"He causeth the grass to grow for food, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth a man's heart." ~Psalm 104: 14-15


What I didn't Know About Bats ... until they moved in!

There are a few reasons I'm sharing this post, mostly because of advice I've heard since finding out that bats were apparently the culprits, not mice, in the incidence of squeaks in my ceiling... Said advice almost never took into account that these bats had been living in my house while I was sleeping in there. The significance of this will be noted below, but it's Rabies Awareness Day ... please be informed!

Things I've learned since finding a bat ... and that more were living in my house:
  1. In some areas bats test positive for rabies more than any other animal
  2. Most people who develop symptoms of rabies, end up dying
  3. If a person is bitten by a bat, even a Dr. may not be able to find a mark

This concerns me. I've heard people saying they just shoo bats out if they find them in their house. The Department of Health explained the importance of testing bats that may have had human contact. (Though they are not a bat removal service, Animal Control came - under special circumstances - to remove and test the first bat we found in the house.)  Capturing a bat may not seem very complicated, but it has potential danger. The NY State Health Department has a video on how to capture a bat and explains when it's necessary. 

Did any of you see that old Dr. Quinn show where one of the semi-main characters dies of rabies? It was practically traumatizing, and certainly stuck with me! Though there is now a series of shots available (post-bite), potentially being in that situation is a pretty scary scenario!  The shots were something I had to take into serious consideration through the course of events. In the end, it was so helpful to be able to get knowledgeable counsel and information from a Public Health nurse and the Epidemiology Program.

 These two links contain more information and I found them helpful in my efforts to deal with the bat problem -bats living in the rafters of our little "tower." Though they are for a particular county, online searches can readily bring up other State and county Health Departments:

Have you ever had bats in your house? Did you know about the potential for unknowingly contracting rabies? 

This post is shared on: Front Porch Friday, Natural Family Friday, The Art of Homemaking Mondays...

4 Benefits of Herbs in Your Home with Your Daughters

Did you know it can be simple to spend less than an hour to inspire and enjoy your daughters?  You sure can! Including your girls in a special herbal project time can be very beneficial. 


How I Used an Hour in My Home: Herbs with One of the Girls

We spent an hour -or less- on this project. Started by looking through an herbal recipe e-book, picked a recipe that would help us that day, and then got out the herbs we found in the recipe. Celeste helped me mix up that herbal tea...

I let her have the fun of measuring and mixing; she really liked that! She made sure to double check amounts as she went on, using a separate dish to measure into - just in case - and then combined everything together by adding to our little jar, lidding and shaking.

Celeste helped me put together this tea blend from Herbal Nurturing.
Get the e-book by Michele Augur (of Frugal Granola), for details on amounts and herbs.

Four Benefits of Working with Herbs in My Home with one of the Girls:

  1. We got to spend some quality time together, working on a productive activity.
  2. She experienced accomplishment in a small-scale, fun way.
  3. She now has this sweet memory of working with herbs.
  4. Bed-time was easier for the little girls, knowing they'd get to taste "her" tea! 

"Her" tea to share with the little girls before bed.

Have You Spent a Great Time With Your Girls on an Herbal Project? Share in a comment below!

NOTE: see Tuesday's post for my list of "bed-time" herbs.

This post shared on: Natural Family Friday, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Monday's Musings, Mama Moments, Capture Your Journey, Homemaking Link-up, Simple Lives Thursday ...


Researching & "Bed-Time" Herbs

General Herbal Study

When making use of herbs, it's important to study how to use them safely and learn about what they do. When choosing herbs, use herbs you don't have allergies to, that combine well with each other, and in the right proportions for the body and need. (Don't just throw a bunch of plants together and hope it all comes out well!)  

"The competent physician, before he attempts to give medicine to the patient, makes himself acquainted not only with the disease, but also with the habits and constitution of the sick man." -Cicero
(You can see my list of favorite books for a place to start studying for yourself. I suggest checking these out from your local public library. Then pick your favorites, make a list, and save up to add it them one-by-one to your own personal library. Also, there are many online resources you can read through for free!)

My List of Bed-Time Herbs

I'm gathered together a list of herbs... With a some farther research, I can chose from this list which of these I want to use in bed-time tea blends. I'm gathering information on herbs that aid in sleep, help prevent nightmares, and calm nerves or muscles. (This is not a recipe; I'm not just throwing all these herbs together.)

  • thyme
  • lemon verbena
  • rose petals 
  • chamomile 
  • lavender
  • lobelia
  • passion flower
  • valerian
  • St John's Wort
  • catnip
  • hibiscus
Do any of these grow in your yard or garden? 

Come back Saturday to See Saturday's post on how I made a fun family event out of putting together a bed-time tea

This post shared on: Capture Your Journey Wednesday, Naturally Living Monday, So Much At Home, Homemaking Link-up, Wildcrafting Wednesday, The Homemaking Party ...


