I’m Not On a Diet

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After a disappointing showing of our home, and spiraling down the rabbit hole of disappointment, I ate my way through a box of doughnuts and a gallon of ice cream!

The result – that old familiar stomach pain!

What was I thinking?

Now its back to the beginning… A fresh start…

What I’m doing is not a quick fix.

Its not even a weight loss program… Although, I could do with losing a few more pounds…

No. What I’m on, is the journey of a lifetime!

It’s an ambitious, all-important transformation in how I think about food… how I view and think about my body… my life… and what I want out of the time I have left on this earth!

Changing the way I think about food is hard.

My relationship with food is an emotional one.

Food is my comfort… my reward… a trusted friend…

I’ve got food habits and traditions that go back to my childhood.

Am I willing to give up foods that for so long have held an emotional bond?

My goal is to improve my health… my sleep… my energy levels… my mood… my body composition…my self confidence… even my quality of life…

Can the foods I eat actually do all these things?

Absolutely!

By eating whole, farm grown and raised foods, a healthy chain reaction is initiated through my entire life. With it comes a sense of control… freedom… stability… and a confidence that inspires me to take on other personal development goals – both big and small.

The theory is, that by eating healthy, whole foods, we will feel better. And, because we feel better, we will want to do more!

I accept this theory, because I have noticed that when I feel bad, I eat junk food. Which makes me feel worse. So, I eat more junk food. Its a vicious cycle!

The journey to good health isn’t easy… I don’t expect to be perfect…

Real change takes time.

As I get myself back on track, I plan to celebrate even the smallest of victories.

I’m doing this one day, one meal, one bite at a time.

Why?

Because I’m doing it for the most important and worthwhile cause on this earth — me!

Here’s to your good health,

~ Sheri

FARM Cooking = Good Medicine

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HOW MY JOURNEY TO HEALTH BEGAN…

I think I’m having a heart attack!

That’s how it felt, as I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance!

Yet, after a weeks stay in the cardiac unit… various tests – including a heart catheter to see if there were any blockages… I was given a prescription of antacids and sent home.

Diagnosis – a severe form of Reflux!

With medicine in hand, I went home, but continued eating the way I always had – with every bad habit I’d learned since childhood! 

Let me explain…

I grew up in a family that didn’t drink alcohol or smoke, but all food — no matter how unhealthy — was considered okay.

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Most of my childhood memories – both good and bad – centered around food.

When we had something to celebrate, we celebrated by going out to eat.

When we were sad, we consoled ourselves with comfort food.

When I got home from school, milk and cookies, or some other sweet confectionary, was a ‘tide-me-over’ until dinner.

As I got older and moved out on my own, I rarely exercised, and ate junk food constantly. I paid little, if any, attention to my health.

FAST FORWARD TO 2014

After dad passed away, mom decided she wanted to move to the country… to raise chickens, and grow our own food…

But even then, my bad eating habits and my love of sweet confectionery foods continued…

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However, after my third trip to the hospital, and second stay in the cardiac unit – once again told that it was my digestive system, I knew drastic changes were needed!

I began educating myself with different eating plans… Yet I was still having severe pains in my stomach, which now included pain in my gallbladder!

My digestive track was under attack!

In August 2016, I began a severe elimination diet. The purpose – to eliminate the pain!

I was only eating 4 veggies (carrots, zuchinni, spinach and green beans), chicken, and homemade bone broth.

Amazingly, within 24 hours the pain was gone!

The only problem – I quickly became bored with my ‘diet!’

I needed to find a better way to eat. A food plan that would allow me to eat without pain!

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That’s when I stumbled upon an eating plan that helped me understand my relationship with food and how it affected my health.

Unfortunately, as good as the plan was, its wasn’t meant to be a long term eating plan…

I needed something that would carry me through this journey we call life!

That’s when it hit me… The foods I was growing and raising on my little homestead was providing me the nourishment I needed for good health!

Henceforth, ‘Farm Cooking’- eating whole fresh foods from the farm, equals good medicine!

Here’s to good health!

~ Sheri

Testing… The Strengthening of Our Faith

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So much has happened since my last post. I’m not sure where to begin…

After dealing with flooding, twice in 10 days time… sorting and packing for our new adventure… planning a yard sale… making plans on earning an income on the road… it came as quite a disappointment when we showed our house!

Disappointment is an understatement!

So many doors had opened for us! Including my finding work as a photographer.

It was a hard pill to swallow when the only offer we had was $20,000 less than what we still owe on our mortgage!

All our hopes of traveling – gone!

The loss of a potential new income was devastating to me! I’ve always wanted to travel and follow in my fathers footsteps as a photographer.

