Sensory benefits and struggles of gardening

I decided to get some new plants for my yard today. Usually planting gives me a peaceful feeling. The kids love it and I think it teaches them some important pieces to life. Not to mention the sensory input it provides.

Nevada’s high winds and hellish soil can make it quite the experience. My own sensory quirks made it a tad bit annoying today when things weren’t going as perfectly as I’d like.

My youngest loves to plant. Each plant she calls a “bible”. I have started my biblical garden adding plants and herbs found in the Bible. It will take some time but it’s something I love and can’t wait to one day finish.

Hyssop has an earthy mint smell that I just love.

We found some anemone but need to find a partially shady space for it before I add it.

HB calls it the Jesus flower. Referred to as the wild lilies in the Bible.

Love my sensory seeker. She loves getting her hands and feet all up in the dirt.

I love that it’s a family affair. Teaching them about gardening. Sharing the importance of flowers and herbs with them.

My sensory avoider doesn’t do messy. He’s a tad like me.

But even he couldn’t resist getting his toes all in.

Gardening gives kids with sensory challenges such great input.

It provides grounding. (Yes we garden barefoot)

I will say I was a tad bit agitated the wind was driving me insane. My things were blowing away faster than I could plant them. But welcome to Nevada.

I plant mums every year. They were the flowers at my wedding. So I just love them a little extra. And they scream fall.

I found this beautiful hibiscus tree to add to the walkway that will be stunning year round once I can dig through the soil from hell.

Todays planting extravaganza did not go as I had planned. Simple as that. But I do love all the new beauty around us and I’m guessing the kids sensory needs were met so they should sleep soundly with a little copaiba after an afternoon of fresh air and a lot of dirt.

Danielle

Maria

My kids are the biggest fans of The Book of Life.

So it’s only fitting that are newest goat member goes by Maria.

This sweet little beauty has joined our mini farm.

Goats are social animals and do best with a friend or two. After Gus was sent to heaven we needed to find Randy someone to spend his days with.

We have sweet friends that also have their own little ranch. So it was easy to add this gem to our mini farm.

She has the sweetest blue eyes. And a gentle demeanor.

Once her nerves dissipate I think she will find that she found a loving little farm to spend her days weed eating.

I am not sold on my ability to be a farm animal owner.

I can’t stand the heartbreak when something goes wrong.

But seeing the joy on the kids faces makes it all worth it.

Welcome home Maria.

Farm life heartbreak

Today I had to experience first hand death of a farm animal.

What started as an ordinary day quickly went very wrong. One of our Nigerian dwarf goats was suffering from urinary calculi. It was immediate and sudden. He was suffering and in excruciating pain. As the day went on his suffering continued.

My husband works long hours leaving me to make big decisions alone sometimes.

Today was that day.

Anyone who knows me. Knows that I love animals probably too much. My heart can’t take much heartbreak.

But as the day went on sweet Gus began to suffer unbearable pain.

With no vet available and the prognosis so grim I had to mercy kill my sweet Gus.

I’ve never killed an animal.

I’ll be honest I was nervous. I prayed over sweet Gus before. His goat crying was to much for my heart to handle. And so I sent him on his way to heaven.

I like to imagine all animals happy in heaven. Eating all their favorite things.

Frolicking.

Today opened my eyes to the fact that I’m too sensitive for this farm life.

I can’t stand to watch anything suffer. I never want to play God and choose to end a life.

But today I was faced with no better choice.

It was quick and I hope painless.

Has anyone started their homesteading journey to realize they aren’t cut out for certain aspects.

I never would have thought that I’d have to mercy kill one of my sweet beloved animals. I adored that sweet animal and his silly gentle nature. He will be so missed.

The ugly reality to living a sustainable lifestyle

When we started our homestead and decided to try and live a more sustainable life I had no idea the work it required. With my husbands job he is gone more hours than home a lot of days. Leaving me to handle the homestead alone.

