July 9, 2018

Dandelion Rose Salve & Highwinds Homestead/Studio

The shop is officially open, though I am still trying to work out the kinks and fine tune things. Learning along the way - of course. But through some intentional planning and purposeful use of my Power Sheets - yes, I can say the shop is open. Currently I have three listings available, two of them are for a limited time... meaning when the supplies run out, so does the salve - until next season.

The Latest / Dandelion Rose Salve :

This particular salve is made of : Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil/Sunflower oil infused with: Dandelion {Taraxacum officinale} - Rose {Rosa centifolia}, Local Beeswax, Vitamin E and Rose Geranium Essential oil. It is perfect for use on: chapped & dry hands, sore muscles, over all stiffness and minor scrapes.

I followed the same process as I shared HERE, changing the ingredients to fit my needs. The Rose & Rose Geranium really set this salve apart. The scent being very faint, but present and the blessings of Rose Geranium are not limited to but - include : soothing skin, being anti fungal, anti viral and anti inflammatory.

The salve making process is quickly learned and a skill I would encourage you to obtain. However, if you are interested in the salve, and have a desire to support small business - I would be happy to make you a tin, while supplies last.

Please Note: this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. This sharing is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians or natural health providers. Please seek your personal provider for questions or concerns - and research information from reliable sources.

July 2, 2018

A Farmer of Faith? ~ Why Yes I Am

At least I would like to be... but first let's do a little defining. You see I believe words matter, as does their definitions. I also believe we have lost a lot of depth in our modern culture and not just with words and languages.

When I ask someone to define the word farmer, or to explain to me what the word faith means... the responses are all over the board. If we could take the time to look up the word, let's say... in the 1828 Dictionary, we often will find that there is more to the word that we should consider.

The word farmer for example is: "a tenant, a lessee; one who hires and cultivates a farm; a cultivator of leased ground. One who takes taxes, customs, excise or other duties, to collect for a certain rate per cent; as a farmer of the revenues. One who cultivates a farm; a husbandman, whether a tenant or the proprietor. In mining, the lord of the field, or one who farms the lot and cope of the king."

Another example, is the word faith. Faith is defined as: "to trust; to persuade, to draw towards any thing, to conciliate; to believe, to obey. Belief; the assent of the mind to the truth of what is declared by another, resting on his authority and veracity, without other evidence; the judgment that what another states or testifies is the truth. In theology, the assent of the mind or understanding to the truth of what God has revealed. Simple belief of the scriptures, of the being and perfections of God, and of the existence, character and doctrines of Christ, founded on the testimony of the sacred writers..."


Faith continued: "justifying, or saving faith is the assent of the mind to the truth of divine revelation, on the authority of God's testimony, accompanied with a cordial assent of the will or approbation of the heart; an entire confidence or trust in God's character and declarations, and in the character and doctrines of Christ, with an unreserved surrender of the will to his guidance, and dependence on his merits for salvation. In other words, that firm belief of God's testimony, and of the truth of the gospel, which influences the will, and leads to an entire reliance on Christ for salvation.

The faith of the gospel is that emotion of the mind, which is called trust or confidence, exercised towards the moral character of God, and particularly of the Savior. Faith is an affectionate practical confidence in the testimony of God. Faith is a firm, cordial belief in the veracity of God, in all the declarations of his word; or a full and affectionate confidence in the certainty of those things which God has declared, and because he has declared them." ~ 1828 Webster's Dictionary/in part

There was much more to the definition of faith, but I am sure you can see my meaning. So what does being a farmer of faith mean? To me : it is the hope, it is my active faith : in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... being Redeemed of Jesus/Yeshua, to cultivate the land around me for my King.

To weed what needs weeding, to water the dry grounds and prepare the soil. To care for and assist, to be a light in the dark place. To hold on and never let go, to grow forgiveness, feed on truth and blossom in radical love. To create a safe haven in the physical and in the spiritual, to offer a garden of grace and foundation for the laws of God.

Yes, I want this in my life.
For me, and for those around me.

I know well - that farming is hard work and Redemption is messy. Or what it is like to thirst for the waters of living water, to choke on the meat of the Word and to swallow a camel while straining a gnat. I also know what it is like to receive earth shaking forgiveness, and to be washed white... so much so it tore the veil in half.

I would like to called a faith farmer, a collector of hope... an example of the work He has done and is doing... what about you? Will join me in being a farmer of faith?

