His Hand Knitted sweater :: my love

A year and a half woven together, finally created his hand knitted sweater. A gift of love and time... readers, time is so very precious. You really never know what a day may bring, or how a season of change will alter the course of your life forever. This sweater was a project of endurance, of learning, and of patience, but it was also a work of life and love.

Every evening that I danced with this fiber represents 'family evenings' gathered together, listening to our Lamplighter Audio Books on the i-pod, and every late 'sleepless night' represented prayers and praises being lifted up to the clicking sound of needles.

Yes, this is more than just a knitted wool sweater...

Now there before me, stood my man, wrapped in little loops of life represented. Memories flooded my mind as I recalled each seasonal piece knitted. Tears filled my eyes as I rebuked the regret of ever feeling like I would never be 'done' with this project... or the season we were in.

And there it was... done. Completed. Now breathe.

A tapestry woven, gift to my husband, symbolic of so much. Honestly, I would do it all over again. The sweater and the season, with you right there beside me.  I love you ~ Steven.

~ Blessings!

About the Sweater: the pattern, called Cape Cod, can be found here, and the fiber I used here. The color I chose was Briar Heather. Now a side note about the fiber, it is labeled bulky, but it is not really bulky in relation to the pattern I chose. Happy Knitting!

The Biblical Herbal E-Magazine... a little about.

The Summer issue of The Biblical Herbal will be coming quickly, and in it contains my very first herbal contribution. Ever! Yeah, I am some what nervous... but despite that, I am so grateful that I am able to have this experience, and to be a part of reclaiming herbalism for that which it was intended.

To glorify God, to correctly express gratitude for what He has provided...  these herbs of the field.

The Biblical Herbal site also has a blog page, there you will find all kinds of information... like plants, it continues to grow. One section called Meet the Contributors, is the place where you can get to know the various contributors of the E-zine a little more. I personally have enjoyed listing to the last two videos... hopefully I will be prepared for mine, which is coming up this week. Gulp.

If you are interested in learning even more about The Biblical Herbal, you can check out Tamra's post on it's introduction. If your are really interested already and would like to head on over to purchase your own copy...  my affiliate link is in the side bar. Or you could just clink any one of these links shared in this post and it will take you there without my affiliate... the choice is yours my friends.

~ Blessings!

Pickin Plantain {Plantago major, P. lancelata}

Plantain was one of the first herbs my mama ever exposed me to, via a bee sting. This experience included saliva, a kiss and something that resulted in a green mushy paste. And like her, it was one of the first herbs that I exposed my little girl to... yes plantain is worth picking, and will never be a weed to me.

It grows just about everywhere and is a 'foundation' herb in my home apothecary. During the season's of growth, I pick it early in the morning, before the sun has warmed the leaves to hot. Or in the evening, when the leaves have cooled to chill. Most of the time I dry them, by laying them out flat after a quick rinsing bath.

When the harvest is dry, my herbal canvas is ready... then comes a cultivation of color in hues of green and oil. Nutrient dense, known for the ability to draw and to purify, powerful in standing alone or being supportive in teamwork.

For a Plantain Poultice

You need a handful of fresh, young plantain leaves. Or whatever amount is needed to cover the area where the poultice will be applied. Mush them. Unless it's very close family members, please do not put them in your mouth and chew them up to use... this should be reserved only for those mama's needing to deal with an issue quickly.

Trust me.

Apply this green mush to the affected area... and cover with a cloth wrap or bandage. After roughly thirty minutes, remove and repeat. Use as needed.

 Tip: I buy cotton sheets from the thrift stores and wash them really well, dry them in the sun and then rip them into strips for this very use. 

~ Blessings!

Please Note: I do not treat, diagnose, nor imply disease/illness prevention. I am an herbalist and not a physician, my statements have not been approved nor evaluated by the FDA. I have received formal education from Vintage Remedies, and am currently saving my dimes to pay for my next learning experience. Please see my disclosure policy for more details.

The Ministry of Herbalism or Where do You work?

On my way home from milking the goat tonight, I was pondering the path of my feet, slightly in tune with the rumble-hum of Cletus. Asking myself what do I do? Truly. And how can I share it with others in a manner that would answer the question that is often asked of me - but... I don't know, encompass the reality of what I really am doing.

And as I was pulling into the drive the answer arrived like an early Spring rain, peacefully cemented into my mind. I am engaged in the Ministry of Herbalism... among all the other things that home educators, keepers and steaders do. Creatively intertwined with being a wife and mother...

Recently, I met a young mom, who is due to have a baby any week now... she and her husband are half my age. Their first little is barely two. She plans to home birth. They have a small homestead with a handful of animals and an armful of goats... and a whole of lot human-ness. They need help and love.

True, at first I was after raw milk and I was not afraid to work for it. But in three short weeks I have been consulted on udder issues, skin issues and even a mid-day call etched with concern about her little one ingesting pure essential oils. Yes, what started out as a side job has been turned into an opportunity for me to share and to serve. Abba has opened a door for me to be a light into these lives.