In Proverbs 16:9, it says that man plans his ways, buy God orders his steps.

Was God saying ‘No?’

After spiraling down the rabbit hole of disappointment, and eating my way through a half dozen of doughnuts and a gallon of ice cream, I decided to pick myself up, dust myself off and figure out the next step!

In a sense, each day is a test of our relationship with God.

To every person comes seasons of special joy, or adversity.

Both present opportunities for trusting that the Lord knows what He’s doing.

This type of testing is not like taking a classroom exam, where God is watching us, with grade book in hand, waiting to ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ us.

No, this testing comes through the circumstances of our lives. Its through this testing that we become more aware of our own hearts – our thoughts, our attitudes and emotions!

Through this self awareness, God shows us where we must still yield to Him in trusting obedience.

For me, I realized I still struggle with emotional eating, and that I wasn’t really trusting Him to take care of me…

Well, today is a new day! I will get myself back on the wagon of healthy eating. And, I will trust that whether we are on our little homestead a few days or a few years, He knows what is best for me!

~ Sheri

With Mixed Emotions…

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It seems odd… the idea of leaving our small farm!

Wasn’t it me who fought the idea of leaving the city and moving to the country?!?

And wasn’t it me who kept arguing with God, “This couldn’t be the life You had planned for me?”

Yet today, as I was sorting through our belongings, it hit me like a ton of bricks – we’re leaving our little homestead!

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As I was taking pictures of the flooding behind our barn, I was watching our chickens. I realized just how much I’m going to miss them…

I will miss the simple act of collecting their eggs each day… and the way they great me each morning, chirping happily as I feed them their grain…

This idea of leaving our homestead is much harder than I thought it would be!

After making the announcement that we’re selling our homestead and hitting the road, we’d received mixed responses…

Some were well wishers — congratulating us on our decision, knowing before hand that we were praying for wisdom as to whether we should or shouldn’t leave…

Some were shocked…

“What about your dream of homesteading? What about being self-sustaining? Are you giving up?

To that, the answer is a resounding ‘NO!’

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Our 5 bedroom farmhouse, which was built in 1890, has been our home for 4 years now…

Sitting on just under an acre of land, our brood of chickens frolic happily each day… having plenty of room for a nice sized veggie garden!

The previous owners had at least one cow and a couple of sheep they housed in our barn, and had turned the garage into an over-sized coop, where they had chickens, turkeys and pigeons…. just to name a few…

We kept the garage as a coop because it is virtually predator proof! Although, it wouldn’t take much to turn it back into a proper 2 car garage.

It’s true, our home does need some TLC, but overall, it has ‘good bones.’ It’s a nice little ‘fixer upper’ for the person who is interested in ‘dipping their toe’ into the homesteading life!

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For the person who enjoys the outdoors, the trail runs alongside the railroad tracks… perfect for walking, jogging, bike riding and horseback riding… however, a train enthusiast would be disappointed since they no longer use the tracks for trains… only a dozen or so handcart sized carts go past on holidays and weekends during the summer…

Yes, there is a lot to keep me from getting bored here… yet it’s still very peaceful and quiet… and I couldn’t have asked for nicer neighbors! Many times they have helped this ‘city chick’ learn new skills — including how to butcher a chicken!

So, why do we want to leave?

There were many factors that came into play for our decision… but the main reason is wanting to travel while mom still has her health.

There are places we would both like to visit… like Niagara Falls… the Grand Canyon… Mount Rushmore… and of course, there are family members we would like to visit…

Selling the farm and buying a camper seems like the least expensive way of doing this…

I haven’t always enjoyed my time here on our little homestead… but, I have come to love it here… and so, I will miss it…

With mixed emotions,

~ Sheri

Living in a Flood Zone

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As I went out to the barn to let our chickens out, I was surprised to find a river instead of the usual grassy field.

Heavy rains all week long, caused the small creek beyond the trees to overflow!

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After leaving our chickens out, I knew I would not be closing the barn door tonight… just in case the waters continued to rise…

If our gang chose to roost in the barn, instead of the coop, I wanted our feathered friends to be able to escape!

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We knew before we bought our farm that it was in a flood zone…

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We’d talked at length with our potential neighbors about living here…

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So, we knew what to expect…

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But usually, when there was flooding, it happened over the night hours. By morning, the waters had receded…

But, not this time!

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Steady rains for a week caused the small creek to turn into a raging river! With more rain expected over the next 10 days!

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With roads blocked and the flood gates closed, people had to find alternative routes to work!

For the first time, in the four years we’ve been here, I felt ‘stranded!’

We weren’t really stranded though…

There is one way in and out when the flood waters rise… we just have to deal with blockades and authorities, reminding them we live here!

