Composting, Jessica’s way

What is it that compels me to, when googling a recipe for egg noodles, bypass the first five links and click on the one posted by “Hillbilly Housewife?

I’m feeling all mighty today.
Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I’m not really a girl who likes to get her hands dirty, or wield tools, or ‘work with my hands’. Today though, I wrestled an old snow fence I discovered in the barn we’re tearing down into an Aviana sized (4×4) oval. I pounded some electric fence posts into the ground and cut wire. Kevin was there to assist if needed, but I wanted to do it myself.
Then I raked and piled old leaves from my shade garden into the wheel barrow (yep, I actually pushed it!) and dumped them into the bin. Twice. Then Aviana and I dug up some dirt from the pile by the barn we’re tearing down and filled the wheelbarrow.
Then Denton woke up.
But still! I made a compost bin by myself.
I told Kevin I wanted to buy some red worms to help it along, but he scoffed and said buying worms is for city people.
Please follow and like us:

Sound bites

**I have been off sugar two and a half weeks and it has been amazing. AH-Maaaaaz-inG!

God is totally in this because no way would I have been able to turn down molten chocolate brownies over at a friend’s house under my own power.
I can’t really say what health benefits I’m experiencing, as nothing seems to have changed much. I did notice that I was at someone’s house for three hours who has two cats without so much as a sniffle! Usually, I can tell if someone has a cat, no matter how ‘clean’ their place seems within five minutes because of the itchiness that always starts in my throat and then all the other aggravating allergy symptoms that soon follow. Plus it’s beginning to green up around here, and still no allergy symptoms.
**We made some delightful hot chocolate floats today: whisk together 2 teaspoons stevia, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, pinch of salt, then slowly add 3 cups raw milk, heat on medium, then add1 ounce sugarless (no artificial sugar either) dark chocolate chunked. I topped everyone else’s with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but mine was mmmmmm…delectable.
Another benefit about this sugar free business is that I didn’t crave more and more like I used to.
**My Sonlight catalog came!!
**I’ve been reading poetry to the kids from the amazing The Golden Books Family Treasure of Poetry. I’ve always liked to write poetry, but I never relished reading other people’s. I may have to change my assessment of that since I’m really enjoying our voyage into this book. I also discovered it’s impossible for me to read poetry in my head.
**I finished a book in nearly one sitting. It was that good. Unplanned. You really should read it too.
**Today’s smoothie: honey, frozen blueberries, spirulina, wheat grass, raw milk and a banana. Perfection in a glass and a perfect purple to boot!
I don’t have a Vitamix (ridiculously expensive~!) so you have to make sure you get the wheat grass nice and chopped up fine with only one other thing before you add too much liquid. I found this out because I ended up drinking, well, grass.
**We’re visiting a friend’s church today. It’s family integrated, so this will be interesting…but awesome I’m sure.
**I’m so thankful for my kiddles. I’m reminded of this because of a heart breaking situation.
A dear mentor’s daughter needs your prayers. She was 8 1/2 months pregnant, slipped and fell at home. After an emergency Cesarean, baby Margot was stillborn. Now the young mother (of also a two year old) is in kidney failure.
God is a God of miracles.
** I’m working on a schedule. Right now I have more activities than hours in the day, but God will work it out. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before because Managers of Their Homes is a fabulous book, and even though I haven’t implemented the whole system, I have benefited greatly from just the bits.
We’ve also implemented Blanket Time for Cadrian during school. We do a lot of read alouds and he gets restless and into trouble a LOT. Did I mention a lot? And it usually involved water.
So for blanket time, he sits on a blanket. 🙂 With one toy at a time. In the middle of the living room floor. When he starts getting restless, I trade out his toy for something else. It is working out wonderfully! He will last nearly an hour without being a disruption and he still gets to be a involved with us. Brilliant.
Many thanks to my friend Meagan to told me how she institutes that!
Please follow and like us:

The Happy Farmer

Let the might and the great

Roll in splendor and state,
I envy them not, I declare it.
I eat my own lamb,
My own chicken and ham;
I shear my own sheep and I wear it.
I have lawns and green bowers,
Fresh fruits and fine flowers,
The lark is my bright morning charmer.
So God bless the plow
In the future as now–
A health and long life to the farmer.
~Old English Rhyme
Please follow and like us:


I found out today that my beloved Mothering magazine has ceased publication. I’ve been wondering why I haven’t gotten an issue since December and finally went to the website today. They didn’t notify anyone.

I use beloved loosely–I COMPLETELY disagree with their views on “gentle discipline” and how they often idolize children but love their natural minded-ness with everything else.
I found out today that there is a reason most people don’t leave their clothespins on the line all winter. Most of them are totally ruined. Even though I’ve done it every winter since we put up the clothesline, I guess all the pins finally decided enough is enough. I need to make myself a clothespin bag or something.
I found an awesome vintage suitcase at an estate sale for $1.50! Perfect for my growing stash of fabric. On etsy they go for at least $20, more if they are fancy and decoupaged and such.
Heeey, maybe I should break out my Mod-Podge.
Because I don’t have enough to do.
I’ve been finding that it’s getting easier and easier to say no to sugar. My mother-in-law brought over some of her to die for peanut butter cookies today and I was (mostly) perfectly fine with some natural crunchy peanut butter and a banana. I’m not really missing it at all.
I found out that it’s fun to grow wheat grass and sprouts.
Today, I found the breezes to be warm, and even though the sky stayed grey, spring is coming. Soon I’ll be able to keep my flip-flops on the porch instead of my boots, and better yet even go barefoot. The grass has the slightest tinge of green. Spring is coming.
I found out that it was useless to put Denton in his adorable “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” shirt to take his picture for the scrapbook. He managed to poo all the way up to his shoulder. I should have had him in cloth. And he really should have a shirt that reads, “Kiss Me, I’m Mostly German” anyway.
Please follow and like us:

Signs of spring.

