Jan 17
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – Predator and Prey

Hes' back

Predators are just a natural part of the cycle of life. Even though we are raising a bunch of prey here, I have been enjoying watching a lone coyote come and catch breakfast in our back field furthest away from our barn. He is fascinating to watch. He is still as a statute, listening and watch for the tiniest sound or movement under the snow. Then he leaps and pounces on the cold unsuspecting vermin. He does this over and over again until he fills his stomach. He looks absolutely joyful when he pounces. I don’t know why I’m surprised that they look just like a pet. Like a dog when they are playing their favorite game. Every once in a while he would glance up toward me with a wary look. It made me feel like he knew it wasn’t safe to come any closer.

I was totally immersed in enjoying this glimpse into nature when Dean reminded me that he is a predator. And we really need to do something to make sure the coyote doesn’t feel welcome here. He suggested shooting it. He pointed out that just last week we had a chicken mysteriously vanish without a trace. I intervened on behalf of this beautiful predator and suggested we just have our dog Chia bark at him.  I was convinced that just opening the door would send him off, frightened, into the woods. But no, Chia’s barking did not scare him away, he barely looked up. Not until I banged on the window did he leave his potential breakfast behind and moped up the field stopping at the edge and looking back to assess the situation. It took another knock on the window and he disappeared into the woods.

What’s worse than have one predator thinking your farm is a good place for breakfast? Two! This coyote brought a larger friend here for breakfast the very next day. This second coyote was even bolder and defiant than the first. He ventured even closer to the house without any fear of being so close.  I now realized Dean was right and something needed to be done. I texted my my favorite son -in- law and he scared them away this time. I don’t know how long they will stay away. So i will be locking the prey, our chickens safely in when I’m not home. Hopefully we won’t be seeing them again anytime soon.

Jan 17
by Maryclaire Mayes

Tut’s No Soy Soap

5a9eab0a-52fb-44a2-9c7a-f7f6df13c490 Tut’s Soap is an extra- moisturizing unscented formulation made without soy oil. It is the brain child of one of our favorite customers, a gentleman from Alabama called Tut. He wondered out loud if we could make a soap like our Baby Me soap, but without any soy, which his doctor suggested he try to avoid. We thought it was a great idea since we know that some folks are trying to avoid soy these days. I made a batch and used more olive oil in place of the soy oil. We are excited with the results, a very mild, moisturizing cleansing bar. We sent some samples off to Tut and he said he liked it too. Tut’s No Soy Soap is great for extra dry sensitive skin. It has a nice lather that will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.

 (3.25 oz) Made in the U.S.A.

Ingredients: Saponiified Olive Oil, Cultured Goat Milk, Saponified Coconut Oil, Saponified Shea Butter, Saponified Cocoa Butter, Saponified Castor Oil.




Dec 16
by Maryclaire Mayes

View From My Window – So…. mud is heavy


So, the other day I was helping Dean, and he asked me to go to the hardware store to buy a bucket of mud. No not the kind we trudge through at the barn, spackle, the kind you put on your wall when you are putting up sheetrock. So off i went to the hardware store and I found the 5 gallon buckets of spackle. They were stacked on top of each other 3 high. I was able to lift one enough and get it down to the floor, but it took every ounce of strength that I had.  So, I  realized I was no longer strong enough to carry said bucket to the cash register. I was shocked, how did this happen. I know I’m getting older, but this is too soon.

So, I have a friend who looks years younger and is much more active from the benefits of going to a crossfit gym. I saw they had a 2 week trial, so, fresh off my 5 gallon bucket defeat, I spontaneously signed myself up. I walked in the first day and took this picture and sent it to my daughter with the caption, “At gym, seriously scary place!”  The instructor was a young girl who was very patient and kind with me. I proceeded to explained to her I had never been to a gym in my life and I know nothing about this.

So, I was feeling pretty good about how well I was doing. Nothing compared to the regulars, but I didn’t think I was doing too bad. Until the instructor asked if I minded telling her how old I am. I said I will be 61 in a few weeks. So, then this young whipper snapper looked at me and said “I just want to congratulate you! Not many elderly people will start on an exercise program” Wow I was taken back!  I blurted out I don’t think of myself as elderly. She was all kinds of apologetic and said that came out wrong I didn’t mean to use that word. Then I felt bad too because I could see I had made her feel uncomfortable. Since then we have laughed about it and have become friends. My family has had a good laugh about it too. My daughter says elderly is not a number it’s a state of mind. So the consensus is that I’m not there yet. So, I don’t know how long I will keep this up, maybe until I can haul a bucket of mud again.

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!