The humble weed that is so good for us

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The humble dandelion gets a bad rap most of the time. In fact, it is this plant that most people purchase round up to get rid of.  The truth about this plant may make you rethink your opinion of it. 
Why?
Dandelions are really good for us. The entire plant is usable. The lovely flowers can be dehydrated to use in tinctures and recipes such as jelly or bread. The leaves are a great addition to salads or fried up like collards. The tap root is medicinal in a number of ways. This plant is a winner!
Caution: Only use dandelion plants from yards or areas that are NOT sprayed with pesticide. 
You want to harvest the flowers to use  in recipes for tinctures, and in infused oils that are good for joint pain. There are recipes online everywhere for these things. I am infusing the flowers into olive oil for the pain relief. All you do is put the flowers into a mason jar, packed tightly, and cover with olive oil. Put a coffee filter over the top of the jar and screw the ring on.  Let it sit for two to four weeks to infuse the oil with the medicinal flowers. You can then remove the flowers and strain the oil and add coconut oil or shea butter to it and use as a salve. 
You can make a jelly from the flowers too and it tastes like honey! Just put the flowers into a bowl and pour hot water over them to steep for half an hour then strain. Use the liquid in your favorite jelly recipe. It really is good!
The leaves are used in salads and can also be dehydrated and ground into a powder to add to soups and salads. The leaves are best in early spring and late fall. They can be bitter during the summer months. You can use them like collards and cook them like the collards. They are a tasty addition to any meal.
The tap root is valuable for all the things it helps with medicinally. It is used to calm stress and anxiety. The tap root can be ground up and used as a tonic to help with strengthening the kidneys. It is used also to treat gall bladder issues including gall stones, jaundice, edema from high blood pressure, chronic joint pain, hypoglycemia and skin complaints. 
To make a tonic, use 1-3 teaspoons of ground tap root per cup of water. Bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer 15-20 minutes. Drink as a tea. 
This plant helps in digestion as well. It is one of the best herbs for building the blood and stopping anemia. 
It is truly an amazing plant to have in your home. I dehydrate it and have it on hand for use when needed. It is best fresh but since it doesn’t grow in winter, it is nice to have that time of the year too. 
I hope this helps you to see the fine qualities that this overlooked and misunderstood plant has to benefit us. 
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Excitement and Blessings

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This week is exciting for a variety of reasons. The first is that the warmer weather is allowing me to start some of my seeds indoors and get ready for the garden. All winter long we wait for this time of the year. Our busy season is upon us here in Kentucky. Indoor seed plantings will begin. Our last approximate frost date is April 15th so now is the time to get those seeds started.

The second exciting thing is getting ready for my trip to Nashville! I entered a scrapbooking contest a while back and won this trip! My cousin and dear friend, Janine, is going with me. We have a full weekend of scrapping, taking classes and enjoying time away from home. I am so excited…I never win anything so this is a big deal!

The third thing I am excited about is another dear friend of mine, Beverly, gifted me a pressure canner, a water bath canner, and all sizes of jars, lids, rings and even booklets about the uses of canners. What an amazing gift! I already used some of the jars this week. This will give me more of a quantity of jars that I can can at the same time. What a blessing!

Fourth, some other friends, Paul and Betty, are beekeepers and they gifted me a jar of their honey. I was told no charge. I was blown away! All natural, local, raw honey. Now I have a source for getting more. Another wonderful blessing!

Another blessing is that our neighbor and friend, Tim, went with us to get our new fridge and bring it home. He has a truck. He has told us many times that he is willing to help us if we need it and we have not needed to until now. We found a side by side fridge that was for sale for $100. We now have a lot more room and easier access to our food.

Finally, this week yet another friend and neighbor, Velma, basically gave us $100 to help us out. We did not ask for it. We were surprised by her generosity but told her we would pay her back. She told us that she would not accept it because we helped in cleaning a vacant property of hers that was filthy. The tenant moved out leaving it a mess. It is the house next door to us so we jumped in to help clear it out of all the things the previous tenant left behind. It surprises me how some people can live in situations like that but we wanted to help out since it is our neighborhood too. We did not do it to earn anything or be helped out in any way. However, we did receive help that was needed.

God is good! All these blessings hit us all at once. All of them, except the garden, were unexpected and surprising in their timing. I cannot say how much we feel blessed to know that in times like these, there are good people out there who give of themselves and share with others. We have surrounded ourselves with good folks as friends and neighbors. It just goes to show that no matter what, the good people are out there and ready to help if needed.

May you all feel the love of those around you and the knowledge that good folks still are out there. I had to share the blessings we received and I hope it uplifts others to take a look at what good things are in our lives.

 

Black Friday Anyone?

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Hey everybody! I hope you all are doing fine.

Are you a black friday shopper? I confess that I have been in the past. It takes a lot to get me out there in the rush but sometimes it can be worth it. I love a great sale! I have been known to participate in a group, with each of us on the hunt for different items. Divide and conquer.

