Friday, February 1, 2019

The Miracle Dog

Above Photo:
Doc Tyree and Ginger, years after that Faithful morning.


The sound of the driveway bell after 8 a.m. that February morning sounded a bit more insistent than usual. As I was preparing for the day 
ahead, "Ginger has been hit!", came the urgent cry from my doorway.

  Ginger Buddy, was named for the color of her silky "ginger" colored fur and "Buddy", my Niece's dog, was her father. Ginger's mother was 
"Faith" whom I had adopted from my Dad after he passed way.  Faith was a Golden Retriever/Shepard mix and loved to ramble in the woods by the stream 
behind my house. The pair were forbidden to go out of the yard and past the driveway gate but would occasionally venture across the highway into the 
blackberry brambles where the rabbits made their dens. My house was in a rural area and the traffic was only moderate.  I had gambled with that highway that 
morning, and I had lost the bet. 

  I immediately rushed to the phone to dial our local Animal Hospital a few miles away. Pam, the Veterinary Assistant at the Addison Veterinary Hospital, 
answered the phone and I explained the situation. "Bring her in right now!," she exclaimed.  Doc Tyree was still in the office, having been detained from a farm call that 
morning by The Unseen Hand.

  Ginger was placed onto a small tarpoleum and loaded into my van. She was 
breathing rapidly and unresponsive. As she stared blankly into space I stroked her soft cheek. "You are going to be alright", I told her as she was sped to the Animal Hospital.

  "Do you need some help?" asked Pam as she opened the door. Ginger's still form was cradled into a pouch formed by the tarpoleum as she was carried through the Animal Hospital's open
front door. She was still unresponsive as the screened door closed behind me. "Bring her in here." Pam indicated the exam room where Ginger was 
placed, along with the tarp, on to the exam table. Doc Tyree came in and began his
examination.  As i anxiously observed bustle of activity of the veterinarians' office that morning,
it hadn't been a leisurely one.

  The exam room was small so I stood outside the door gazing intently at Doc Tyree's
hands as he shaved a small area of fur from Ginger's chest to start her on I.V. fluids.

Her veins were collapsing. I heard him ask Pam for assistance, and then he added, 
"If miss this vein I'll not find another one."

  I sat down in a small chair outside of the exam room door and whispered a 
prayer as I grasped the back of the chair, "Please, Father." I acknowledged that I 
had been a permissive pet parent and this was my fault and I realized that Ginger
Buddy was not just a dog. She was my family.

  Doc Tyree completed his exam and I prepared myself to make a decision to stop
her suffering. He indicated that Ginger was paralyzed and that it could be 
temporary, or permanent. She had suffered two deep lesions, one to a fore paw, which
had exposed bone, and another to an inside leg. Her underbelly was raw red.

  I heard Doc Tyree say, "We could give her a chance."

  I looked up and humbly declared, "We'll give her a chance!"

  He cradled her into his arms and as he carried my sweet little dog through a
door to a back room to place her on a heating pad for the night, I wondered if I
would ever see her again.  As the Gentle Doctor carried the suffering creature 
through the doorway did I see Ginger wag her tail ever so slightly?

  I called my Mom, and a dear friend, and then, with others, a prayer chain on Ginger's 
behalf was formed...and an agonizing wait until morning.

  "I couldn't believe it," said Pam, after answering my anxious phone call the next day. "I came into work this morning and Ginger was
on the heating pad standing up and wagging her tail!" A wave of relief swept away 
the tension and calm pool receded into its place. She added, "I believe y'all had a 
little help from above."

  We all knew it. Ginger's trail on the way to complete healing was winding and riddled with 
switchbacks, but she endured, we endured, "with a little help from above".
From the ringing of the driveway bell as a concerned young couple had witnessed the accident and had stopped to inform me, to the Unseen Hand that had delayed Doc Tyree's departure from the Animal Hospital that morning.

It was all part of a "Master" plan for the "Miracle Dog".



