May 17

Many Hands…little hands

vacuumMy mom used to say ” Many hands make light work”.  I remember she often said this when we would help her can the bushels of tomatoes that came from our garden at the end of the summer.  When I had my own children I read if you don’t let your toddlers “help” you with chores around the house, they won’t want to when they are old enough to really help. So even though it always took longer to do chores with a toddler, I considered it an investment in the future. My future, that eventually they would be capable of helping with chores and their future, that they would become productive adults that have learned that work is part of life.

I know my kids heard ” Many hands make light work” a lot growing up too. I always let them “help” with dishes and cleaning and of course canning too. When they were 7 and 10 we moved to a small farm. Then there was lots of opportunity to work together.  We did a market garden and our young daughter did most of the planting without complaint. Now we have grandchildren, six so far! Last time Mr. Number Three was here, at the tender age of 4 years old, he came into my office and announced my kitchen floor was dirty. He sheepishly looked at me and asked if he can use my vacuum. It makes my heart glad to see our kids families carrying on the tradition of ” Many hands make light work”.

May 17



Cucumber skin care? I always plant cucumbers in my garden. This wonderful veggie is full of good nutrients for your face from the inside and out. It is a good source of Vitamin C and Molybdenum; both nutrients can help detoxify your skin and make it smooth and beautiful. But don’t stop there cucumber has topical skincare benefits too. It contains caffeic acid, to help to reduce inflamed or irritated skin, and it also hydrates due to its high water content. The peel has silica, which can help firm up sagging skin. Even people with the most sensitive skin types can use cucumber.

A quick fix for puffy eyes: place chilled cucumber slices over your eyes. You’ve probably seen this before—because it really works!  Enjoy the cooling effect that helps relieve puffy eyes, and shrink dilated blood vessels. Cucumbers also have flavonoids and antioxidants that decrease swelling, redness and irritation

Redness: Cucumbers have natural anti-inflamatory properties like water, potassium, Vit A and sulfate that calm and soothe your skin. You can place thin sliced cucumbers anywhere there is redness. Great to soothe sunburn, rash or rosacea flare ups. Keep the slices on for at least 15 minutes. Remove and apply a light moisturizer like Replenish ( Shhh…we don’t sell it but we love Emu oil for burns)

Spa Facial: Lightly puree 1/2 cup of cucumber and mix 1 to 2 tablespoons plain yogurt (look for one with active cultures). If it is too runny you can add a little oatmeal. Gently apply to clean dry face and neck. Relax for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse and enjoy your new glowing skin.


May 17

View From My Window – Springing Into New Life

Spring is all about new life. It is such a wonderful time of year here in the northeast. After a long and often gloomy Winter, Spring is here to lift our spirits. Of course the weather is always unpredictable, (well actually it is unpredictable here all year longBaby Boone) but it has so much promise bursting forth from the ground to the trees. The renewal of life and new life is all around us. Dean and I are busy with new gardening ideas and every Spring there always seems to be one more garden expansion.  This Spring there was a different kind of one more expansion that added more love to our family. We got to welcome a new baby boy into the family. Our son and his wife had a beautiful baby boy, Boone McKinley added to their family. The middle name honors Papa (Dean) who climbed Mt. Mckinley 40 years ago. I’m sure this little man and his big sister will have lots of adventures of their own ( I think I heard someone talking about his first camping trip). We are so happy for them.

Mar 17

We are honored to be featured again in “Life As I See It’ By Gail Welter

Gail is a gifted photographer. She came to visit us back in August of 2015. She recently featured us again at her blog, that you can see herewelter

Feb 17

Ah- Choo

Wash with Alabu Soap

Ah-choo! We have been hearing way too much of Ah-choo this winter. All the grand kids and some of the adults have been hit with some sort of illness this winter and it still seems as if it’s going to be causing havoc right into Spring. With little kids it’s not easy to keep your kids healthy. So what can you do to reduce your sick days? One of the easiest ways and one near and dear to our hearts is to wash your hands often. Of course if you ask we would recommend only using hand sanitizer when you can’t use Alabu Goat milk soap and water; soap and water is recommended as the best way to remove germs from your hands. Try to wash your hands every time you come back home too. Another easy way is to increase the amount of fresh fruit you and your family eat.

  1. Keep tissues handy and practice washing your hands after using them.
  2. Practice germ-free hand drying- use paper towels or buy a stack of cheap bar towels and use once and toss in the laundry.
  3. Clean your food prep work surfaces in between each use.
  4. Clean the floors more often, so dust doesn’t accumulate and get mixed into the air you breathe.
  5. Try to get some fresh air and sunshine everyday and take at least four deep breaths too; it helps to clear your lungs.

And oh by the way if you haven’t donated blood lately ~  it’s time! The need is great and you’ll feel great about helping others in need.