For the record, I do not celebrate Christmas. Yes, I believe in Jesus. I do not celebrate Christmas for a variety of reasons and we will leave it at that. Does that mean I do not like a fantastic bargain and enjoy the thrill of the hunt on black friday? No. I have this perverse sense of a challenge when out on black friday shopping sprees.

A few of my observations for a successful plan is to decide what is worth the trouble of crowds. In Ohio, all of my stores were side by side so I would start at one and work the rest in order. I had a list, and followed it. Planned in advance. It was fun. I have not done it in several years, mostly because I live in the sticks now, but if shopping is your thing, do it!

I do want to give you a few things I have learned over the years.

First, get plenty of rest before.

Second, eat before leaving.

Third, dress warmly.

Fourth, know your stores layout.

Fifth, BE NICE!

I also have a few recommendations if you like to help others. I have purchased coats, pajamas and the like for VERY cheap at black friday sales. Not for me, but to donate. I could buy children’s coats for $5-10 each, any size will do, and then find a local charity to give them to for those children who need coats. I do the same with pajamas. Size does not matter. It is an easy and cheap way to make someone happy for the most basic of things. Plus, it makes you feel good too. Why do this? Because it does not matter if it is a holiday or not, people need clothing all year long. Do you know how much it helps them? You? Plenty!

So, while out and about, if you indulge in the manic atmosphere of black friday shopping, take a moment and think how you can give to others as well. Trust me, you will feel blessed.

Other Things In Life

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This post is about some of the things that make me happy, in spite of lupus and its attempts. What things do you enjoy doing to bring you happiness? I have several things I totally enjoy doing to fill my days.

First, my husband and I are working on developing a homestead. What is a homesteader? Here is a a little meme describing it:

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Ok, I admit it that we do not have chickens, although I would like to have some. However, I could not eat them. Yep, I am a phony when it comes to eating animals I have met. My chickens would live long lives and die in peace of old age. I still would like to have some though so I could have fresh eggs.

As for the other things on the meme, I do make my own breads and biscuits, I sew and quilt, I enjoy crafts like woodworking and scrap booking, love to take pictures, I plan on next year growing a bunch of our own non GMO heirloom foods which I will can, dehydrate or freeze to preserve for winter.

My husband and I have left the city and its problems, and now live in a small mountain town in Kentucky. We know all our neighbors. We all watch out for each other. We are learning more skills daily. We are eating less processed foods and more home grown foods. We fix things as they break, if possible. We re-purpose items and give them new life. We sit around our campfire on cool nights relaxing and looking at the stars.

I crochet. I paint as does my husband. We went out walnut gathering and found around 150 pounds of them. We kept 20 pounds of the black walnuts for ourselves and I cannot wait to use them in foods.

My brother in law and sister in law have a white walnut (or butternut) tree and they let me get all the nuts from it too. I have over 50 pounds of those. Free food from God and the trees. Yum!

As I posted before, I have come off most of my meds and seem to have energy and feel better now. My lab results came back and only two items were worrisome, my sed rate was 2 1/2 times higher than normal and my cholesterol was just a couple over the limit. As a lupus patient, I would be more worried if my sed rate was normal… I truly would. I do not think mine has been normal for years. It indicates inflammation in my body. Ok, whats new?

We are simplifying our lives more too. Throwing out or giving away a lot of things. We took our granddaughter pots and pans, dishes, and assorted other items on or last trip to Ohio. She just moved into her own apartment. I am getting other things together for the others as they move out.

My biggest news I have saved for the end here………….

I AM GOING TO BE A GREAT GRANDMOTHER IN APRIL!!!!

Yes, my granddaughter is having a baby.  She is 18, not married, and still in high school (senior year) but I am looking at the positives. She is healthy, happy and responsible. She will be a great mother. Plus, more granny nanny duty for me! I really cannot say a thing because I had my first child when I was a junior in high school and my second when I was a senior in high school. I graduated two weeks after he was born. Yes, I marched with my class. I was married. I hoped none would repeat it and instead live life a bit before settling down with kids. However, in this case, it is not going to happen so I will be here for her if she needs me and pray for the best. It is hard when you have your kids young, in many ways. However, she will be fine. She is a sweetie. My first great grandchild!

That’s all for now but I just wanted to share our progress in our quest to live simpler, self sufficiently, and purposeful lives. I will update as we do more. Have a great day everyone!

Enter the Contest!! It is Easy!!

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Please enter! Its easy! Ok everyone I have an exciting giveaway. I will be sending the book, “Lupus, the First Year” by Nancy C. Hanger to the randomly selected reader who shares this blog on their Facebook, google+, WordPress, tumbler, twitter, blogger or any other social media.

It’s easy. Just copy and paste the link below and share it with your friends! Then, comment below with the word “shared” and where you shared it and you will be entered. This contest will run until August 31st at midnight.

This is a book I have and has been gently used. It’s very informative and seriously good to read whether newly diagnosed or not. Have fun and be sure to share! Here is the link:

www.jenlynn401.wordpress.com

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