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So, You Want to Raise Chickens…

Junior

Never in a million years did I think I would ever be doing this… but three years ago, there I was… holding my very first chicken!

I didn’t know who was more scared… me, or my new hen.

Visions of the Hitchcock movie, The Birds, ran through my head as I cautiously held this strange little creature… I was holding a live chicken… just one short month after moving into our new home… in the country.

We knew we were going to have chickens… however, I was planning on waiting till spring. Thus allowing me some time to study up on the subject of caring for our feathered friends.

But, when my neighbor unexpectedly asked us if we wanted their chickens, I quickly found myself thrust into the role of ‘chicken farmer!’

I had no clue what I was doing!

Thankfully, chickens are very forgiving!

As long as you make sure they have clean drinking water and food, they will lovingly supply you with breakfast.

But, you will have to cook it of course! They do expect you to do some of the work!

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Having been ‘thrown into the deep end’ with this chicken farming thing, I found myself wishing there were things I would have known ahead of time…

…things like caring for a sick or injured bird… or just what makes a good broody hen… and what exactly do you feed these little darlings!

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I remember spending all kinds of money on the expensive organic foods… but then, I didn’t realize we had a feed mill right near by, OR, that you could actually grow their food!

So, my question to you is this? Do you want to raise chickens?

If the answer is yes, then I would say, ‘Go for it!’

But… my best advice that I could give you would be… before you jump in, do some research first!

You don’t want to find yourself running around like a chicken with its head cut off, trying to figure out what to do for a sick or injured bird!’ By doing the research first, you are ahead of the game!

Yes, it has been a learning experience working with these little dinosaurs of mine. However, this ‘city chick’ turned country wouldn’t have it any other way!

Until next time,

Sheri

Weight Loss – When Food Doesn’t Satisfy

Strawberries

Let’s face it! We not only desire food, we need it to survive!

But what happens when that food doesn’t satisfy us?

This dissatisfaction is usually an emotional one and if not dealt with, can manifest itself in a number of ways – such as bulimia, anorexia or compulsive eating.

To often we don’t know why or even understand the reason we give in to our unhealthy eating habits.

For example…

All my life, I have struggled with being overweight. I have tried many different weight loss plans, and even lossed weight… But, as soon as I lost the weight, I reverted to my old habits and gained all the weight back, and then some!

Why?

Well, in my case, I am an emotional eater… And when I am depressed, I really eat!

The reason – I look to food to find comfort!

I won’t go into detail about the reasons why I succumb to food for comfort – that’s a post for another day – just suffice it to say, the root cause of my emotional eating stems from a very poor self image.

Once I realized the hidden reason behind my unhealthy eating habits, I started looking at things differently…

First, I had to ask myself, ‘Do I want to be made well?’ — ‘Am I ready to face the truth?’ — Am I ready to give up this flawed thinking, and do what is necessary to get healthy?’

The road to reclaiming my health is not an easy one… I am fighting emotional demons…

Finding the willpower to overcome first takes the desire to be made well.

My faith, my trust in God, who is faithful and true to help me in this battle will help me overcome those demons…

I will lose the weight… and KEEP it off!

I am providing the will… others will provide encouragement… and He provides the power…

I can do this!

Until next time, eat healthy!

~ Sheri

 

 

Let the Healing Begin!

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DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL?

Do you ever have times when you have felt that you just ‘didn’t get it?’ You know, where sometimes you have to hear something a couple of times… Or maybe many, many times before the light bulb in your head clicks on?

As I sat in church this past Sunday, once again, the story of a man who was sick for 38 years was brought to my attention…

Back in the days when Jesus walked the earth, there was a pool… and at certain times, an angel would stir the waters… The first person to step into the water, after the water was stirred, would be healed of whatever disease they had! How cool is that?!?

One day, Jesus saw this man who had been sick for 38 years and asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?

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EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES!

I would have thought that the man would have answered with a resounding “YES!”

However, he did not…

Instead, he gave Jesus excuses as to why he couldn’t get into the pool.

This got me to thinking. How many times do we make excuses for not taking better care of ourselves?

I know in my own life, I struggle with eating healthy. I know what I should eat, but I make excuses as go why I can’t go without those unhealthy foods!