And looking back over the past ten years, there has always been someone in need of help. Someone who needs a listening ear, an idea they have not tried, a low-cost option compatible with a tight budget. A helping hand to weed, to craft, and to blend herbal remedies. Someone to teach the how to and how comes... yes, looking back, there reflecting me is a ministry of herbalism.

Where the wages are often paid in the account of Kingdom Work and sometimes... 

With milk and eggs. 

 But this I say, He that soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
~ 2 Corinthians 9:6 ~
~ Blessings!

Shared With: Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth - The Art of Homemaking Mondays

Seven things to Consider when buying Land

As we begin this process of finding land and walking out the purchase thereof, some things have become very important for us to consider. Each of these topics has been the center of our husband and wife conversations for weeks now, and I thought they may be of use to some of you...

Climate and Location ~ what is your desired climate and location? If you plan to garden, heat a home and drive to work, location is very important. We recently moved from the South up to the North, when we left it was in the sixties, and here it has barely reached sixty-three. But we chose the North for many reasons, and to be frank - aging parents, less ticks, snakes, and tornadoes were at the top of the list.

However, we do plan to heat with wood... or at least have wood stove back up. So our climate and location will greatly affect our wood heating availability and needs.

Raw Land vs Existing Home ~ in the spirit of transparency, we have not firmly decided. Both raw land and existing home type have pros and cons. There was a possibility of us using the 'family' five acres, however after further investigation, we discovered the well would not support a home. Thus needing a new well altogether. And the septic, we already knew would have to be redone.

Raw land in our surrounding area is definitely cheaper than one with an existing home... but that too comes with its own set of tasks. It's like a blank canvas which can be exciting and be intimidating at the same time.

Taxes and Zoning Ordinances ~ Taxes will have to be paid, and in good faith, the zoning rules need to be considered. Ignoring the law has consequences, and though changing the laws/ordinances can happen... do you have the ability and desire to fight the battle? In the midst of building a homestead?

Through our diligent searching, we discovered that the 'family five' resides is in an area where the taxes are high, and the zoning ordinances have an unpleasant odor. Our family, in an ideal setting, would like to have the ability to be off grid or have our attachment to it be very minimal. We desire a garden, livestock and other facets of the agrarian life. Think almost Amish in lifestyle...

Outside Employment Opportunities ~ is your location near possible work? How will you provide for yourselves? The truth of matter is my husband will have to work outside the home, and I will be working from home. Wages are not high in this area, and traveling to potential work needs to be considered... that being said, we currently reside in a small town where I have already gained a goat milking gig.

Apparently, it's called a side hustle... I milk for raw milk. Just this week, I have earned a gallon of raw goat's milk, made fourteen dollars on homemade salves, brought home a pound of ground goat meat and signed up for free farming classes. And it's only Thursday!

Local Food and Living reSources ~ what are your food convictions? Are they available? What living resources will your family need? Will the supply be long term or will you have to find multiple resources? Is it sustainable? Does the land or home you are looking at have a good supply of water and other needed resources?

These are all questions we are asking {and more} and we are in the process of ferreting out the answers. Thankfully we are in an area where Agrotourism is huge, Farm to Table is prevalent and many are expecting good, local and sustainable food sources. Water runs shallow, as in, there seem to be many places for sale with natural springs along with great well depths.

What are your family Goals and Priorities ~ this is different for everyone. And only you can answer this... our family has goals and priorities that may not be high on your list, or even on your list at all. Make a list. Review it often, and continue to re-evaluate what is important to you and your family. In lifestyle and in buying land or a home.

For us, we desire to be as God-reliant as possible. Using the land He provides for us to it's best ability and keeping ourselves in check to be good stewards of that land and home. We desire to work with our hands, mind our own business and help those in need. Homeschooling will always be a way of life, long after graduation... making money from home, selling from the homestead for those things we need, using our own hands as much as possible. We also have a strong desire to be an active member of our faith community.

Consider the Debt Factor ~ How will you purchase your property? Will it require you to compromise your families goals and priorities? Will you get a loan, land contract or pay cash? What about renting farms or homesteads? Have you saved enough for a down payment? Again, these are personal and very real questions to ask yourself.

For eight years, we have worked very hard to pay down our debt and set our finances in order, however, we have not arrived at being debt free. My husband has a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, and he did not have someone else to pay for his college education... and no money falling from the trees. The degrees and debt are his. 


However, we is now in a place where he can repay those loans, and we have one unpaid medical bill left from my daughter's sledding accident... she broke her hip and three surgeries later. Anyway, we do not have credit cards, nor car payments... we do not take now and pay later. We save and use cash... but the reality is if we desire to start homesteading, we will need to have a loan for the land or home.

And after eight years, it is now a possibility... praise be to God!

What would you look for in buying land?

~ Blessings!