Thursday, September 22, 2016

Traditions by Any Other Name

It's just a way, a way of living.
We move about tending animals, foliage, and soil alike
while the seasons change around us.
It's what so many generations before us did in some fashion or other.
Putting-by in order to keep ourselves and our families
 through the cold months of winter ahead.
For centuries, this was just referred to as living.
In recent years however, there seems to be an infatuation with names.
Like members of an elite club, members proclaim that they are preppers, homesteaders, locavores, etc.
There are of course good qualities to each and all of these; however,
if we look a little deeper, there is a word that encompasses all of them.
That word is tradition.
It's not a name, just a word.
Traditionally, people worked from their homes, providing for themselves and making do with what was available to them either by their own doing or by procuring necessities through trading/bartering with neighbors for goods and services.  Doesn't that sound familiar?
Those of us who partake in such ventures today are considered by some to be anomalies, rebels, or outcasts.
But those of us who are doing the partaking know better.
We know with a knowledge greater than that portrayed by the consumer society that what we are doing is right.
How do we know?
We are following Mother Nature's example and in return, 
she usually helps us out.
When we plant the seeds, she waters.
When she provides the sun and warmth, we provide the water.
When she forgets to take care of the animals, we step up.
When we aren't there during the birthing of a lamb, calf, or kid, she usually handles it just fine.
It's a partnership, working together in tandem and taking turns.
In return for working with her, we are rewarded.
We are rewarded not only with clean nutritious foods and physical well being, but with that knowledge as well.
As the summer heat begins to ebb, the heat in our kitchens and around our homes is turned up.
The sound of the pressure cooker hisses, the knife claps against the wooden cutting board, canning jars and lids clank and chime, and the dehydrator hums along all joining in chorus to create a commotional hymn.
Meanwhile, out back, baskets and bowls are being filled.
There are now fewer animals to feed during the cold up-coming months.
And there is a woody scent and a slight haze trailing from the smoker or smokehouse if you are so fortunate.
We are those who know how many quarts and pints of veggies, how many pounds of meat, and how much feed for the stock we need to last us through the year.
We plan, work, prepare, and preserve accordingly.
We carry on, keeping alive and honoring the ways of so many 
who have gone before us.
And it's with gratitude and great reverence that we pass these skills and this knowledge on to the next generation.
It's not for any kind of monetary pay or prideful glory.
It's because, it's just the right thing to do.
This is tradition and indeed,
this is living.  


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Why Harvest Mullein?

Have you harvested your mullein yet?
I can hear you through your computer~
Harvested my mullein? Huh? What?
You didn't misread that.
I usually keep a few leaves of dehydrated mullein on the shelf.
Some time back, I ran across it and figured since I haven't even had a cold in over three years, it was safe to get rid of it.
It grows plentifully around these parts and is also affectionately referred to as fisherman's toilet paper due to it's soft "furry" leaves.

Shortly after Mr. LB returned from Alaska,
he came down with what I call the post-flying crud.
It's that cold you get from breathing recirculated germs on the plane.
And of course, I had pitched the mullein.
I did make him some tea from the fresh leaves,
but the dried leaves seem to work better.
Mullein (according to my research - see disclosure) is a natural expectorant.
Mullein tea consumed 2-3 times per day helps break up
the phlegm and mucus that clog the system when fighting a cold.
It is important to strain it through a coffee filter or cotton cloth
to remove the 'hairs' since they can cause further irritation to the throat if consumed.
I am now dehydrating more mullein to keep on the shelf.
I suppose it's one of those things that is easier to have and not need
than to need and not have.


And now for the fancy disclosure:
It's actually sad that this is even necessary.
I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or medical professional of any kind.  What we do in our household is based on the research we have done and what we deem appropriate.  We are not suggesting that you do the same.  You are responsible for the decisions regarding your health and wellness.  We are not responsible for any decision you make.  So to clarify, I am responsible for me.  You are responsible for you.  
Whew, glad that's over with.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Friday Quick Tip ~ Scrubbers

For biodegradable pot scrubbers
make them out of jute or sisal.
I love these little scrubbers - even the nylon ones to be honest.
But in trying to limit what ends up in the landfill, 
I felt guilty that I liked them so much.
I tried making them with jute first. (darker one)
They work great, but wet jute has a distinct odor.
I use these for scrubbing the car, BBQ, etc.
I love that these get bugs off the bumper without scratching the paint.
For dishes, I use sisal (lighter one,) which is much more difficult to work with,
but doesn't sport the pungent odor.
Either way, when they are worn out,
just toss them in the compost pile.

Also, there are so many little tips that are just good ideas,
I thought every-so-often to do a quick tip might be fun.
Let me know what you think~