One neighbor shared that he had no intentions of leaving. In the 30 years here, he only ever had water in his garage once!

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Of course, with the flood waters already lapping at the foundation of his garage, he took precautions and put his tools up out of harms way. Moving his truck to the front of his property.

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As I went to inspect our garden, I stopped to watch and listen to the rushing water…

I felt a strange sense of peace about the whole situation. I too, have no desire to leave. I’ll just wait it out.

Besides, I always did want to live by the waters edge… and now I do!

Till tomorrow,

~ Sheri

Hitting the Road…

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IS THIS THE END OF HOMESTEADING FOR US…?

Things have been decided…

It’s no longer an ‘if,’ but a ‘when.’

Mom and I are going to ‘hit the road.’

After talking with some friends, and spending time seeking Gods’ wisdom, we’ve decided to sell the farm, get a camper and do some traveling!

At first, we will do things ‘old school,’ — with a tent, and the basic essential camping gear.

Ultimately, our plans are to get a camper that we can drive – with a hitch to tow our truck, which we will use for sight-seeing, and souvenir shopping! This will allow us to have a place to eat, sleep, cook and bathe!

There is so much to do!

Today, we started to minimize our belongings! It’s amazing just how much STUFF two people can accumulate in 4 years time!

We’ll have a yard sale after we sort out everything and put the money we make towards the camper we’re looking at! Then we’ll sell our little backyard homestead as an ‘as is’ fixer upper!

Know anybody who wants a 6 bedroom farmhouse on just under an acre of land?

People have already been asking us, “Why do you want to give up the farm?’ Well, simply put, mom and I want to do some traveling while she still can! Plus, we have family all across these United States that we’d like to visit!

And before you ask, NO, we haven’t given up on the whole homesteading thing! Even though, quite frankly, this place has been a real challenge, it’s also been a huge learning experience!

We now know what we are truly looking for, and, we will use the time on the road to find our ‘forever farm!’ In fact, we plan on using as many of our homesteading skills as we can while on the road!

We covet your prayers as we start this new chapter in our lives!

My biggest concern, is my income. When we hit the road, my present income will stop!

So, how will I bring something to the table financially while camping full-time?!?

Here’s a few things you could pray for for us:

  • A way for me to earn a living
  • A camper that we can drive, cook, bathe, and sleep in
  • Continued good health
  • Wisdom
  • Safety in our travels
  • A quick sale of our house with enough to pay off the mortgage and a little extra for traveling expenses

Oh, and if you have read all this, and are praying for us, I thank you!

And, if you are a full-time camper/RV-er, then I welcome any helpful tips and/or places to visit!

Thanks, 
~ Sheri

How to Deal With a Mean Rooster

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If you’ve ever raised chickens, then you’ve come across at least one mean rooster in your life…

So, how do you handle a rooster that’s a bully?’ 

That’s a question that has been plaguing a number of my ‘newbie’ fellow homesteaders lately.

For those of us who choose to grow and raise our own food, we flock together to learn and grow in knowledge of the practices of homesteading.

And of course, this includes raising chickens.

 

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Since I belong to a number of homesteading groups, I’ve been able to learn, and share of my own experiences raising chickens.

One thing that amazes me, is just how many people in some of these groups advise hitting or kicking a mean rooster!

I can understand protecting oneself from injury, but in my experience in raising chickens ‘you get what you give!’

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Like people, chickens all have their own personalities. Some are very docile and laid back, while others can be very aggressive or down right mean!

So, how do you handle an aggressive or mean bully?

In Proverbs 12:10, it says we are to regard the life of our animals.

In other words, we are to care for and respect our livestock, not be mean or abusive.

If you’ve already got a mean rooster, kicking them or hitting them with a broom is only going to make matters worse! Especially if you are trying to raise a rooster that is caring and protective of his hens.

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This is what has worked for me…

First, when confronted with a mean rooster, stand your ground. In most cases, the rooster is just trying to establish pecking order.

If you show fear, you’ll never get the rooster to believe you’re the boss.

When a rooster shows aggression towards me, I pick him up by the tail feathers (and yes, they may lose a few tail feathers in the process). I then grab his feet and let him hang upside down till he calms down.

This should only take a few seconds…

While still holding his feet (because if you don’t, those spurs could do you some bodily injury), I upright him and hold him next to me for a few minutes while talking quietly to him, making sure I keep my face away from his beak.

Afterwards, I put the offending rooster down to see how he acts.

It should only take a few times of this happening before he gets the message that his aggressive behavior is not allowed.

In a worse case scenario, where his behavior does not improve, I invite him to dinner. 😉

Till next time,

~ Sheri