The idea of chickens was enticing. Goats seemed an easy way to control the landscape on our little farm. Gardening seemed so magical. And mini cows seemed like a dream come true for my animal loving self.

With the state of our country it seemed unwise not to add a little sustainability to our lives. I don’t think an apocalyptic ending to earth is on its way. But I do think there are a lot of benefits to sustainability.

But there is an ugly side to running a small little farm. And a reality that it isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Living a more sustainable life is a lot of work. On Pinterest you see screenshots and images of how to homestead. How to live a sustainable life. But I’ve yet to come across and article that depicts truly how much work it can be.

Some days it seems easier to just forego all this homesteading business and shop at our local grocery store for items we want or need.

Making most things from scratch is time consuming.

Farm animals love early mornings. I personally despise them. I’ve never been a morning person. No matter what voodoo potion or positive self talk I give myself.

I don’t like them. And never have. I’m not a morning person.

Farm animals poop a lot and they are dirty. It’s a lot of work keeping their stalls clean.

Farm animals don’t only need cared for in fair weather. With bad weather comes the same responsibilities.

Their food bags weigh a ton. It’s not for the weak to carry animal feed across the property.

Goats are incredibly stubborn. Sweet. But stubborn. They will demolish your beloved plants in seconds if you aren’t careful.

They are little Houdini’s. At least once a month discovering a way to break free and unleash the rest of your farm animals.

Chickens can and will eat their own eggs if you aren’t careful.

You have predators to worry about (depending on where you live.)

Chickens need their wings clipped unless you want them flying out of their pen and pooping all over your property.

Making most items from scratch is a LOT of work. Some days I find myself in the kitchen cooking my days away.

Call me little house on the prairie.

Gardening can be a fun experience but is also a lot of work. There are bugs to battle that want to enjoy your hard earned garden goods. Wildlife will take a few bites from your garden as well. Where we live in the high desert gardening is a lot of work with the harsh seasons and crappy soil.

So if you are thinking of starting a more sustainable life. But want to know some real ups and downs about homesteading maybe you will find some answers to questions you may have.

Maybe you too love the idea of self sufficiency but struggle with the work that it entails.

What do you despise most about homesteading?

And of course what do you love about it?

I love a lot about homesteading as well but thought someone else could benefit from reading the negative side as well.

It’s nice to know full well what you are getting into.

Danielle

Spider & Bug Spray

A quick little house cleaning tip using minimal ingredients and one essential oil is an immense help around here.

Where we live there’s more spiders than I’ve ever seen. I’m not one to be creeped by the crawly but some of these bugs are downright creepy.

Bugs hate peppermint.

Add 10 drops peppermint oil

1 cup Castile peppermint soap

Add to a spray bottle.

I always have something on hand to kill the crawlers that come out. It’s an immediate recoil from the spray.

Love how simple, cheap and effective this is.

And how helpful it is with the squash bug invasion in the garden.

Danielle

From Slug to Motivated -A moms simple tips to get moving and motivated for the day

Some days I wake up so tired and have a hard time getting moving.  This isn’t just I didn’t sleep well tired, it’s I’m so life tired that the task of even getting up to brush my teeth seems impossible.

But then the mom guilt kicks in and I get up.  Stumbling my way through the next 3 to 4 hours hoping something I eat or drink will get me moving.

But awhile back I woke up sick of this feeling of constant exhaustion.

So I decided to take note.  And make some changes to the start of my day.  After all the only person that can truly change this is me.  Don’t look to your husband to make you happy or just your kids.  I wonder if you jotted down what makes you happy did you include yourself?  I know it didn’t even cross my mind.

I gave myself 1 minute to write down things that have been stressing me out.

  • money
  • student loans
  • keeping the house clean
  • procrastinating on shit I don’t want to do
  • Needing a new car
  • missing out on my purpose in life even though I don’t know what the hell it is supposed to be.

Then I prayed about each one.  And continued to throughout the day.  It’s a way for me to let go and just let someone else take my worries for a while.

