Texas. Their antics at the feeders are better entertainment than anything on tv these days!

To track migration patterns and to see when hummingbirds are back in your area, check out:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Water kefir

Consuming water kefir is a great way to help your gut flora thrive and bring you increased immunity through improving digestion. The fermentation process not only produces great probiotics, but also a fizzy drink similar to soda (which is a real treat to our kids because we never buy the stuff!) It's also super cheap! I can make quarts of water kefir for literally pennies!

Other benefits of water kefir:

* It's a great way to obtain beneficial bacteria, minerals and enzymes.

* It soothes the intestinal lining and helps to heal inflammation.

* Helps to detoxify and cleanse the liver.

* Gives you more energy!

* Can help with skin conditions, acne, eczema, and overall improves health of skin and hair.

* Its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, ADHD and autism.

* Can stop unhealthy food cravings, especially cravings for sugar and sweet foods.

Making water kefir is extremely easy. First, you must purchase water kefir grains online or get them from a friend like me!

Add the following ingredients to a clean quart sized canning jar...

1 quart of spring water.
Do NOT use tap water as it contains chlorine which kills the friendly bacteria.

1/3 cup organic brown sugar.
You can also used plain old white sugar but the minerals in raw sugars really help keep your grains healthy.
If you're worried about the content of sugar, don't be, the kefir eats most of it! Totally safe for even diabetics to drink!
1 tsp of molasses
optional - use if you use refined sugar because it provides healthy minerals for the grains.

Mix ingredients until all the sugar is dissolved and add the kefir grains:

Place a cap on the jar and let it sit for 24 to 48 hours so it can ferment and create the water kefir.

After 24 hours, taste test it. If its too sweet, let it go another day. It can ferment up to 5 days. Then strain out your water kefir grains using a nylon strainer - contact with metal will also kill the bacteria.

Rinse the grains well with room temperature spring water and repeat the process using the grains. If you keep your grains happy and fed, they will reproduce like crazy. You can dehydrate them, freeze them, or share with your friends!

To flavor your kefir:

After the initial 12-48 hour ferment, strain your kefir into a clean jar and flavor with fresh or unsulphered dried fruits and juices. Here is a jar that we added organic grape juice and some elderberry syrup to. Once you add your desired flavors, seal tightly and let ferment another 24 hours, that's what gives you the fizzy component like soda~

Probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and low sugar content...

and the kids think they're getting a treat!
Can't beat that!