 ~  being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; ~ Philippians 1:6

June 12, 2018

Five Ways to Honor God with Your Garden

The Scriptures contain multiple verses pertaining to the acts of sowing & reaping, of harvesting and of cultivation. Of caring for the fatherless, the widow and the orphan. The poor or for those in need. They also share a part of YHVH's heart as a gardener, a farmer, a sower and... as a reaper. I have learned many biblical principles from the act of gardening... and I believe that gardening can be another way to serve and minister to others.

Over the years I have attempted to honor the various commands and principles in a variety of different ways, today I am sharing some of the them with you. This is by no means the only way or the best way to serve God with your garden. Just some simple ideas that can really make a difference.

1. When You Harvest Your Field: often times when my gardening season is winding down, I wait as along as possible to pull the beds and get them ready for the winter. Reserving all the remaining produce up to the first frost for the poor, the sojourner, or anyone who may be in need.

"And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.” - Leviticus 23 : 22

2. Leave Some For the Poor & Sojourner: invite those in need, and who are able - to come and glean from your fields. Set up a time or a special day for them and invite people into your garden, allow them to glean and assist them personally if needed.

"When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You must not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the sojourner. I am the LORD your God." - Leviticus 19 : 9 - 10

3. Intentionally Plant Extra with the Purpose of Giving to Those in Need: go ahead and plant an extra row, or a few extra plants. From which all of the fruit thereof will be for those who need it. An extra row of lettuce or beets, a few extra tomato plants really do not add much to the work.

4. Bless Those Who May Need an Extra Hand: sometimes mothers, those whom are ill or the elderly may need an extra hand. I have had the privilege of knowing a few, still do... who would love fresh produce or home made bread. Make sure it would be a blessing, if you give them a basket of produce - by cleaning it well ahead of time. This way you are not accidentally creating more tasks for them. Gift it use-able.

"If you are harvesting in your field and forget a sheaf there, do not go back to get it. It is to be left for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." - Deuteronomy 24 : 19

5. When Putting Food Up: along the same line, if you are canning twenty five quarts of tomatoes... add another two or three. This is easier if you intentionally planted extra, and blessing someone with fresh, home canned - garden goods is truly a labor of love. You could even attach a packet of saved seeds from your garden.

"Consider this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." - 2 Corinthians 9 : 6

I am sure there are many more ways to honor God with our gardens, and true to His word if we set our hand to this task, He will bless the work of our hands. It is also a wonderful way to build community.

June 7, 2018

My Personal Introduction to Power Sheets {part two}

In my previous post, part one of My Personal Introduction to Power Sheets, I shared with you three of my fears. These fears became evident when I completed the prep work needed - before I actually wrote out my goals. The fear of failure... in all honesty I knew about this one, however I didn't realized just how much this 'fear' effected my life. In relationships, in my daily living and even my drive for getting things done.

Thus, when the planning portion for the month of May happened, I felt a huge weight burdening me to 'make it all' happen. Every thing I wanted to accomplish was resting solely on my ability, and failure was not an option. I mean if I didn't complete everything on my list, my long term goals would never happen. If they didn't happen, then by default that would mean I was a failure.

Yikes - talk about a non grace attitude and a dream killer!

“Busy is the enemy of peace. Busy takes us away from our purpose. Busy is not truly productive in the big picture. Busy means life’s joys and surprises can’t find a way into our lives because we’re moving too fast to see and experience them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to move so fast that I miss my life.”Lara Casey, Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose.

The next fear I mentioned - number two : being forgotten. Which is actually related, or fostered by fear number three : of not being able to LOVE life to it's Longevity. I am one of those people who loves with everything in me, very passionately. When I am happy - the world knows it, and when I am hurt or upset... yep - they know it too. Having two predominate love languages - acts of service and words of affirmation. I will often run myself into the ground, extending myself to poor health to serve or help. Or pile so much on a day that it sucks the joy right out of a moment.

Honestly, I have sat and cried, emotionally negotiating my body to do just one more thing. Only to wake up the next day, feeling like it wasn't enough. Sometimes thinking 'did I say I love you enough', does '- - - - - - ' really know that I love them. Or do they know just how sorry I am for hurting them or for not being so nice or making a mistake. You see, no matter what I have lived through in my life : and maybe one day I will share more : I have always wanted to live long and love with every ounce of me. Have I done that? Well, I am not done yet and I am learning as I grow along the way.

“Nurturing a plant takes a commitment to gradual, daily care. You can’t grow something by soaking it in a bucket of water all at once. In the same way, you can’t work hard on a goal, giving it your all for one day out of your life, and then forget about it come January 2. Commit to daily tending. Our lives will bloom through daily decisions and habits—daily tending, nurturing, and pruning—not just the giant leaps made once in a while.”Lara Casey, Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose

 So what exactly occurred in the month of May?

