Soaking Grains

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Soaking Buckwheat and Quinoa

I’ve been interested in soaking grains for a while now. I try and soak grains we eat (when I remember to) like rice and oats. Right now I’m on a special eating program for my joint pain and it calls for eating a lot of quinoa and buckwheat. And so I’m soaking them overnight to maximize the health benefits. I simply add the grains to the canning jar, add the warm water, and add an acidic medium such as apple cider vinegar. You can also use yogurt, lemon juice, kefir etc. Rinse well and cook with equal amount of fresh water. I like to add a pinch of salt to mine.

Right now my quinoa is fairly plain while I work on healing my gut, but I do like quinoa and if you to go The Nourishing Gourmet you can find some great recipes for it.

Since I’ve been on this program my joint pain has decreased. I can actually close my hands fully into a fist. The pain isn’t gone, but there is a noticeable decrease. I fully believe diet has a huge impact on our health and can reduce and/or eliminate many health issues as well as reduce/eliminate the need for prescription drugs. I still may have to use medication at some point, but I want to do as much as I can control myself. It’s not easy, but trying to avoid being on prescription medication for the rest of my life is worth the effort.

I’d love to hear what you do to keep or stay healthy.  Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know you stopped by.  I’m off to play in the garden. I have many beans, tomatoes and peppers to harvest.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Harvesting has begun…

Aside from lettuces and herbs, and considering we planted late, we are finally starting to get a harvest from our garden. I also notices we have tomatoes starting to ripen and a few peppers that might be big enough to toss into tonight’s salad.

What are you harvesting?  What are you looking forward to?  Let me know!  Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re
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Planning Long Term

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Grandma and Grandpa

I see a lot of people taking the plunge and moving to homesteads, going off grid, and generally moving to more sustainable, self sufficient living.  There are lots of benefits to these lifestyles that far out weigh the negative.

What some people don’t realize is that there can be a lot of hard work attached to these ways of living.  I wonder if these people who say they are in it for the long haul are just living day to day or are they really considering the long term?

My birthday is right around the corner.  It’s a big one.  A lot of the things we had hoped to do are starting to fade.  I am finding out now that my bad joint pain can be limiting.  The heat and humidity in the summer send my asthma into attacks.  While I consider myself in pretty good shape for approaching AARP age, I have to face the fact that I’m not a young anymore.  While I’m not yet out to pasture, now is the time to set things into motion that will make those years easier.

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Me with Hubb

We actually started thinking about it when we bought our house 12 years ago.
While we didn’t mind having a basement, we wanted a ranch style home so that if this is our final home we won’t have to worry about getting around it when we’re older.  This was important because we had seen older family members who were having a hard time with stairs including one who fell down a flight of basement stairs.  If we move, we will again look for something that will take us comfortable into our older years.  So, while we don’t want to limit ourselves, we also don’t want to make things harder down the road.  It takes thoughtful planning.  Gardening, raising animals, caring for the home and property…how will you handle these things in your older years? For example:  chopping all your firewood by hand isn’t as easy at 70 years old as it is for a 40 year old.

20141028_081817I know many of us are optimistic about these things in our later years.  “Oh, we’ll manage.”  Will you?  Even the average American lifestyle is challenging to the aged.  I’m not aged (*sigh*) and I have a hard time opening jars and bottles due to the joint pain in my hands.  I wonder how this will effect my gardening and canning?  How will this effect my butchering meat?  How will this effect my crochet business?

Have you thought about it?  Now is the time to plan and put things into place for your lifestyle long term that will make your older years easier.  It’s much easier to do it now while you are able than to wait until the day you find you can’t.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Prepper? Homesteader? Survivalist? Other?

2016Aug25Chickens“You’re NOT a homesteader!!”

Yes, I’ve heard that and no, I’m not.  I don’t fit into the homesteader mold nor do I fit the prepper or survivalist molds either.