But as I continued to listen to the story of this man, it came with a new twist…

Our pastor asked us a question. Why didn’t he just say yes? Why did he make excuses? Was it because he was comfortable in his situation? Had he become so used to people taking care of him, that being healed, he might actually have to live a healthy and productive life?!? Perhaps he enjoyed being taken care of… perhaps it was more comfortable for him to wallow in self pity…

This made me stop and wonder… Were there any underlying reasons keeping me from eating healthy…

I’ll share with you next time what I uncovered.

Till then, eat healthy!

~ Sheri

 

Tilling the Soil

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With camera in hand, I went outside. I found it to be unseasonably chilly for August weather. As I walked to a favorite spot overlooking our small farm, I could feel drops of rain coming to rest on my face. As the sun struggled to peek through the clouds, I could see the fog was beginning to clear… I needed to get my shot before the opportunity was lost.

As I stood, focusing the lens on my camera, I smiled as the weather reflected the image of the ‘fog’ that was beginning lift in my mind, allowing my thoughts to become clear…

For months now, I’ve been struggling… A sort of midlife crisis, if you will… You know, that state of mind you find yourself in when you’re not exactly sure what to do…

Finances were always at the top of my ‘grocery list’ of prayer requests. But what I kept seeing and hearing during my morning quiet times was, ’till the soil.’

I remember thinking to myself, ‘That’s great Lord, but how do I make any money tilling the soil?’

Not knowing what he meant, I began seeking an income away from the homestead…

On the day that I was to have an interview, I wound up getting a wake up call…

As I sought his leading and direction, I remember saying, ‘Lord, I don’t feel you telling me that I shouldn’t go to this interview, so I’m going… If this isn’t your will, shut the door… Your will be done, not mine.’

Mom told me that I sounded upbeat and positive about the possibility of this job… But, on my way to the interview I got stuck in traffic. As I sat there waiting for the vehicles in front of me to start moving again, the tractor trailer directly in front of me started to back up… The driver never saw me… At least not until after the damage was done…

However, I am very grateful!

It could have been worse… A LOT worse!

Shaken from the experience, I found myself wondering, ‘Why, Lord?

My Creator begin to show me scriptures about tilling the soil and about preparing meals for others. And, about how we can share our hearts and lives with others, even if the meal is simple and the setting is humble. Simply by doing these things, it says to others, ‘I care about you, I love you, and I have prepared a place for you.’

I believe that as each door closes on job opportunities away from the home, my Creator is showing me that I need to trust him more!

He is building my faith.

Faith means to trust… to believe… having trust or confidence in God to take care of my needs!

Just as tilling the soil prepares it by digging, stirring and overturning, which creates air pockets that allow air and water access to plants… God is ‘preparing’ me for something bigger…

He is digging up all the things in me that keep me from walking into the life He has planned for me. He is stirring my heart with the desire of growing and raising our own food… And, he is cultivating a new vision of what this farm is to be used for…

I’m not completely sure what that vision looks like so, I will put my trust in him… He knows what he is doing!

For now, I will put my faith into action and till the land while the weather allows… and, I will use our produce to create delicious, healthy meals for the family!

Till next time,

Sheri

Back on the Wagon to Better Health

It Takes Faith

LET’S BEGIN AGAIN.

Hi, I’m Sheri… I’m just a single gal who’s a modern-day homesteader, follower of Jesus, blogger, entrepreneur, amateur photographer, jewelry designer and a struggling gardener — who loves to cook! 

I wasn’t born a homesteading gal. I was born and raised in the city.

Growing up, I was expected to do the usual things — graduate from high school, go to college, get a 9-5 job, get married, and have oodles of kids.

Homesteading and the single life was the farthest thing from my mind!

However, in July of 2014, mom and I made the move to the country in search of a sustainable lifestyle.

You know what? This homesteading life isn’t for the faint of heart… it’s hard work, baby!

Now, 3 years later, more than ever, I am focusing on the farm, cooking, and my health!

Bathroom Scale Humor - Cat and Mouse
Picture via Pinterest

After stepping on the scale today, I didn’t like what I saw… and so right here, right now, I am getting back on the band wagon of good health!

Till next time,

~ Sheri

From Meltdown to Marvelous

Grapes

After my early morning meltdown yesterday, I tried going back to sleep. I had just about made it back to the sweet recesses of sleep when mom came and told me that she was heading out to clean the coop.

I could have ‘played possum’ and pretended not to hear her… but, the good daughter that I am, I told her I would help… ‘just give me a half an hour…’

By the time we headed out to work, the sun was beginning to rise over our heads. It was going to be a pleasant day… A sweet relief from the hot, muggy days we’d been having.