Besides the deep stuff, the personal cultivation : and letting a lot of things go - to enjoy the 'happen'. Both sets of parents came for a visit - and it was a wonderful visit. We took my mom to see some mountains that she has never seen. Mama also spent some of her days prepping my gardens. We took lots of pictures of the various places we traveled to... especially focusing on the local botanicals. I made dandelion salve. We went to the hot springs and soaked our bones... shared family meals and local museums. Remembered birthdays and holy days.

I obtained my business license, created product labels and gathered packaging materials. Made sourdough rye. Plus I worked part time outside the home. Yes, May was full - in every sense of the word and I am choosing grace on my shop launch, knowing the things that I have cultivate and those things that are growing in my life... are what matters.

 “your past and your mistakes—no matter how heavy or confusing or deep they run—do not define you. No matter what you have done or experienced, you can receive God’s grace. His forgiveness is bigger than your mistakes. His power is bigger than your past or your present.”Lara Casey, Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose

Thank you, Lara Casey - & the Cultivate What Matters Team - Power Sheets are a wonderful tool, and I am looking forward to intentionally using them. I am also looking forward to reading your books and joining others in this cultivating journey.

Related Topics:

May 31, 2018

Honoring Shavuot - At the Foot of a Mountain

This month our family honored Shavuot. It it's simplest form... not to say the biblical feast are simple, but rather to say - that often we make things complicated. Sometimes we enter into date debates and the should we or should we not reasons, to honor the feasts. I am personally so thankful it will all be made clear when Yeshua returns...

Well, this year we had the pleasure of my mom being here for a visit, and we thought of no better way to share Shavuot with her, than to take a day trip to the mountain.

 You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks, that is, the first fruits of the wheat harvest, 
and the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year.
Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel
 Exodus 34: 22 - 23

We packed a cooler full of bevies & snacks, lunches and cold brew coffee, headed out at just about dawn... for this moment right here. {Pictured above.} Have you ever heard the Shofar sound near the base of a mountain? Want to talk about spiritual goose bumps...

My husband blew the Shofar and our hearts proclaimed. Proclaimed: The El of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. The giver of Yeshua the Messiah, our Redeemer - who is and will always be the El we serve. We thank You for providing for us, for teaching us, and - for the correction we have received. We ask that You would continue to restore, to train and to equip us. Help us love others better, to love You best... and please forgive us of our trespasses - as we forgive others and ourselves. Help us to better image bearers of Your Son, to walk in the Ruach, in wisdom and in the Truth of your Word. Abba - help us to honor You with our lives, to be Your servants and a witness to Your Mighty Love.

~ Amen ~

“You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath. Then you shall present a grain offering of new grain to the Lord. You shall bring from your dwelling places two loaves of bread to be waved, made of two tenths of an ephah... And you shall make a proclamation on the same day. You shall hold a holy convocation. You shall not do any ordinary work. It is a statute forever in all your dwelling places throughout your generations." 
Leviticus 23

 A full day, spent in Creation... taking in all in.  Admiring His AWESOME-NESS and His position as the El of the Mountain. The God of every mountain.

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance... 
Acts 2

May 28, 2018

My Personal Introduction to Power Sheets {part one}

It is pretty obvious that I have not blogged much during this month of May. Sure - there were great intentions and grand ideas - but none of them 'made it' to the blog. I have been 'tending' my list like crazy - behind the scenes, and learning a few growth lessons too. But along the way something occurred, or is occurring and I wanted to share a portion of it here. 

So What Are Power Sheets?

Simply put, it is an intentional planner. A tool to help you uncover your goals and then put them into action steps - to help achieve them. To help cultivate those things that matter. However, after my first month I would say Power Sheets are much more than that...

When I first heard of the Power Sheets, I thought it would be a fun, colorful way to make a list of all the things that one wanted to achieve in life. Visions of planning and organizing those dreams and goals into manageable lists, easily checked off - one by one - made me smile.

I didn't realize there was going to be some 'deep' cultivation. I didn't think I would find out some things about myself while using a goal planner, that I had not already known. Or while - intentionally - using the first portion of the planner - finding myself coming to grips with some of my goals, and having to acknowledge that they were not good goals.

"What if Today is the Day that Everything Changes?" 
Power Sheets - Lara Casey - Cultivate Shop
Hi! My Name is Andi & I started Power Sheets on May 1st, 2018

Honestly, the first portion of the planner is something of depth and I truly could not share about every section here... but three portions struck me the deepest. One: break your identity box. Two: cultivated life evaluation. Three: meet your fears. The fear section is the one that brought me to tears. Through the process of completing the pages I was able to name my fears and 'take action'. But I had not realized those fears fueled different areas of my life in the way they did.