Little kitchenette on hold {on not complaining and flying rodents}

The next post about my little kitchenette is well on it's way, but there's (another) problem. Bats. Bats - as in, the flying little rat creatures that may or may not carry rabies. Yes, those little creatures have invaded my little abode. What I thought was mice in the ceiling seems to have been a less furry problem. When the guys opened a hole to put in a mouse trap, it seems to have given the flying creatures the perfect entrance. It is located right at the ridgepole, just above my loft bed. So I've fled -for a short time, Lord willing- to my sister's place.

When a little feral-turned-tame kitty brought fleas into the house, I had thought those were a hassle. Now? Let me tell you, fleas over bats...um, yes please! (I found a few natural ways to rid kitties of fleas, including DE, because of issues with flea poison.  And I got a large bottle of Eucalyptus essential oil.)

With those problems in mind, I wanted to share a story with you that I read as a girl. I'm reminded of it over and over throughout the years, and especially when I'm soo soo tempted to complain about circumstance - like having fleas and bats in my house! (I'll leave my thoughts on Pollyanna thinking to another post, another day.) Jacqueline of Deep Roots at Home has already shared the flea story on her blog, so I leave you with a link to that post:

 Betsie and the Fleas

(This story is by Corrie ten Boom, and comes from the time she and her sister spent in the dreaded German concentration camp Ravensbrück, during World War 2.) Seriously, go read the story-it's sure sticks with you! *click here*

 And hopefully by World Rabies Day you'll get to read a more detailed kitchenette update!  Update: September 28th

This post is shared on: Monday Musings, Mama Moments Monday, Wildcrafting Wednesday, The Art of Homemaking Mondays, Modest Mom Blog ... 


Blueberry picking (sans bugs)

Went out blueberry picking for the first time. (That's when we mixed up some of this essential oil bug repellant, to keep the chiggers, mosquitoes, and ticks at bay. Sure did the trick ~ only got one bite the whole morning!)  I picked that pail (almost) full that you see above! :]  (It was 3/4 of a gallon.) After eating my fill for the rest of the week, I took the remainder home to my family at the end of my trip. Mama had fresh blueberry muffins for her birthday gift.

Lesson learned out there? 

If you don't like the taste of the berries as you pick them, you wont want to eat them later either; look for a sweet bush, then pick the darkest, plumpest bluest berries you can find.

(Also, a bug repellant that is excellent will even keep bugs away from a mosquito magnet such as myself.)

What do you do with your fresh blueberries? Do you have any favorite blueberry recipes? 

This post is part of the following link-ups: The Homemaking Party, Simple Life Sunday, Mama Moment Mondays, Capture Your Journey Wednesday ...


A Little Travel Tip

I learned something useful from a nameless man (we can call him Mr "Wildlife" for this story), and thought it helpful enough to pass on to you. Here's what I picked up this trip...

In Search of a Travel Pack

I recently needed to acquire a new bag. It had to fit certain requirements. I couldn't be too short, it had to be wide enough. It needed to be a backpack with at least one shoulder strap (over shoulder), preferably two (old fashioned backpack style). And, most importantly, it couldn't be bright and eye catching. The idea is simple one-bag-travel. Everything needs to fit, without excess space to invite unneeded extras.

I was imagining the cost of this new bag. But then, new wasn't on the required list. So, this old bag. That makes a sub-list; if it's used (and cheap) it is not absolutely necessary that it be durable (as long as it would last 24 hours without falling apart or loosing it's contents). On the other hand, if it is new (and costs more than an old used one) it should be durable and resilient enough to last for years.

I finally found it!

It's dark, wide enough, tall enough, and not too big! Everything fits like a glove; it's perfect! It did have some straps (with extra ones added on to those), but all were removed easily enough.

Little Travel Tip

The final thing that came with this pack?  It also came with wordless travel advice: always bring along extra large safety pins. How so? Well, on a side zipper was a tag. It clearly stated that the former owner was a wildlife fellow. He seems to have made good use of this bag; even adding strap extenders, tagging it, and then leaving 2 large safety pins attached to the zip-pull on the very front of the bag. Hmm. Well, they certainly had potential (and were useful to Mr "Wildlife" for something), so when I removed all the extraneous straps and tags, the pins stayed. They wouldn't added any noticeable weight, and I a use for them could come up...

Take Large Safety-Pins on Your Travels: You'll probably use them

Not two hours into the trip this bag was destined for, I found use for those pins! It's worth passing on the idea, so when y'all are traveling, you'll know to pin a couple extra large safety pins to your bags; they're almost certain to be useful as lightweight carabiners! 

A Little Travel Tip: Safety Pin = substitute carabiner!

Just be careful not to clip something too heavy with them; you don't want it to come tumbling down and an inopportune time! (pictured is an empty water bottle on it's way to be returned to it's forgetful owner) :]