Then I jotted down the things that make me happy

  • the kids, and MJE (as long as we aren’t stressed to the max over bullet number 1)
  • my family
  • the farm of animals we have
  • building wooden things
  • being outside
  • and my girlfriends.  Without them I’d be lonely and I enjoy our daily chatter, MJE wouldn’t care to here about the latest and greatest on the group text chat.  We may only get together once a year or never at all.  Group text-the modern day penpal. But I love having a little circle that gets lifes ups and downs with you.

Anyways, I prayed over all these things that make me happy in my life.

Then I made myself move.  But I started with a quick little jot of things that need to be done and things I would like to accomplish for the day.

Then I mixed up the following potion in the diffuser:

5 drops Peppermint

5 drops tangerine

3 drops valor

3 drops frankincense

I take a powergize supplement twice a day from Young Living.  SO far I’m really liking it.  One odd thing I feel like I get from it is a heat to my body but it gets me moving so no complaints.

Then I spend 30 minutes to an hour cleaning and tidying.  (I give myself a little room to cut it short or prolong the cleaning because I have some OCD tendencies)

In my schedule I include an entire hour and a half to do what I want in the afternoon after school.  The kids are to the age now where I can stick them in front of tv or give them some books so that I can have an hour and a half to recharge.  (It won’t kill them to be in their rooms quietly for an hour and a half something I have to keep reminding myself of)

I include yoga on my schedule..  Daily.  Our bedroom has become my yoga sanctuary.

I started small on the first day from slug to motivated.  And with each passing day I’ve felt more relaxed, more motivated.  It’s not an overnight cure, but a daily challenge.  Not to mention my house is much cleaner with my designated cleaning in the mornings.  Less clutter, more cleanliness instantly helps ease my anxiety.

I think challenging ourselves daily is really the only way we can grow.

I think moms get lost sometimes.  I think we lose ourselves in pleasing our families catering to demands from all different angles.

I know I’ve forgotten about myself lately.

My list will be different from yours of course, but if you are feeling sluggish, hard to get motivated maybe you will find comfort in not being alone.  Maybe a few things I try daily will help you combat the morning slug!

Thanks for reading!

Pass on Roundup in your cereal and give Nature’s Path a try instead

The latest report on the dangers lurking in our food should be a huge alert to our country.

I know for me the latest which included breakfast cereals with Roundup chemical has been a huge eye opener for me.  For one how is this poison getting into our food and two what are we going to do about it.

I know for me my small stance against these companies includes paying a little more for organic and then documenting and sharing with others what foods are a better option then Cheerios with a side of Roundup.

I also have started emailing the companies that provide safe quality food and thanking them for their products.  It may seem stupid, but in my mind I wonder if we started supporting the good businesses would we see a demise in the pollution to our food.  If everyone truly stopped funding these large companies maybe there would be a change in the food industry.

It’s a tiny gesture but I’d like to think it helps some.

If you are eating processed food the odds are you are ingesting Glyphosate.

I strongly encourage you to take just a moment and read about it.

I notice a huge change in my kids behaviors depending on what they’ve eaten.  Goldfish, chocolate graham crackers, Quaker oats bars are like poison to my kids.  Behaviors almost immediately come to the surface.

It makes me question more of what is put into all these processed foods that are so readily available.  It makes me question what sort of harmful effects this will have on our generation and generations to come.

I am in no way saying food causes Autism, but I am saying that I do believe there is a correlation into the unhealthy ingredients in a lot of foods on the shelves and how could this not hinder our children’s development?

So today I wanted to feature one of our most favorite staple items in our house.

Nature’s Path Organic instant Oatmeal Brown Sugar Maple

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This oatmeal is affordable, and almost has some sort of sale to make it affordable for our family.

I think its time that more people took a stance.  Bake some banana bread, start somewhere.  Try replacing one thing at a time.  It’s hard to start a new diet, change a way of living, but it’s worth it.  Why would you want to subjectively eat a daily dose of Roundup with your morning cereal.

Danielle