Dec 16
by Maryclaire Mayes

Staying Well This Flu Season


Staying well this flu season can be aided by something as simple as washing your hands. According to the Mayo Clinic, hand-washing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to cut your risk of getting sick and spreading illness. Here are the do’s and don’t of hand washing to keep you healthy this winter:

One of the most important reasons for hand washing is all the germs our hands come in contact with when we touch surfaces around us. Studies show that the average adult touches their face with their hands about 16 times per hour and 80% of infectious diseases are spread by touch. Frequent hand washing can cut your risk of colds by up to 50%.

Here are the latest tips from the Mayo Clinic:

Always wash your hands before:

  • Preparing food or eating
  • Treating wounds, giving medicine, or caring for a sick or injured person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses

Always wash your hands after:

  • Preparing food, especially raw meat or poultry
  • Using the toilet or changing a diaper
  • Touching an animal or animal toys, leashes, or waste
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing into your hands
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick or injured person
  • Handling garbage, household or garden chemicals, or anything that could be contaminated — such as a cleaning cloth or soiled shoes

In addition, wash your hands whenever they look dirty (of course!).

How to wash your hands

It’s generally best to wash your hands with soap and water. Follow these simple steps:

  • Wet your hands with running water.
  • Apply liquid, bar or powder soap. ( Here at Alabu we prefer bar soap which is the most gentle for your skin)
  • Lather well.
  • Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds.  Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  • Rinse well.
  • Dry your hands with a clean or disposable towel or air dryer.
  • If possible, use your towel to turn off the faucet and open the door.

How to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

It is always better to wash the contaminant off your hands than trying to kill them. Flu viruses seem to be more resistant to hand sanitizers than bacteria. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which don’t require water, are an acceptable alternative when soap and water aren’t available. If you choose to use a hand sanitizer, make sure the product contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Then follow these simple steps:

  • Apply enough of the product to the palm of your hand to wet your hands completely.
  • Rub your hands together, covering all surfaces, until your hands are dry.

Antimicrobial wipes or towelettes are another effective option. Again, look for a product that contains a high percentage of alcohol. If your hands are visibly dirty, wash with soap and water.

Keep in mind that antibacterial soap is no more effective at killing germs than is regular soap. Using antibacterial soap may even lead to the development of bacteria that are resistant to the product’s antimicrobial agents — making it harder to kill these germs in the future.

Help children stay healthy by encouraging them to wash their hands properly and frequently. Wash your hands with your child to show him or her how it’s done. To prevent rushing, suggest washing hands for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. You might place hand-washing reminders at your child’s eye level, such as a chart by the bathroom sink that can be marked every time your child washes his or her hands. If your child can’t reach the sink on his or her own, keep a step stool handy.

Hand-washing is especially important for children in child care settings. Young children cared for in groups outside the home are at greater risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases, which can easily spread to family members and other contacts. Be sure your child care provider promotes frequent hand-washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Ask whether the children are required to wash their hands several times a day — not just before meals. Note, too, whether diapering areas are cleaned after each use and whether eating and diapering areas are well separated.

A simple way to stay healthy

Hand-washing doesn’t take much time or effort, but it offers great rewards in terms of preventing illness. Adopting this simple habit can play a major role in protecting your health.


Dec 16
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – Counting Blessings

Grandkids in hay stall


I know this time of year can get so busy we can easily feel overwhelmed. I sometimes sing to myself this old song and it lifts my spirits.




Count Your Blessings

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—*money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.

Feeling better?  Your welcome.

Wishing you a very Merry Blessed Christmas Season!

Oct 16
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – Mr. Fix It



I love this guy! He is my Mr. Fix it. It doesn’t seem to matter what goes wrong on our little farm, he can fix it or has a better solution.

This time it was the refrigerator. We both noticed the food didn’t seem as cold as it should be. Dean investigated and found that there was something wrong with the defroster in the freezer and it wasn’t blowing cold air up to the fridge.  He was able to fix it by using a hairdryer and defrosting the blocked vents in the freezer.

We decided to see how long that would solve the problem. I was a bit more optimistic than Dean. He was right, it only fixed it for a week. Again Dean defrosted the freezer, this time it only lasted a few days. We decided to buy a new one since the refrigerator was already ten years old and the parts needed were expensive.  Dean also decided he had enough to do without adding refrigerator repair man to his list.

The new fridge was ordered but not coming for another week, they weren’t delivering to our neck of the woods until next Friday. On Tuesday I texted him at work to let him know the fridge was warm again. So he gets home from his day job and here he is on the floor again. He turns the fridge off, takes all the frozen food out and starts defrosting again without complaint, seemingly perfectly content and happy. Hopefully this will do it until the replacement comes. Did I say I love this guy? Yeah I do!

Sep 16
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – Hard Decisions

I had to make a reallymy-roo hard decision.  As much as we try to avoid it, death is a part of life.  Even though we don’t always achieve the desired outcome, I’m glad I went the extra mile to see if I could save this rooster. But there came a point where I had to make a really hard decision.

My sweet Roo had a relapse. I was optimistically thinking  he would be fine now. But I soon realized this virus would probably plague him all of his life. He was still eating and game to fight on but his comb was turning blue and I knew it was probably a respiratory infection. It was hard to make the decision to put an end to his life when for weeks he looked into my eyes and it felt like he trusted me to care for him. But I knew I could not continue to devote this much time to him indefinitely. I miss my little buddy but glad we had our time together.

Aug 16
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – Persistence Pays Off!


Persistence pays off. I’m happy I can report that our brown Leghorn rooster (Roo) is in recovery mode now. For weeks I wondered if it was a hopeless cause. Everyone wondered when I would give up and sometimes I secretly hoped I would come out in the morning and find out he had passed in the night. But I never wanted to give up on him.

Roo always wanted to eat, especially watermelon. He was not resistant to taking medicine by eye dropper every morning and every night. Although it was a struggle to get baby aspirin in him 3 times a day. It was clear to me that he was not giving up, so I wasn’t going to give up either. I know persistence doesn’t always give you the desired outcome, but you always know you did all you could. This time I’m glad it paid off. I might be getting a little too attached to him.