Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Louisa May Alcott

Dear Friends,

Today is the birthday of one of our very favorite authors, Louisa May Alcott. We are so thankful to have several of her books, which contain such pearls of wisdom. Although I knew about "Little Women" as a child, I never actually read it (or any of her books) until I was a mother; maybe that's why the subtle morals mean so much to me!

Although she did not marry for have children of her own, her books won the hearts of children and families everywhere, earning her the title "The Children's Friend."

Here are some of our favorite quotes of Miss Alcott's~

"A faithful friend is a strong defense; And he that hath found him hath found a treasure."

"A little kingdom I possess, where thoughts and feelings dwell; And very hard the task I find of governing it well.

Do the things you know, and you shall learn the truth you need to know."

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."

"Father asked us what was God's noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad, but babies never are."

"Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable."

"Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged."

"Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success."
May we, like Louisa, leave our own legacy of love to those who follow.


p.s. The Girlhood Home Companion's newest issue features "Little Women." We'll be ordering a copy soon!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Friends,

It's a cold, drizzly day here in Kansas City. We hope you're staying warm, wherever you are! We want to thank you for your kind comments, and to welcome our newest followers. When we get to 200, you're all invited for a big party in the backyard (assuming it's not drizzling that day)! :)

We are feeling very blessed to have such positive feedback on our Ebooks, and feel very humbled by any help that we have been able to give. We were going to start working on a green smoothie/wild foods Ebook, but a book about chickens has been begging us to write it. Has this ever happened to you? I swear that creative ideas have their own personalities!

Who doesn't love a snuggly chicken?

We're going to be compiling a book of little stories about chickens that have touched people's lives, and hope that it will be a nice little read If any of you have a story (or photo) you'd like to share, we would love to include it! These are the categories so far: "Eggs and Chicks," "Proud Mamas," "Crazy Roosters," "Close Calls" (brushes with death), "Chickens Who Think They're Human," and "Gone, but not Forgotten." I think it will be a lot of fun to put together. I'm not sure how it will be published yet, but I'll let you know more details as I figure them out myself.

Here is a story that I wrote for the "Gone, but not Forgotten" chapter, to give you an idea of what the book includes~

The first chicken I owned when I grew up was a black Cochin named Rudy. I traded a couple of guinea pigs for him at the pet store, where he had been living in a birdcage. He was a very sweet boy, and we loved having him for just a few days. We found out that roosters were not allowed in the town in which we lived, and had to find a new home for him until we could move to the country.

My mother called up her friends who lived in the country, and they offered to keep him for us temporally. I had morning sickness until we moved, so I was not able to visit Rudy. When we had moved, I called to see if we could pick Rudy up, and was informed that he had been given to someone else.

It is needless to say that I was very sad at this news. I found the name of Rudy's new owners, then called and tried to get him back. I was told that his owners were too attached to him to give him up, so I never saw him again. 

This was a real lesson for me to make sure of the local laws, and to not assume that chickens are welcome just because they are sold in town.

There you have it! I've given you something to discuss at the Thanksgiving Table, and to think about while preparing the meal! :)
May you all enjoy a special day of love, fellowship, and of counting blessings. Of course, we count our friends among the greatest of ours.



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Keeping Well This Season

Dear Friends,

A hearty "Thank you" to all of you who requested my books, and for spreading the word to your friends. For those who missed the giveaway, both books are available on our sidebar, for a nominal price.

We'd like to share some of our favorite ways of keeping well during the cold time of year. First off, we never refer to it as "cold and flu season," since we believe that calling it thus is inviting colds and flu into our households!

Secondly, we like to eat as many in-season foods as possible, such as cabbages, root vegetables, and squash, since they were given to us by a wise Creator who knows what our bodies need this time of year. We are always in awe when we study all the health benefits of the humble cabbage, alone (including being a colon cancer preventative).

Lovely red cabbage~

Third, we try to include as many bitter, sour, savory, and pungent foods as possible, as they help our bodies to digest the heavier fare which keeps us warm, while adding plenty of nutrients and immune-boosting qualities. Some of these include garlic and onions, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and pure apple cider vinegar (in salad dressings, as well as a warm drink made of 1 TBS vinegar, 1 tsp. powdered green stevia, and 8 ozs water).

Fresh ginger root is wonderful to chew or suck on when you feel you are coming down with something, and is much more socially acceptable than garlic! Fresh ginger makes a great infusion, too (we chop it in the blender with a little water, then add it to water that has come to a boil, then cooled slightly). You can also add powdered ginger to your cider vinegar drink.

We especially like the beautiful shapes that ginger comes in~

Culinary herbs that boost the immune system include: sage, thyme, hyssop, rosemary, and oregano. These all make good infusions as well, and can be drunken freely throughout the day. To make an infusion, we simply toss in a handful of dried herb of choice into a quart jar and fill it with almost-boiling water and put a lid or plate on top. We like to set the jar close to the kettle (but not touching the burner) while the water is heating, to lessen the chances of its shattering. We let it cool for at least half an hour, then strain and drink (with or without sweetener, depending on our mood). Of course you can use a teapot, too!

Elderberry is full of vitamins and minerals, and if used daily can be a tasty tonic (we like to make syrup or tincture for family use).

One of the most important things to remember is to keep yourself hydrated, since winter air is dry air. Drinking well-filtered or distilled water is the best, and at LEAST eight cups of water (this is really the bare minimum).

We hope we've given you a few ideas that you can put to use; feel free to share what you use in your home too!



Monday, November 14, 2011

Our Second eBook (and giveaway)

Dear Friends,

We have been enjoying a wonderful extended autumn at our cottage; the trees still have a few bright leaves hanging on, and the burning bush is a cardinal's dream come true! They love the camouflage it affords.

We are excited to have put up for sale our second ebook. This one is called "Home Birth Stories," and it tells of my learning experiences from newlywed to mother of several. I've included some of the natural remedies and tips that I learned along the way.

We're offering it free to all of our friends here for the next couple of days, with the hopes that you will spread the word by reviewing the book on your own blogs. And just for fun, we're giving away our first eBook, "The Young Lady's Guide to Natural Health," as well. Just contact me with your email address if you would like a pdf copy of either ebook sent to you.

Many blessings to all!



Friday, November 4, 2011

~Welcome November~

Dear Friends,

A happy day to you, and an especial welcome to all our new followers! Thank you for coming by and sharing our cottage life with us. On this day last November, we were still in Idaho, getting all the last minute things ready before loading up the truck and moving to Missouri.

We've been through four full Missourian seasons now, and have loved every one!


We've learned to overcome our fear of ticks, chiggers, brown recluse spiders, and copperhead and cottonmouth snakes (well, mostly). Oh yes, and poison ivy.


We've learned that Osage Orange fruits smell heavenly (and make wonderful playthings)~

And that honey bees come into your house in October and November, but they can be kept out by feeding them a bit of honey away from the house.

We've also learned that if you photograph chickens at just the right angle, they look like they have two heads! :)

We've fallen in love with all the new varieties of fungus we've discovered (this one is Wood Ear mushroom, which is edible and medicinal),

And we've discovered a few unusual mammals here, too!

We hope that you are making lots of discoveries, too, and enjoying nature in all its glory.



"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."
-   Elizabeth Lawrence