Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How We Use Colloidal Silver

A little while back my friend gave me a little bottle of what looked like water. I was working with healing a cut on the hand and she had said to spray it directly on the wound and that it would keep the wound from getting infected and help heal it up. I was game and after all it couldn't hurt, I mean it looks like a bottle of water! It turns out that "water" is some good stuff! I decided to read up on some other uses for the miracle water and was finding that it is not only good at wound cleaning and healing but works great to fend off those seasonal bugs. We put it to the ultimate test when we took it to the Harrisburg Farm show. Our family has a history of coming home sick from the farm show every year that we have had kids, so we decided to see if it really could keep us free from the hordes of people carrying flu strains. I was skeptical, especially as we went on the first Saturday and it was rainy out so the farm show was packed! However, I am happy to say that this is the first year we went with kids and came back with just memories and not sickness.

So what is it? Well using silver for health has been around for a long time. In fact the ancient Romans and Kings of biblical times kept silver jars for their drinking water. The families of the rich in the dark ages ate off sliver plates and had a higher percentage of sliver in their blood, thus the term "blue bloods." American pioneers would put silver in their milk and water to retard spoilage. During the plague many rich families gave the baby of the home silver spoons to suck on, hence the term "born with a silver spoon in their mouth." Napoleons army was said to have used it for water purification. It has been recognized for it's protective properties for some time.

What makes it effective is the "silver ions bind them selves to cell walls and are then absorbed into the single-cell bacteria or fungus wherein they interfere with cellular energy production and kill the organism.  The fermentation system of energy production used by these single cell organisms is different than the aerobic energy producing system of human cells, which are not so affected by silver.  This means silver is not toxic to human cells." Also Bacteria cannot develop a resistance to silver, unless it has an extremely thick cell wall and doesn't absorb the silver. Sounds like a good thing to have on hand in case of a super bug in my opinion.

With this much good stuff going for it you want to know what the down sides are. Taking colloidal silver in high doses for extended periods of time may result in a condition called argyria, which is when your skin turns blue or gray. The "blue bloods" of old often had this especially because they avoided sun exposure as well, making the skin especially blue in color. You would have to take rather large amounts for a long time to acquire that look, but it is worth mentioning. Some people have also reported digestive upset but I have a rather sensitive digestive system and it has not given me any trouble.

We have ours in a spray bottle for when we travel. When we are out in a situation like the farm show or at the home of someone who is sick I would give our kids (and us parents too!) a few squirts in the mouth and the hands every hour. After playing at in indoor play land I spray their little hands. We have a bottle of it at home and the adults will take 2 Tbs every other day when we feel something coming on or that tingle in the back of the throat. It has been extremely effective so far in keeping our family healthy and I am glad that we have it as an option in our medicine cabinet.

May your family experience health and happiness the remainder of this winter!

                                                                The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How do we respond when God is silent?

Have you ever been in a period of your life where you are just waiting for the Lord's direction and nothing is happening? It seems like He is quiet and elusive, maybe even far away. I know that I have been there in past situations and right now I am currently experiencing the disheartening "wait". 

I know I prefer a yes or even no over a wait but maybe that is why I seem to get them more often. Maybe it is not so much about where I am going in life as it is about how I am getting there, who I am meeting along the way and what encounters the Lord has for me to make while I seem to be "stuck" in one place. Maybe I need to learn patience, the very thing I have to remind my children about daily. Or maybe I lack faith when I ask the Lord to show himself strong and that is why I have to wait, until my faith is stronger.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

It would seem I need to let patience have her perfect work but how do I do that? In this day and age when everything seems to need a quick response do I have the time to wait? I know that the longer I am on this earth that what I have in mind is not always the best but whenever the Lord directs the way it is always better than what I wanted in the first place. 

 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

If I want His best then I can't rush God or take matters into my own hands, that is when bad things happen. Take Sarah for example, God promised to make Abraham's descendants as numerous as the stars, (Gen 15: 4-6) while Abraham believed his wife thought that it would be impossible for them to have children in her old age, so she gave her servant girl to her husband instead. Now the children of the servant and the children of Abraham and Sarah will always be at odds with each other because of Sarah's lack of faith, taking matters into her own hands, trying to bring about the promise in her own time.

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

I find in these trying times, when my faith is tested and I am in a waiting period, that it causes me to look deeper at my life and the promises of the Lord. It can either strengthen my faith or cause me to loose hope and grasp for an earthly solution. I want to be strong, so just like physical exercise my faith and patience need to be excised as well in order to gain spiritual muscle and stamina. I have trained myself to like physical exercise but I have neglected to train myself to like the spiritual exercise of waiting on the Lord. I must praise and worship God while I wait. That is what I was created for and really all these other things don't matter. I was made for worship. 

               In His time and in His way all things will work together, all I need to do is worship.

            Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
                                                               The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Snow Day Valentines

I love snow days, especially when they fall on the weekend. It is so nice to spend time as a family with no place to go and no other commitments, it was wonderful! I like how it just made the world so quiet and so peaceful, also it just felt so cozy to be "trapped" in our well stocked, warm abode. My kids spent most of the day wondering when we could go out in the snow so to keep them occupied we made some valentines for Phoebe's friends.

These are so easy to make and smaller children can count out two kisses for you and older ones can help assemble the "roses". I don't even remember where this idea originally came from but I have made these for my valentine before we even had kids. They are fun and yummy and it only takes about a min to throw one together and it only cost about $.25 per rose! This is what you will need to make them.

Hershey Kiss Roses
  • Tissue paper
  • Green pipe cleaners
  • Floral tape
  • Hershey kisses 
Cut out about 5" by 5" squares with your tissue paper. I usually just eyeball mine it doesn't have to be an exact science.

Take two kisses and have their bases touch and then fold the middle of the tissue paper square over the tip of one of the kisses to make your rose bud.

Twist the ends of the tissue paper around the bottom point of the kiss and wrap the pipe cleaner around the little tail of tissue paper to make the stem.

Now take your floral tape, and starting at the top wrap from the base of the bud to the end of the tail of tissue paper. It will make it look more uniform and cover up the excess tissue paper.

You can just leave it like this or if you want to get more fancy you can bend some pipe cleaners and make leaves on the rose stems.

Now you have a dozen or two of chocolate roses to give out on Valentines day!

Making these was Phoebe's favorite part of our snow day, even more then going out in the snow! I hope you all had a fun weekend with your friends and family too!

                                                                The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Homemade Vegan Candy Bar

It is the beginning of a new year and quite a few people set resolutions to make this the year they start eating healthy and keeping a healthy weight. Even the best intentions seem to dwindle over time and by Valentine's day most everyone given up on their diet. Why is it so hard to eat healthy? Well when those donuts, ice cream, candy and pizza show up and there you are, staving with low blood sugar, your bodies natural instinct is to eat the most calorie packed food you can get your hands on.

I remember when I was low calorie, low fat dieting I would just smell sugar and then eat whatever it was till it was gone. I was on a cycle of starvation and binge and I just lived in a place of guilt and shame every time I failed my diet. It was terrible until I realized that I didn't need to starve to be a healthy weight and that I could eat treats once in a while. When I did it wasn't because I am a failure at eating healthy it is because there is a time for everything...including ice cream! Especially the homemade kind!

At any rate I am learning to accept and enjoy my size I am today. While it is not the perfect size zero that is flashed all over the media I am healthy and strong, able to have babies, dance, take care of children, clean, cook, help my family and feel beautiful while I am doing these things. I am learning my body is capable of so much more! It is part of growing into my own skin and giving myself the best nutrition. It is perspective, I am not working toward a size that is not sustainable for me, I am feeding my body the fuel it needs to keep my energy stable and body nourished through out my day. Something I really need to keep up with my busy crew! It is a wonderful feeling to be free of needless guilt!

Part of my new life style has been replacing my favorite un-healthy foods with healthy substitutes. This has lead to many interesting experiments, but once in a while you get a winner.

This is great for those moments where you want a candy bar or some chocolate. My kids loved helping me make these. The best best part is that the chocolate coating doesn't harden as quick as regular melted chocolate so kids can roll it in the cool coating before you put it in the freezer and it doesn't have to be time sensitive.  My daughter made the comment, "Mom you are the best cooker!" while making these :) I didn't feel bad at all letting her lick the extra out of our bowl! Here is what you will need to make them.

The Guiltless Candy Bar

  • 8 Date rolls
  • 1/2 Cup coco powder
  • 1/2 Cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 8-10 drops of liquid stevia or to taste
  • Pink salt (optional but really tasty!)
  • Parchment paper
  • Cookie sheet 
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and flatten out your date rolls, shaping them to look like snack size candy bars.

Mix the melted coconut oil, vanilla, stevia and coco powder together with a whisk to make sure there are no lumps in the chocolate coating.

Roll your flattened date rolls in the chocolate coating and place on the parchment paper. Once you coat them all their is a little left over, so I drizzled it over the tops of the bars and sprinkled a pinch of pink salt on top.

Place the cookie sheet with the bars in the freezer for 20 minuets and when you bring them out the candy bars are ready!

I would love to hear what favorite food you have "healthified" for us to give a try! Let me know if there is a food you would like to see a healthier version of and we will try and make it!
                                                           To a stronger healthier future

                                                                The Farmer in the Dell

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Growing Pains

I must say that having children is scary. From the moment you realize you are pregnant with them you are constantly concerned with their well being and safety. You want to give them the best; the best possible start to the life ahead of them. The best nutrition, education, friends and family life you possibly can and all of these things require decisions on your part. There are so many decisions, every day, that sometimes it can be overwhelming and I become fearful that I am making the wrong choices for my family. How do I know that my choices will not be fatal? That one day it will cause one of my children to have an unnecessary death, either physically or spiritually? This has been on my mind for a while now and I am realizing I am living my life in a spirit of fear. While it is good to be cautious and watchful I do not want to let fear be my driving force for my life and the life of my family. Where is my faith?