Signs of spring.

I keep a pussy willow right by my front door. It’s one of the earliest flowers to bloom here in Iowa.
It’s beginning. Slowly.
I saw some geese too. Geese have to make a real commitment that winter is over.
“One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of a March thaw, is the spring.
“A cardinal, whistling spring to a thaw but later finding himself mistaken, can retrieve his error by resuming his winter silence. A chipmunk, emerging for a sunbath but finding a blizzard, has only to go back to bed.
But a migrating goose, staking two hundred miles of black night on the chance of finding a hole in the lake, has no easy chance for retreat. His arrival carries the conviction of a prophet who has burned his bridges. ” ~Aldo Leopold
Please follow and like us:

License a Midwife

Iowa midwife Licensure Bill Going up for a vote!!

Thanks to all our efforts, we passed Senate committee. This week (maybe tomorrow), we’ll be going to the full Senate for a vote! It’s VERY important that your Senator hear from you in support of midwife licensure today!

The phone number for the Senate Switchboard: 515-281-3371.

Don’t know who your Senator is? Look it up here:

When you call, say, “I’m a constituent of Sen. __, and I’m calling to urge him/her to support SF 484, a bill to license Certified Professional Midwives.”

It’s simple! Call today! Together we can make this happen!

If you live in Iowa, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take a few minutes to support this cause. Please.
Please follow and like us:

Fabulous Friday

What a day!

Maybe it’s the being off sugar and God is blessing me for it–but I have been chock full of energy all day today.
I was up at two with my sweet four year old who just can’t seem to get used to her big bed and new bedroom upstairs. I had a headache and took some medicine which had caffeine in it. So by the time the headache was gone, the caffeine (which I haven’t had in a couple of days either) kicked in and I could NOT fall asleep. And you’d think, listening to four other people sleep soundly, oh so soundly, it wouldn’t be hard to doze off myself, but no. (yes that would mean there were four other people in my room)
So I finally I was convinced it was fruitless to just lie there and I got up and did a little cleaning and went to the gym. The gym! In the dark! Me?! Imagine! I just left a note on the fridge and left the house. I felt like a rebel.
It was an awesome class too.
Then I hit the store. By myself.
By the time I got home it was time for Kevin to get out and do chores. I did a little hanging out with the kiddos amid the putting away of the groceries and such, then we went to story hour. I kept Cadrian on a VERY tight leash, no running out the door or taking his pants off this time! I also bought a lamp for a quarter.
Home again. (and you must keep in mind when one lives in the country, going somewhere tends to be quite the production–you can’t just get there in five minutes) After lunch, stories and ado, we started quiet time. The boys were sleeping and I showered.
Brielle wanted to rub lotion on my legs afterward and I allowed her. Then she wanted to massage it on my back, and I acquiesced to that as well. Then she said, joyfully, “I’m like your servant. Except you don’t pay me, so I’m really your slave!” Even so, I still enjoyed the back rub.
Denton woke up and the girls thought that meant they didn’t have to be quiet anymore. I did manage to doze off while rocking the baby back to sleep.
We had some friends over to play and join in Forced Outdoor Fun, which now that the weather is warming up (she says with her fingers crossed), is muddy but back on the schedule.
Kevin took the middle ones to go get the pizza. We did the bedtime thing. I skimmed a book I might buy, Grow Your Own Drugs. It’s a really well written book (and I’ve read several home pharma books like it), but I still have a lot of questions. Learning from a book is good and all, but I would really like my grandmother in my kitchen guiding me through all this. *wistful sigh*
Now, my energy is flagging and I need to snuggle up in my bed.
Please follow and like us:

Raw Milk!

Please use the following letter to send to your local representative and newspaper asking others to support this bill as well. Permission granted to copy and paste (amend the last paragraph as necessary if you’re writing your representative) Thanks ever so!

Raw milk is milk taken straight from the cow with no processing, no pasteurization, no homogenization. It is milk, ideally that is made from animals fed only fresh, organic green grass and then rapidly cooled to around 36º. It is milk, that literally, is an ideal, perfect food.

Unprocessed milk from clean animals cared for by responsible farmers has amazing properties and fabulous potential health benefits.

Raw milk, and products made from raw milk are, unbelievably, illegal in Iowa.

We believe that it is a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of our choice. This freedom of food choice includes the right to consume raw milk and raw milk products.

The consumption of raw milk is legal in all 50 states, and yet here in Iowa, one of the states most known for farms, one cannot support a local farmer by purchasing his raw milk. All of Iowa’s bordering states allow their residents the right to make their own food choices and purchase raw milk. Driving to a farm and buying milk directly from the farmer will only enhance our local economy.

Raw milk from responsible farmers is not a danger to the public, nor to the individual. Allowing Iowans the choice, trusting in our ability to choose for ourselves what is good and healthful, is what we are asking our elected officials to do.

Please help in our endeavor to support the local farmer by asking your state representatives to decriminalize the sale of raw milk. Ask them to give Iowan consumers the right to choose what kind of milk they wish to give to their family. Ask them to please support House Bill HF 394 as it is written without amendments.

A wealth of information can be found at You can find your legislator here:

Thank you, Farm Fresh Jessica

Please follow and like us: