How to Slay a Dragon

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Confession time:  In some ways, I have morphed into more of a full on hippie than the halfway hippie I have claimed to be.  But, desperate times, you know?!

I have been making a slow transition to a healthier lifestyle for a while now.  I have had many, many flops, and relatively few successes.  The biggest problem has been deciding what to implement and in what order, essentially, priorities.  I have prayed for quite a while about this, and really didn’t have any big revelation, so I just continued marching on.

Until that one day.

My littlest love had been hacking all night, and I kept him home from school.  Around 3:00, I decided that he needed to go to the doctor.  I am so glad I did.  Turns out, although he had everyone fooled (even our awesome doctor!), he had dangerously low oxygen levels and required serious treatment and hospitalization.

I freaked.

He was diagnosed with “wheezing episodes” (to avoid a diagnosis that will follow him forever).  He has an inhaler, nebulizer, and a ton of other stuff.  For the past several weeks we have been dealing with this unofficial diagnosis, trying to figure out how to help him naturally, because I truly believe his body should be able to fight this.  It turns out that asthma, allergies and eczema are often found together, as they are in my littlest love.

I have found that low magnesium, manganese and essential fatty acids are common in people with these three issues, so we are addressing that.

I cut out all dairy from his diet, and his digestion is SO MUCH BETTER.

We kicked our cat outside.

We all got Zyto scanned for essential oils.

And, in true hippie fashion, I have water keifer grains fermenting on my counter.

In an interesting twist, his illness has given me the priorities list I needed to start implementing all of these ideas.  We’ll see how they go, but at least we have a general direction.

I will do my best to keep you posted as to what is working well for us, and what isn’t.  This in no way will be medical advice, but rather just explaining what works for us.  While he is doing much better these days, we did have a couple of major episodes yesterday so we are by no means “there” yet.

So, now you have it.  Another interesting twist in our “halfway hippie” journey to a healthier, more natural lifestyle.

 

Redirecting

I started this blog with the grandiose plans of having an awesome little homestead.  However, these great ideas were soon scaled back and even abandoned due to “real life happenings”.  The reality is, we are new here in the South.  We seem to travel often, and travel with a garden and farm animals is difficult (and only difficult instead of impossible because of wonderful neighbors).  We also have school aged kiddos.  Kids come with a whole unique set of needs and desires, and after so many moves we made getting involved in their school and sports activities a family priority over setting up the homestead.   Add in the illnesses and work trips, well, suffice it to say, I just stopped blogging for fear that updating the blog would feel like a near constant reminder; in writing, nonetheless, of my failures.

I don’t want to give you the idea that the year was full of failures.  It was not, by a long shot.  In fact, we’ve had a great year!  We are more settled here than I ever would have hoped!  The boys had a great school years, were very successful in baseball and tee ball, Mark is enjoying his job, we have found a church we like and even made some really great friends.  We enjoyed a two week trip to the Homeland in July, and the kids had a great time trekking all over the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  The boys started school again in August and we have nothing but positive things to say about their teachers and the school year thus far.

All of these things are really great, but I am definitely re-thinking what I want our goals to be regarding the “homestead” and the blog.  Self-sustainability is an incredible goal, but I don’t think it’s possible for us with the priorities we’ve had, and I don’t think we will be changing them any time soon.   I hope to expound on my gardening issues this year and share some of our struggles in that department, as well as with our rabbitry, in a future post.  I also plan to share some new things we are trying that are a little bit easier to incorporate and sustain to increase our health and sustainability.  Eventually, I would like to redefine our goals, but that may take a while.

Until then, here’s me, on a trip of a lifetime to South America and Jamaica.

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Plans Are Out the Friggin’ Window

My husband had his rotator cuff repaired this morning, and I had grand illusions of what the day would look like.  For that matter, I had grand illusions about the three days leading up to the surgery, how we would get all of our to-do list accomplished before he is more-or-less out of commission for the next six to eight weeks.

I was so wrong.

Monday morning Theo climbed in bed with me and fell asleep until 8:30.  I knew something was wrong.  By 10:00am his fever was at 103.7.  Coughing, fever…you can just guess.  Tuesday Tate woke up with the same symptoms, regardless of the fact that we kept the boys separated as much as possible on Monday.

So, nothing on my list was accomplished.  In fact, I couldn’t even go to the hospital to care for my hubs.  Thank goodness for friends who picked him up and brought him home.

As of right now, the boys (all three) are up to date on their medications.  Tate and Theo were diagnosed with Influenza A, which could last 10 days.  They started Tamiflu and so far have had no bad reactions.  I’m hoping for an overnight recovery, but we’ll see how it goes.

All of this to say, I had planned to write some more about the bunnies, and how we got hay delivered yesterday and the fun of meeting people through hobby farming.  But I won’t be doing this today, and very likely not for another 3-5 days.  So, bear with me while I play nurse, and I will get to these posts as soon as possible.

Peace and Love,
Jenni

P.S.  I know it’s not really here or there, but I love Richard Sherman.  I have since he started playing for the Seahawks. He shared some thoughts, and has apologized, and I’m tired of seeing negative stuff about him  especially when it’s obvious the writer hasn’t read this first.

Our Rabbit Mansions

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We officially have rabbits.

More importantly, we have a hutch for said rabbits.  Three hutches, actually, with six individual compartments.

We found these hutches on Craigslist, and it was cheaper to buy them, tear them apart, haul them to our house and put them back together than it would have been to build them ourselves.  The cages have wire on the bottom and are made of mostly 2x4s, and have roofing material to keep the rabbits dry.  They were well made and I am thankful to have gotten a stable home for the rabbits for a great price.

We are raising New Zealand White Rabbits.  These are known for their rapid growth and are great meat rabbits.  We are starting with a buck and two does, and with an average litter size of 9-12 kits, we should be eating rabbit twice a week once we get going.  We do plan to keep another doe to be on three month cycles.  Gestation of rabbits is a mere 30 days, and the babies are ready to eat in about eight weeks, so on paper it all works out.

Our total investment so far has been about $500.  It will take a while to get that back, but at approximately 5 lbs of meat per rabbit, and eating twice a week, it will add up quickly.  Rabbit meat is white meat, and we will use it to replace some red meat and some chicken.  It will be nice knowing where our meat came from.

We are still very new to the process, and have yet to harvest any rabbits, but please feel free to ask any questions if you think of them.  People have been wonderful to us, sharing their info as we embark on our journey, I would love the chance to pass on any knowledge I gain.

Peace and Love,

Jenni

Bunnies

We have bunnies!

PT CDR husband picked up three New Zealand rabbits this weekend, two does and a buck.

We will wait about a month to breed them, then the fun begins.

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No, I’m not killing it, I’m just holding it by the scruff.

Once the breeding starts, we will have rabbit meat within a few months.  I am excited to start finding rabbit recipes!

We have three hutches that will hold six rabbits.  PT CDR is reworking two of the hutches to hold a couple more…  these will be our grow out pens.

This is certainly a new adventure, and a great step forward on the clean eating, slow food lifestyle that we are attempting.

Untapped Potential

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I see a big garden in our future.

Tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, carrots, zucchini, spaghetti squash, onions, lettuce, cauliflower, pumpkin and a separate herb garden…anything I’ve missed that’s a must have?

I’m really excited to see where we go from here.  The yard is huge and we want to keep a lot of room for the kids to play and maybe even swim, and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to manage both.

We’ve got the compost marinating.  I’ll post pics as soon as we see some change.

Look What We Have

 

 

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We got worms.

From Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm.

They are great worms, happily eating their way through our organic trash.  And I’m thrilled at the rate they are reproducing.  I’m going to have to add a second bin here soon!

We will use their casings to enrich the soil in our garden.  I can’t wait!

If you’re in the market for worms, check out Uncle Jim’s.  I’m getting no compensation for saying this, I just want to pass on a good deal when I see it.

Happy Saturday!

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