While many things I do are popular in these lifestyles, I don’t really fit the mold.  I have a totally different philosophy and goal than most others.

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Making slippers for Christmas gifts,  just like mama did.

I’ve always been on the frugal side.  Sometimes more frugal, sometimes less.  Much of what I do is just what I had learned growing up.  I’ve always been interested in the outdoors, gardening, camping, hiking, farming etc.  Growing up in the city didn’t give me many opportunities for them, but I really enjoyed any chance to be outside with nature and camping/hiking became and still is one of my favorite activities.

 

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Celebrating my birthday with my great-grandmother…a homemade cake and homemade party hats.

I heartily understand the philosophy behind prepping and I agree with most of it.  I don’t feel like I need to live barricaded in militarized zone with 30 years of food and supplies put up in my hidden armored bunker.  If you do, that’s fine.  I do feel, however, that as the manager of my home I need to be as prepared as possible to care for my family in what ever situation comes our way.  We live in crazy, fragile times.  But I firmly believe that the extreme form of prepping goes against what the Bible teaches.  The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, to take care of the orphans and widows, feed the hungry, visit prisoners.  It doesn’t say only do these things when times are good and stop when “stuff” hits the fan.  I will do my best for my family, but together we serve God first.

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Canning grape jam.

There are so many ideas of what a homesteader is. To some it’s living completely off grid and to others it is simply adopting a more self sufficient lifestyle where ever you might be at.  Living off the land is hard, hard work, but can also be rewarding.  We live in a small town on a small lot, and while I do a lot of things that homesteaders do, I wouldn’t classify myself as a homesteader.  But again, a lot of these things I do I learned growing up.  For example: I learned gardening…organic gardening…from my grandfather.  In the big city.  I learned to make things by hand from my mother and great-grandmother.   I learned to be frugal from my grandmother…like using old clothing (read: underwear) to mop the floors and putting left over bread that is starting to stale in the freezer to use in the future for stuffing.  When I moved out on my own, I appreciated the farmers market that was right across the street, and I found out first hand how practical being frugal was.

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The garden goes all the way to the wood fence.

All these things became very real for our family when my husband lost his job a while back.  This area of Indiana suffered a great blow with many automotive, trailer and RV manufacturers laying people off or closing.  Hubby’s company closed and sent the work elsewhere.  Not being burdened by lots of debt and having a well stocked pantry with a garden got us through the hard times when many others were going under.  Not only were we able to keep our heads above water, but we didn’t have to rely on any assistance, food or utility programs.  And even then, we were able to help out others when they needed it.  I’m not saying it didn’t hit us hard because it did.  Only now are we starting to get caught up on things that we had to put off during that time (like getting our roof fixed, replacing appliances that stopped working etc.)  But being frugal, prepared and doing as much with our land as we could, we made it through when many others didn’t.

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Curing onions in the garage.

So I guess you can classify me under what ever category you would like.  I’m not prepping for any zombie apocalypse, but for real life circumstances for my family and those around me.  I’m not living on an off grid homestead with livestock, but we are trying to live more sustainable where we are.  If you asked me what I would call it…I guess I would call it living Proverbs 31.  I’m a homemaker.  Regardless of what circumstances arise, my main responsibility is to God first, then my family and my home, and then helping others as I can.

What about you?  Do you fit the mold or are you an outlier like me?

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Matthew 25:34-40 – Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

The Good, The Bad, and The Unpredictable

bald_man_combI saw a meme the other day that said “My luck is like a bald man who won a comb.”  That about sums it up.

My life is NOT awful at all.  I’ve been through and continue to go through lots of challenging situations, but even though some of those situations are pretty bad, my life as a whole is still good.  I have a pretty awesome husband.  We have a crazy wonderful son.  We live in a great area.  We are children of an amazing and powerful Father God.  When I lay my head down on my pillow at night, that is what counts.

