Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My alarm clock...my enemy....

So after a few weeks off of work...it is back to getting up at 04:30, waking to the alarm clock. YUK! It will take me a few days of getting used to waking up to it....and with this cold snap of single digits and negative wind chills....that makes it even harder to want to get out from under the covers. Since we heat with our wood stove entirely...the house is cool in the mornings when I wake up. This morning it was 63 degrees when I got up. Luckily there were plenty of hot coals in the stove, so it didn't take long to get a blazing fire going. Sitting here with the fire crackling....feeling the warmth...the glow of my laptop and a hot mug of fresh coffee....it is hard to get motivated to go get my truck started so it is warm when I get ready to leave. Then my mind wanders to my animals...thinking how cold they must be out there. I feel so bad for them, but I know they have plenty warm bedding...and they are most likely warm enough...but I can't help feel so bad for all of them. I will get home from my morning shift around 8 am. Once I am home I will change into my barn clothes...and start hauling warm water out to them. The pigs, sheep and goats will all get a little molasses and Karo in their morning drink. This will help warm them and bring up their energy levels since I am sure they will use a lot of energy shivering. The birds will all get their scratch grains with plenty cracked corn. The corn is a harder grain so as it sits in their crops, it is a bit harder to digest. As the crop works to digest it, this warms up the birds. The rabbits will all get a large amount of hay with their pellets and Timothy....and I will cut a large hand full of Honeysuckle for them. Honeysuckle is the only thing growing here that still has a bit of green leaves on it...and the rabbits LOVE it! By the time I finish....I will have to come inside, get cleaned up and head back to work for the lunch shift. I might have enough time to sit by the fire with a cup of coffee for about 30 minutes. After the lunch shift, I will get home about 1:15 or so, I will need to get on my barn clothes and haul more warm water to the animals..do a "welfare check" and then I will have time to get a few things done inside...run the sweeper, wash a small load of dishes...maybe do a load of laundry, then head out and feed the critters and get them locked up for the night before heading back to work for the dinner shift. Since I don't get home until after dark, I like to have them all secured in their shelters, fed, fat and happy before I leave. This way, when I do get home, I can come inside, get my shower and snuggle down in my warm pajamas....and relax. It seems like a busy day, and I guess it is, but I love this little homestead life. It keeps me busy...keeps me motivated...and our " advanced years " I feel it is better to keep going. A few days ago I was starting to feel a bit under the weather, so I knew it was time to get my Elderberry Syrup made. Elderberries are wonderful little berries...they are full of vitamins and anti-viral properties. Now, I am not going to get into all of the scientific stuff but I can tell you they help boost your immunity. If you feel the "need to know" you can go here.. Now, if you look for recipes on how to make Elderberry Syrup, there are many out there, and everyone has their own idea on what you need to " add" to it. for me....I keep it simple. No need to add too many ingredients to " make it flavorful" After all...it is a "medicine" ( or preventative ) and besides....Elderberries really DO taste pretty darned good once you add a bit of a sweetener. Here is what I do. 3 cups of clean, ripe, Elderberries ( Ours grow here on the homestead, and are organic ) 1 cup local raw honey (I purchase from a local beek ) 2 cups water ( I use water from our reverse osmosis faucet to have pure water, free from metals and chemicals) Place the berries and water in a medium sauce pot over a medium high heat. Keep them stirred well and once they start to boil mach them up good with a potato masher. Cook them for about 30 minutes, stirring often. After 30 minutes, strain the berries through cheese cloth into a glass bowl. Let this cool down to room temperature then add 1 cup of honey. Mix it well and put into sterilized pint jars. Wipe the rims well and add your cap and ring. I label mine with "instructions" Take 2 teaspoons, 4 times a day as a preventative and 1 Tablespoon 6 times a day if a cold or flu has struck. Keep refrigerated. This batch should last you through the winter. Toss after 6 months.
You can use half this amount for children, but DO NOT give to kids under two years of age because of the honey. Now...I am not a licensed doctor or anything like that....so, use this with caution. Be smart....take a few doses and make sure your body can handle it. ( this is my disclaimer, you know...just in case) ;) Well, I have babbled long enough..I need to go start my truck and get myself together and head out the door.


  1. Keep warm my friend! I used to go out and collect the elderberry "blow" which is the white blossom petals when they are about to drop. I'd spread them out to dry, and then use a teaspoon to make a mug of tea when I felt something coming on. Drink the tea, wrap up warm and it is like it caused a slight (and temporary) rise in temperature and more times than not, I'd get better. I need to do that when I can find more elderblow! Haven't had a good patch in a long time.

  2. I have never heard of using the blossoms....that is interesting. I will try to remember to let you know when ours are blooming..so you can come get yourself some.