Cleaning the coop was not a job I was looking forward to. The work would be messier than usual… Recent thunders storms, brought torrential downpours, and although it brought some much needed rain, it left our chicken coop flooded with several inches of water…. this only added to the muck…

Pretty Place for Chickens to Relax

As mom began the work inside the coop, she used the pitchfork to break up the mess and toss it through the opening. I, on the other hand, worked outside the coop, shoveling and tossing the mess into the wagon and hauling it to the compost pile.

The gang, already outdoors, clucked their exasperation at our audacity at having blocked their doorway with straw and chicken doo…

I stopped my work to respond to their clucking and say, ‘Hey, it needs done. Are you going to do it?’

As they turned away, shaking their tailfeathers at me, it was obvious that we both knew who was going to get stuck shoveling their (A-hem) fertilizer…

I chuckled and shook my head wondering exactly who it was that worked for who around here…

Greener Pastures

As I returned to my labor, I realized I that I was actually glad for the exercise. I could feel my muscles getting a workout… and the physical exertion was a way for me to relieve the stress of my earlier meltdown…

By the time my back was ready for a break, my ‘bestie’ called to wish me a happy birthday and to tell me she wanted to treat me to a birthday dinner — my choice!

Awesome sauce!

She didn’t have to ask me twice! I needed to get away, if only for a few hours!

I decided on Chinese, because, well, I don’t get to indulge in it very often… mom is not a fan of the cuisine… I’m not sure why, because frankly, I don’t think she ever tried it… she just tells me ‘I don’t like it.’

As a child, I never got away with that excuse… how come she can? And this from a mother who always told me to at least try it, you never know, you just might find out you like it! Hmmm, sounds like double standards, to me! 😉

To finish out the day, even though funds are tight, mom treated me to a special birthday cupcake… so that I could have cake on my birthday! What a great surprise!

So, all-in-all, even though it started out with a meltdown, it ended up being a marvelous day!

Till next time,

~ Sheri

Early Morning Meltdown

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How do you know when it’s time to quit?

I’ve been reading a book called ‘A Woman Who Doesn’t QUIT – 5 Habits from the Book of Ruth.’

In it, the author shares the story of Elimelech.

Elimelech was a man who lived in Bethlehem-Judah. There was famine in the land… Out of hunger and desperation, he moved his wife and two sons to Moab. However, Moab was a country that God told his people never to go…

I can understand his thinking… Here was a man who wanted to do right by his family. They were hungry – most likely starving and not knowing when or if they would have another meal…

Moab had food!

But again, Moab was a country Elimelech and his people were told not to go… still, they went anyway…

Not long after the move, Elimelech died, leaving his wife Naomi alone, to fend for herself and their two sons…

Scripture says that she became very bitter and blamed God (Ruth 1:13). I can only imagine that she must have been angry with Elimelech, too. After all, he did move her and the kids to a strange country… a country God told them never to go!

But no, move they did… and then, he goes off and dies on her!

The grief and frustration she must have felt!

I get it!

I completely understand the frustration of moving to a place I never wanted to move to…

And, after waking this morning, to yet another problem here on the homestead, I found myself, once again reduced to tears… and, a frustrating conversation with mom only resulted in more sobbing and both of us wishing we’d never been born.

I asked mom why she moved us here… what is God trying to teach me… she said maybe He’s trying to make a stronger woman out of me…

Really?!? Trust me Lord, I’m not that strong…

It doesn’t help that I am another year older… alone… and, in debt…

What do I have to show for my life?

I see other people living the life I wish I had… a life of happiness and prosperity…

So, is this the life God has for me? A life of frustration and grief? Did I make the wrong decision to move here with mom… it wasn’t like I had much of choice… after moving back home to take care of dad during his illness, and his passing, I was broke…

Is it time to move on?

How do you know when and if it’s time to quit – especially if you’re living a life you’re not sure you were ever intended to live?

Yes, I see the vision mom has for this place… I see an even bigger vision of what could be…

But I also see other people living a life with no frustration… I see them living prosperously… a life I wish I had… but what exactly do I want to do with my life?

Is it time to quit?

Or, is this a time of refinement – a time where God is molding me into the woman He wants me to become…

Only time will tell…

Till next time,

~ Sheri