Friday, October 6, 2017

The Boy With The Shrimp

He strode into the waiting room at the oil change place and sat down. He had a little "boonie" hat on like a military man. I had just taken my Mama next door to the place where she gets her hair cut on every other full moon and had took the opportunity to have the oil changed in my vehicle. I had took a seat by the door when I saw him walk in, The Boy With The Shrimp. He was involved with his smart phone. He spoke to me and offered advice about the technicians there, how they did a good job and all. I was shocked that he had anything to say to me.

I had gotten an invitation to join the AARP a few years before when I met The Boy With The Shrimp. I don't see how anyone that attended a Van Halen concert could possibly qualify for an
AARP card but I guess they were just looking at the numbers. It turned out that The Boy With The Shrimp had been looking at my knees. I had decided when I was looking down at those knees to brush my hair one day that maybe they belonged to a girl that HAD been to a Van Halen concert when David Lee Roth had hair so I was very surprised.

 The Boy With The Shrimp talked to me about new movies and war, he asked me for my phone number. My eyebrows raised. "To young?" he asked. "Well", I said, "there is more to being a man than a number", and I gave him mine.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not in the habit of giving every young man I meet in the oil change or any other place my phone number but this one was special, The Boy With The Shrimp.

He called. We talked. He asked me out for a date and I said yes to The Boy With The Shrimp.

He had told me he had been in the military and was in a war and had been jumping out of airplanes and chasing bad guys so I knew that I was going to have to keep my fences tight. He could have ruined me if I had been a younger woman, The Boy The The Shrimp, but I had grown older and hopefully a little wiser in all these years of living on God's good green earth.

 I'll have to give some of the credit to my Mama for the genetics. I once held a puppy adoption at a local flea market and a friend of the guy that sold leatherwear for bikers followed my Mama around the flea market that day like HE was a puppy and the guy was my age.  The next time we visited that same flea market my Mama stopped for a moment and asked me how she looked. She was a motorcycle rider and was riding Harley's when this guy was probably learning to ride a bicycle with training wheels. I told her she looked fine.

The Boy With The Shrimp came to my house. It was a Friday. As he drove to the local Italian restaurant with me by his side with a taser in my purse, his radio was tuned to a classic rock station. I knew I liked this boy who was a man who had been in a war. When "Every rose has it's thorns" was playing on the radio, he asked me if I had any thorns. He threated marriage and flowers but I knew that line and would not bite.  

He gave me a light kiss, ever so gently, publicly, The Boy With The Shrimp, while we were waiting at the restaurant for his name to be called. I was thankful that the Pastor and wife of the Church I attended were there also waiting for a table and for the introductions and the pleasant conversation as we waited. We were soon seated and ordered our food. He ordered some kind of shrimp. I do not remember what I ordered.  He offered me a shrimp off his plate and extended it in his hand to me. He ate like a man. I loved to watch him eat. There was a young family dining at the table that was next to ours and a little girl almost fell out of her chair and The Boy With The Shrimp was on his feet so fast to lend aid I don't believe lightning could have struck any faster. She was alright.

 I motioned with my hands for the Pastor and his wife who were dining at a table near us to pray for me when The Boy With The Shrimp left the table to pay our bill. I was so sick I had to order a glass of sweet iced tea and sipped it slowly as I tried to appease the butterflies that were in my stomach. I believe David Lee Roth DID have hair the last time I felt like that.

He made a good play, The Boy With The Shrimp, but I was to weary of the game and he would have only snagged me anyway with those old lines. I closed my gate after that and entered into what I like to call "The Aunt Bea Years". I knit and crochet brightly colored hats now for soldiers deployed in the war on terror as the memory of that night fades, one stitch at a time, into the glassy sea of gems.

It took "Aunt Bea" from Maybury, USA 2 entire episodes of The Andy Griffith show to almost marry a Sea Captain portrayed by Will Geer. Aunt Bea refered to it as a "beautiful interlude". She was concerned that he loved the sea to much to ever be content at home, so she threw him back in.