The challenges are still hard.  For example, after hubby being on unemployment for a while, we were just starting to get back on our feet.  Then one by one, our appliances started breaking down.  First the stove, then the dryer and the fridge.  Also during that time…BOTH vehicles had to be replaced.  We also had to replace our roof.  The washer is now on its last legs and now our water heater needs replacing.  It feels like we are taking one step forward and two steps back.  It doesn’t feel like we’ll ever catch up.

It’s overwhelming at times especially when you see so many other people who manage their obstacles much easier. I know behind the scenes they are probably just as overwhelmed as we are.

The Bible tells us not to be anxious about tomorrow “…for tomorrow will worry about it’s own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34 I tend to be a worrier, especially when it seems that everything that could go wrong, has. I am TRYING to focus just on today. I’m telling myself I can’t do anything about the washer or the water heater right this moment, but I can take care of the things that I can right now…and the rest will wait in God’s capable hands. Then I will do the same tomorrow.

So that’s it. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you run a marathon? One step at a time. And man’s steps are ordained by the Lord, how then can man understand his way? (Proverbs 20:24) I just have to keep repeating this to myself, reminding myself that we’ve made it through worse, and keep counting my blessings.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh to to me? Psalm 56:3-4

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

A Health Journey

I’ve been fortunate that most of my life I’ve been in good health. Other than having to have a rescue inhaler for my asthma, I don’t have to take any medication at all. Last year I started having problems with my asthma and over the fall/winter it was the worst it’s ever been. At the same time something new appeared…joint pain.

Now, I am going to admit that I have a big birthday coming up. 50. The big five-oh. The half buck. Half century. Yeah, that one. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m not dreading it either. When I turned 30…worst birthday ever. The birthday itself was wonderful…hubby, family and friends…a lovely day at the park. It was the idea of turning 30 that was devastating and I cried. Honestly, I’m not sure why it bothered me so. But turning 50. Wow. Significant. And blessed. Boy am I blessed. 50 years of blessings. Not everything was good, but God has been good. I’m blessed.

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The pain in my hands has been pretty bad.

Turning 50 I’m now dealing with bad join pain. Part of me is really surprised that this joint pain not just appeared but hit hard. The other part of me knows that people in my family have battled arthritis so it really isn’t a surprise. Now, I haven’t been officially diagnosed with arthritis. We don’t really have the money to go and get it checked out (insert stupid healthcare system crummy insurance vote all the bums out rant here). It could be something else entirely. But I do know two things: I don’t want to end up on long term medications that could cause more health problems, and I don’t want to suffer with painful joints. This week the pain has been pretty bad, especially in my hands.

One other thing I do know: food and supplements can have a big impact on your health.

I already know that I am intolerant of dairy products. Not lactose intolerant, but casein (the protein in dairy) intolerant. Cutting out dairy and cutting back on sugar and sweets actually helped calm my asthma. Also with a lot of research adding specific supplements have helped too.

So I have been researching pain and inflammation and starting to make more dietary changes.  To start I know that I need to totally eliminate refined sugars and flours (I may go gluten or grain free for a while).  I know that changing my diet won’t cure, but it should help a lot.  I’m not good at going full on with diet changes…I tend to “fall of the wagon” a lot. It’s hard also when hubby and son still like to eat the things I want or need to avoid. I figured that if I journaled about it here on my blog I would be more accountable and maybe more likely to stick with it. I also figured that there may be others in similar situations who might be willing to share what worked for them.

Here I go on this journey to try and improve my health.  I’d love to hear about your journey to wellness.

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re

Cauliflower

20170601cauliflower3I have been gardening most of my life. I don’t consider myself an expert, but I know what works for me and what doesn’t.

One thing I have not been very successful at growing is cauliflower. I’m not sure why. This year I thought I would try AGAIN and I am excited!  Silly, I know, but I have tiny little cauliflowers in my garden! *garden happy dance*

Until next time – live simply and love abundantly!  Grace and peace…

Ann’Re