"Your Fears Do Not Define Who You Are, Name Them."
 Power Sheets - Lara Casey - Cultivate Shop
I am afraid of failure. Of being forgotten. Of not being able to LOVE life to it's Longevity.

Next came the task of brainstorming and creating goals, along with the why. Steps such as; 'The how will I know I accomplished or made progress on my goal. How will you celebrate making progress or completing the goal. The positive effect taking action on this goal may have.'  etc. - were all part of the process for each goal you listed... the action plan. Then the action plan overview... and mine looked like a football coaches play book. Which is actually part of the occurrence I mentioned above, and it will be shared about in the - part two - portion of my introduction to Power Sheets. 

Recommended Links:

May 8, 2018

How to Make Dandelion Plantain Balm and Why

I have been foraging dandelions for a few days now - just waiting for an opportunity to make my Dandelion Plantain salve and - to share it. Dandelions have many uses for the homemaker and for the homesteader, really for anyone with herbal/ly interests. A simple google search would give you plenty of ideas for Dandelion uses.

But Why Dandelion? {Taraxacum officinale}

Besides being widespread and easy to identify, Dandelions are easy to grow and semi easy to harvest. A win win for the beginner and the expert. All parts of the plant can be used, the root for things like - stimulating bile production and as a liver tonic, the leaf for things like - water retention and kidney problems. The flowers can be saute`d for dinner additions or in our case... used in a balm for sore muscles, chapped skin and stiff joints.

And Plantain? {Plantago major}

Again, plantain is wide spread with multiple uses, and it is easy to identify. Dandelion and Plantain are great herbs for children to learn basic salve making skills with as well as botanical identification. Plantain is my - most used - go to - for skin issues, because of it's ability to effectively nurture the skin as a whole. From fighting infection to drawing out skin toxins and soothing scrapes, bites and stings. Plantain is priceless. Together - they are gift to be reckoned with.

"Plantain also has styptic and hemostatic properties, meaning that it can help check bleeding." - Rosemary Gladstar, Medicinal Herbs - A Beginner's Guide, page 189

How To Harvest Dandelions & Prepare Them for Salve Making:

I simply walk around my foraging area and snap the flower heads off and put them in a bowl or basket. When I get back home, I rinse them quickly and then spread them out on a paper or cloth towel for a couple of days. This allows them to dry out just a bit, as Dandelions are very 'wet' in nature and I don't want my salve to turn rancid because of the excess moisture.

Once the Dandelions are semi dry - they are ready to be used in our balm. I prefer the solar infusion method, but in a pinch I will use the oven or crock pot to create the heat I need for infusion purposes. I fill a quart sized jar half to two thirds full of the herbs I am using. For this balm {or salve} I am using Dandelions and Plantain. The Plantain has already been completely dried.

Then cover the dried herbs with your oil of choice, such as; olive oil or almond... sunflower oil even. Next set the jar in a sunny location and allow the infusion to happen - please see the links below for more method details. After the desired time has passed to allow for the botanical benefits to transfer from the herbs to the oil, drain and remove the spent herbs. Reserving the medicinal oil for your balm.

Basic Recipe Ratio's for Balm/Salve Making: Mix together the desired 'parts' of the medicinal oil to beeswax. Make sure both items are warm, this will help with the blending and thus create a smoother consistency. While in the warm, melted stage, pour the balm into the containers of your choice. Let your balm cool and set, then label and date with the ingredients. I also like to add what the salve, or balm is used for too, especially if I am gifting it.

1 Part Beeswax to 3 Parts Medicinal Oil = firm salve
1 Part Beeswax to 4 Parts Medicinal Oil = soft balm/salve

I am looking forward to using this balm on my - very dry - garden hands and reaping the benefits of Dandelion and Plantain. Go ahead, and give it a try! However, if you are not up for making it yourself or have a desire to support small businesses, please keep this in mind. Our Dandelion Plantain balm will be available in the shop for a short time - while supplies last.

Coming to the shop as part of our business launch, very soon!


Recommended Resources:

April 21, 2018

Homestead Happenings - Watching the Chickens Peck

Today was the perfect day to sit and watch the chickens peck. It wasn't too hot nor too cold, and the wind was actually pretty low on the breeze scale. While I was out I made another attempt to capture the chicken-ness of the chicken. It isn't easy, chickens don't stand still for long...

 But it was relaxing and a great way to rest on Shabbat!

April 14, 2018

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ My April Mid

For Today

Looking out my window... I see the sun setting behind the uplift, on a wonderful Sabbath evening. The rays changing colors with each passing minute and I am reminded of why I love the west. In the yard - the trees are beginning to bud.

I am thinking... about the projects on my list, the painting of two rooms before mama comes to visit. About changing the Highwinds Homestead to it's own blog and about my family goals. I am also thinking about the grandchild due in November.
I am thankful... for Pesach and the Feast of Unleavened Bread that I spent with my husband and our Fellowship family. Such a special time...
One of my favorite things... is to watch the chickens peck.These girls will be in their new coop before the month is over, and I can hardly wait to have farm fresh eggs again.

I am creating... the second sleeve, to this - my knitted sweater. The color is Merlot and I hope to have it finished before our Marriage conference come November. It is from the Celtic Journey through Knit Picks, which contains a few creatives I would like to attempt.

I am wearing... my two sizes too big denim skirt and my "I love my Husband" t-shirt. Total relaxation clothing on my part.   
I am reading... well, trying to read would be more appropriate. But slow progress is still progress.

I am hoping... to have my own homestead someday, surrounded by trees and mountains. But until them, I will live and homestead right where I am... leaving my hope in God.
I am learning... the importance of renewal. The act of renewing; the act of forming anew; as the renewal of a treaty. Renovation; regeneration. Revival; restoration to a former or to a good state.
In my kitchen... the smell of barbacoa beef is filling the air. A Trim Healthy Mama version, and after tasting a little bite, I will need to cut back on the peppers. {Yikes} But Glory to God, I am twenty pounds to my goal weight... which I am so thankful for. Having lost almost forty pounds in little over a year... slow and steady. 

In my garden... the outline of garden beds, and the process of fence building has commenced. This past week I sowed thirty six tomato plants, which might be some what over kill if they all survive. But until then... I have a heart to sow much. In more ways than in the garden.
Post Scrip: I am new to Cultivate What Matters, but I am loving their instagram, their write the word journals and I am really holding out for the new Power Sheets
Shared Quote: “…the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by his letting us have our way in the end, but by his making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly pray what he taught his disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” - Elisabeth Elliot
A moment from my day: admiring dandelions.

May your week be filled with joy, intentional living and purpose. May your nights be filled with laughing, wholeness and heart moments, and may you see the sunrise and enjoy strong coffee each morning.

Shared/Found Here: The Simple Woman's Daybook

March 26, 2018

Creating the Hand Embroidered Botanical Baby Blanket

Today is the day, that I share with you how I put my hand embroidered - botanical baby blanket - together and I will do my best to share the details. First, we start with our twelve, completed - hand embroidered blocks. {The templates are found in my side bar.} Then we make sure to trim them to six by six inches. This pattern is very forgiving, in the sense that I was not a stickler on exact size and measurements, so please think of this post as an outline or guide and let your creativity flow...

Next: I went through my left over fabric pieces and found enough matching colors to cut into strips. These strips are approximately two and half inches wide and I left them as long as possible to accommodate the block size changing as I went along. This also allows for your seam allowance on each side.

Stitch the strips, to the embroidery block... similar to a log cabin quilt assemble, one at a time. Going around the block, to make the block look similar to the above photo. This article gives a good explanation of the process I am attempting to describe. You can also look up you tube videos or blog tutorials regarding this process as well.

Remember To: Iron each seam, and block after it is is completed... I highly recommend this. It makes for an easier assemble and 'look' once the blanket is put together. Since my goal was to remain as frugal as possible in this case, I used three separate colors that coordinated from my fabric stash. As well as, left over batting for the middle and created blanket binding from more left over fabric.

Once the blocks were competed, I then went to creating the rows... stitching each block together, forming rows of three. After the rows of three were compete, then I stitched the rows of three together to form the blanket. Meaning - this is three blocks wide and four blocks high... or down depending on how you see it.

After completion, comes more ironing and the adding of the batting and back. Also called the quilters sandwich. Following right behind them are the tie off and the binding... all of which I have included links to articles for, because honestly - others have created great tutorials on such matters and why not share good resources. 

Blanket Assemble:

You have just read the Hand Embroidered Botanical Baby Blanket sharing post, and I hope you found it useful and encouraging - possibly enough to spark your own adventure. If not, that is okay too... I am still thankful you stopped by.

P.S: Life is so interesting. Yesterday I received a phone call from my eldest son... the call shared with me the news of my first grandchild. ME. A Grandmother. Inspiring for sure!

Shared With: Homemaking Link Up #96 - Raising Homemakers