I feel ya girl...and I've got the pearls to prove it.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Local Herbs And Their Uses

"And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed, to you it shall be for meat."
Genesis 1:29
Herb Defined:
1 Plants, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume.
2 Botany 
Any seed-bearing plant which does not have a woody stem and dies down to the ground after flowering.
Erb or Herb?
The word herb began use in the 1300's from an old Old French word, erbe which came from the Latin word, herba. Here in America, because the French word is used, we don't usually pronounce the hard "H".
Herbs are useful in maintaining health and can be used to treat illness. Herbs fall into two categories, tonic and medicinal. Tonic herbs may be safely used to maintain good health and medicinal herbs may be used to treat ailments.

Dandelion: High in phytonutrients and antioxidants which aid in slowing cancer growth and spread, prevents free radical damage to cells and DNA. Can be used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, gallbladder and inflammation. Boosts immune system.

Plantain: Astringent properties- May be crushed or chewed and placed directly over a sting, bite or rash, hemorrhoid remedy. Healing effect on the digestive system. Gentle expectorant.

Blackberry: Rich in bioflavonids and Vitamin C, low sodium, one of the highest antioxidant levels, source of fiber, good for digestive health, prevents cancer, useful for weight management, bone strength, skin health, improved vision, prevents eye disease, heart healthy, cognitive health, immunity booster, normal blood clotting treats endothelial dysfunction (abnormal function of lining of blood vessels), the folate useful in pregnancy, also known as the "gout berry" by the ancient Greeks AND is the Official Fruit of The State Of Alabama. The leaves cure diarrhea and the tannins in the leaves heal wounds.

Mullein: Treatment of various inflammatory diseases, diarrhea, asthma, coughs and other lung related issues. Used to treat the pain and inflammation associated with earaches.
Treatment of bruises, burns, hemorrhoids and gout, leaves can be applied topically to soften and protect the skin.  Mullein can be ingested, applied topically and even smoked.

Yellow Dock: High in iron, the root is medicinal for detoxing and skin ailments, laxative.

Eating seasonally has health benefits.
Spring greens for blood cleaning and purifying.
Summer Fruits and Vegetables to boost immunity.
Fall/Winter foods for antioxidants.
Essential Oils
Lavender: Reduces anxiety and emotional stress, heals burns and wounds, improves sleep, restores skin complexion and reduces acne, slows aging with powerful antioxidants, improves eczema and psoriasis, alleviates headaches. Researchers claim that 2,000 years ago lavender was referred to as Spikenard or Nard. The most famous usage of  lavender being the oil Mary used in John 12:3 to anoint Jesus.
"Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." John 12:3 (NIV)
Tea Tree: Treats acne, bacterial infections, chickenpox, cold sores, congestion and respiratory tract infections, earaches, fungal infections (especially Candida, jock itch, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus), halitosis (bad breath), head lice, MRSA, psoriasis, dry cuticles, itchy insect bites, sores and sunburns, boils from staph infections.
Household uses: Antimicrobial, laundry freshener, insect repellant, natural deodorant, acne face wash, removes foot order, removes mold, household cleaner.
Local Wild Foods Smoothie
1 Cup Almond Milk
1/2 Frozen Banana
1/2 Frozen Mango
1 Handful Dandelion Greens (Washed)
1 Handful Frozen Blackberries
Combine Almond Milk with Dandelion Greens and blend until smooth. Add frozen Banana, Mango and Blackberries.
(Any other additives such as 1 T Flaxseed or 4 T Almond Butter may be included.)
Blend until smooth, pour into a pint mason jar and enjoy.

Disclaimer: The information herein is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be used as a diagnosis, prescription or treatment, nor is it meant to replace the medical services of a medical professional. The remedies, approaches, and techniques described in these materials are not to be a substitute for, professional medical care or treatment. They should not be used to treat an ailment without prior consultation with a licensed medical professional. You should always consult with your medical professional before beginning any course of treatment.

These statements have not been approved by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Timing Is Everything

 Regardless of whether the local Groundhogs saw their shadow this month or not, Valentine's Day is going to happen on February 14 and the honey bee queen is making plans for expanding in anticipation of Spring.

Right now would be a good time to find a day when the outside temperature is going to rise above 60 degrees F and put those supers of empty comb over the brood chamber. The hives here reside above I-20.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Stayin' Alive

  Mr. Baker, of the Ole Baker Farm in Harpersville, Alabama was probably 100 years old when he told me the story of a local family that had moved down from Birmingham, Alabama during the Great Depression of the 1930's. They had become his neighbors. This particular family was inexperienced at gardening and had failed in their first attempt to feed themselves. Mr. Baker and his family, being the good neighbors that they are, helped this family survive the winter by supplying them with sweet potatoes and molasses.

  This recipe survived. 

Sweet Potato Dumplings

2 or 3 Sweet Potatos (Raw Grated)
Basic Biscuit Dough
2 C. Water
1 1/2 C. Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1/2 Stick Butter

1) Roll out Basic Biscuit Dough into a long rectangle about 1/4" thick.
2) Spread sweet potato on top.
3) Roll up jelly roll style and slice into 1/2" circles and place circles in a greased baking dish cut sides down.
4) Heat water, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg & butter in a sauce pan.
5) Pour over circles & bake at 425 Degrees F for 30 Minutes.

(Basic Biscuit Dough)
2 c. Plain Flour
1 tsp. Salt
3 tsp. Baking Powder
6 tbs. Butter
1 c. Buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Cut butter into mixture until it begins to look like cornmeal. Make a well with flour mixture and slowly add milk into the middle. Knead dough with your fingers and add milk when necessary. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

2 x 4 Laundry And Dish Washing Liquid

Here is a recipe for a quick easy Laundry and Dish Washing liquid that is safe.

2 Gallon Bucket With Lid

2 Cups Washing Soda 

2 Cups Borax

4 Cups Natural Soap Flakes

1) In the 2 gallon bucket combine 4 cups of soap flakes with 4 cups of boiling water.

2) Use a wire whisk to stir after the soap flakes are like a gel.

3) Add the 2 cups of Borax and 2 cups of Washing Soda.

4) Add hot water to fill remainder of bucket.

5) Stir daily with wire whisk until the liquid becomes like gel.

Use 1/4 cup per average load of laundry.

Use 1/4 cup per sink of dishes.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Asleep On Snow

"Morning dove sat by my window and I awoke to hear his serene song".
My latest thrift shop find was a soft, mint green wool blend sweater that was hung at the very end of the ladies sweater display rack.  Finds of this nature usually jump right off the rack as if to say, "You're mine".
I tried it on for fit and made a quick check in a mirror to see if the shade was pleasing.  Two snap buttons closed the open front at the waist and there were squiggle designs all around.
I noticed the squiggle designs again when I put on my new found treasure for Sunday morning. On my way to meeting I received a call from a friend who wanted to see if I would stop by after Service and look at items that she need to part with and wanted to share..  She and her family had made positive changes and after a tough passage of time were filling a U-Haul and were moving back home.
When I arrived, one look at my sweater and my friend and her Mom instantly saw what I had not seen.  What I thought was scribbling was cursive writing. Around I went as they both read,
"Morning dove sat by my window and I awoke to hear his serene song".
~The real voyage of discovery comes not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.~
One of my favorite quotes came alive to me as my sweet friend had inspired me to make positive changes in my own life.  The sadly neglected herb garden by my front door had been in need of positive changes for years.  The first thing that needed to happen was to reduce the area to a size that was more manageable.
One morning last week I was on my way back to my house from the goat barn.  I looked at the native sandstone rocks that defined the edge of the bed and grabbed a long-handle hoe and started re-arranging rocks.  I purposed to redo one section before I stopped.
In a popular novel set in the days of the Civil War here in the South one of  the main characters was quoted as saying,
 "Only do the amount of work today that you can get back up and do again tomorrow".
In 1988 I applied postive change to my own life.  I left a corporate job that was no longer satisfying and moved back to the family farm to make a life and a living for my family off the land.
"Asleep On Snow"  is where I would like to share my daily living here on Simple Life Farm and where I would like to share interesting ideas for simple living, interesting crafts, recipes, common sense and more.  \
I have needed to do this for a long time now, I just couldn't see it...
Cheryl of Simple Life Farm