Faith has never been a strong point for me.  It has always been a struggle to believe that God will do what has said. I have seen God do amazing things in our life and I know He is capable, I suppose I feel like maybe asking for all the big and little things all the time is too much. Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. 

I guess a revelation hit me this past week while I was experiencing a difficult trial with one of my children. I was praying for wisdom, clutching my child tight to my chest when I felt a gentle whisper in the quiet tension that pervaded the air. "That is my child" is all it said. I stopped rocking and thought about the meaning of what I had just heard. This child did belong to the Lord, it was not solely mine, I just am entrusted to them for a short time but they are always His. He loves them more than I ever could and He knows what plans He has for them in the future. It is normally hard for me to let someone else take over but this time I was covered in a wave of peace and released the tight grasp on my little one as the Comforter covered us both in that moment.

It seemed like I needed affirmation this week because in our progress of reading through the Bible we were in the story of Moses. His mother was in a bad situation, she was pregnant and gave birth to a boy in a time when the government was trying to eliminate all males of Israel nationality. I am sure as she realized she could no longer conceal him she had that moment with the Holy Spirit where she realized that Moses was not just her child he was the Lord's and she was going to give him back into the Lord's hands. She let Moses go into the Nile. I have never been to Egypt but I have heard from those who have that the Nile is dirty, full of rapids, crocodiles and big fish live in there as well. That was a moment of big faith. The beautiful thing is that in her giving her son into the capable hands of the Lord He gave her son back to her for a little longer and spared his life.

The Lord is so good. He doesn't always choose to give the child back but His way is better and we just have to trust in the plans He has for us. We can't always see or understand what is happening in our lives, but when we cast our cares on Him those cares somehow loose their power over us and peace comes to stay. Rest in His peace and Trust in His plans. Follow the instructions in His love letter and watch the beauty of the glory of the Lord unfold in your life. It is so much better than doing it on our own!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he will direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

                                                            The Farmer in the Dell


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Gluten Free Bread in the Bread Machine!!!

Yes if you read the title I am so excited! I have finally found a recipe for the gluten-free sandwich bread, made in the bread machine! For necessity is the mother of invention. This is the truth that caused me to stumble upon the illusive gluten free sandwich bread that is fluffy, holds together and is so easy I could do it in my sleep!

Because of the holidays my shopping schedule was all off. For those of you who don't know how I love a good schedule this basically had me in a confused state for the last two weeks, they moved my market day to Tuesday instead of Friday! So I squeezed my market shopping in but never made it to the store to buy all the other things we eat that are not not fruits and veggies. We basically ran out of everything at once come the new year, which means no spelt bread for my dear husbands lunches. However I did have this stockpile of gluten-free flour mix made by Krusteaz. So I got out a bag and and decided to give gluten free bread a whirl even if that meant making sandwiches on dense little slices of brick. (An apt description of what most of my "whirls" with gluten-free bread turn out like.)

Not that my husband wouldn't eat it because he is not a pick eater. One of the many reasons I love him! In fact on one occasion, when he was still living at home, he was usually one of the last to eat dinner. Coming in from a hard day of farming he saw what his mom had made left out for him. There were a couple plates with foil over top to keep the heat in so he lifted the foil off a few of them and saw that there was fish pattys, lettuces, tomatoes, buns and all the fixings for a fish sandwich. So he made a sandwich and dug in. His mom came down stairs and asked if he found everything ok, to which he replied, "Yes, the fish sandwiches are good." His mom looked confused and said, "We didn't have fish sandwiches, we had burgers and hash-browns!" So moral to the story, I can give him just about anything because he can make a fish sandwich out of a hash-brown!

So I kinda thew this recipe together not thinking that much would come out of it, and when I looked into the bread machine and saw this I was shocked! It was fluffy, golden brown and smelled...yummy!

 Now I am happy knowing what I can do with my stock pile of flour. If you eat gluten free or are trying to avoid gluten you have got to give this a whirl! The mix is very affordable (I payed $1.89 for 5lbs!) and almost everything I have tried with it turns out wonderful! Here is my lazy, gluten-free sandwich bread recipe for the bread maker.

Krusteaz Gluten-free Bread

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbs honey
  • 1 1/2 Cup sour milk or buttermilk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/4 cup Krusteaz gluten free all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs yeast
Dump all the ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed.

Set the bread machine on Rapid Medium setting for a 2 pound loaf.

Set and forget it! Until the yummy aroma reminds you that you are making bread!

After it is done I let it set for about 10 min till I remove it from the pan, so I don't pull the bottom off!
Slice and enjoy!

*I like to slice my bread and let it cool, then I layer them in a ziplock bag. The bead stays fresh that way and doesn't go bad. It makes it handy any time I need a slice. 
                                                                  The Farmer in the Dell