Monday, July 26, 2021

He started it. She finished it.


Joshua had just come home from a hard day at work. He thought it would be fun to playfully pick on his baby sister, Hannah. He told her he was going to throw her in the pool. She let him know he'd have a battle on his hands. He gave up. I love how they are always making each other laugh. We have a good-natured gang and enjoy each other's company.

You can see my new dehydrator on "Middle Earth" behind them. I have a comparison of two and why I purchased the one I did in tomorrow's post.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Do YOU truly know HIM?

If Jesus Christ isn't strong enough to motivate you to live Biblically, 

then you don't know Him at all! 

-Paul Washer

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Heavily Laden

Look how low the branches were drooping.
This tree is one from which I take cuttings to root so I can share and sell.

The "ding dong deer" were not only nibbling on the fruit, but they started eating the leaves as you can see on this naked length of the branch. We have a herd of five that will walk right up to our deck. They are not very shy around us.

Earlier this year towards the end of winter, Caleb walked outside while looking at his phone. When he lifted his head, he realized he was next to the four deer. They realized he was there about the same time. Caleb jumped and made a noise. One of the deer tripped and went head over heels while another ran straight into (and took out) a section of fence.

In the background of the bottom picture, you can see my original set of grapevines which are now being overrun by Japanese Wisteria. This is where many of our friend's grapevines originated. That wisteria is making me angry. I have not conceded.

So far, we have collected 12 five-gallon buckets of fruit with pears still on five trees. For those new to planting and growing fruit trees, pear trees are some of the easiest to grow and best-producing trees on a homestead. If you want to start growing your own fruit, I recommend starting with pears. 

A fungus invaded my pear trees a few years ago. I cured it with colloidal silver. Colloidal silver is worth the research if you are a gardener. Clint made our generator, and it has been cheap to make and a great help around our farm.

For gifts, I ask for fruit trees and similar because I know it will give me a return every year that I can use to bless my family and friends. I love fruiting trees, bushes, and vines for this reason.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Shared with me: Doctor asking for balance in covid vaccine requirements and news.

Dr. Scott Jensen brings up some good points about CoVid vaccine requirements for children and asks for balance in the reporting of the news of CoVid vaccine injuries.

Suffolk, VA: Need a Volunteer for Food Drop

There is an elderly lady I know that I would like to get a box of food to without her knowing who sent it. She has had some medical issues and is having to choose between food and medicine. This is causing her diet to be lacking which will only trigger more health issues. I would like to place an order with Food Lion or Walmart Grocery in Suffolk and have someone pick it up and drop it off to her. I want to remain completely anonymous. If you can help, please send me an email. (see header for address)

I forgot to mention, she is on Wilkins Drive. We had someone offer to help, but they were on the other end of the city and can't squeeze it in between jobs and childcare.

Four Plants = Thousands of Seeds


It's not enough to know how to garden. You also should learn how to save seeds.

These are the collard seeds from four plants that bolted due to the heat.
I need to blow out the debris, but as you can see, there are thousands and thousands of seeds here. I collected these at the end of spring after the plants dried out. I will be sowing many of them at the beginning of August for my fall garden.

When and how to collect them, how to prepare them, and how to store them are all skills that can save you a small fortune.

I can't keep it all in my head and don't like relying on the internet, so I have this book as a handy and helpful resource.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Vaccine Reactions

I am in groups where vaccine reactions are being shared. The stories are first-person or of affected family members. The stories are eye-opening and very hard on the heart. 

I encourage you to look into what is happening to some of our population and make sure they are not ignored. Vaccine injuries happen with every vaccine. This needs to be acknowledged, and resources need to be made available.

This website was started by Green Bay Packers' Ruettger after his wife suffered a side effect. She continues to decline. 

I encourage you to take a few minutes to read the personal stories and share the website so the medical community will acknowledge and help these people.

Need Garden Seeds? Support a Family

When you buy seeds, please consider Seeds for Generations. This is a Christian homeschooling family-run business. 

Baby Gift / New Mother Gift Idea


This is the macrame swing we gave as a new mother gift to our wonderful "niece."
She really likes it and uses it to soothe her baby.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Friend's Home Based Business

Willow Soaps

Etsy Willow Soaps

Prayer Request Updates Katherine and Kenny

July 21: Kevin thanks you for the prayers! After weeks of looking, he told Clint that he has signed a contract on a home and things look good for the contract to be ratified. His home also has a contract on it. Katherine is doing very well. It has been such a blessing to see this young girl go from the depths of despair and self-destruction to having hope and looking forward to a bright future. She still has some tough things to work through, but she is much improved. Please keep praying for Katherine's mother. She has her own mental health struggles and reasons for blocking Katherine's treatments. Blocking the medical treatment for Katherine is what started the divorce and battle in court. Katherine was cutting herself to the extent the doctors and her father thought she'd die. The details of how she harmed herself that were shared with us were very, very disturbing. It is heart-rending to think of anyone in that much pain. Katherine is getting the help she needs, and it is working well for her. Also, Katherine's strength is really becoming apparent as she leaves behind that state of brokenness and continues to reach for more healing. May the Lord continue to work in the lives of this family.

July 7: Last week, the final custody hearing happened. Kevin has custody after he sells his home. Some of Katherine's trauma is centered around that house, so he is required to purchase or rent a new home. He already has a contract on his house and is searching for one to buy. Please join us in praying he is able to buy a home quickly and rejoicing that he has custody. Katherine seems to be doing well. She has not cut herself anymore and seems very happy with the court rulings. Please keep praying for her wellness of mind, body, and soul.

For the 4th, we were able to spend some time with our favorite veteran. Mr. Reese still has not had his surgery to free his locked knee joints. His knee cap on one leg is about two inches over where the knee cap goes. The knee cap on the other leg is on the inside of the joint. Doctors can not explain how this happened to him. His next appointment is in August. He was told he will get a surgery date then, but he's been told that before. He enjoyed the food and the company we gave him over two days. Please join us in prayer that Mr. Reese will surrender his life to Christ. 

Dear Reader, Thank you for your prayers for our friends. May the Lord bless you greatly for ministering to them through prayer. Please let us know how we can pray for you and yours.

Grandpa Clint

Clint is wearing the "grandpa hat" today. That should tell those in the know what has gone down. :-) Those who are on the list to be notified will be contacted with details soon. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Special Days Now and Ahead

Clint and I just returned from another four-day romantic weekend. We had so much fun! We did not get to do any boating, kayaking, or fishing this time. (I really want to get in some time on the water and do some fishing!) We did go walking, swimming, and antiquing together. We saw an abundance of wildlife on our long drives. We also enjoyed several delicious meals out and a few good movies "at home" (house we stayed in). It was a fun and relaxing time! We are looking forward to celebrating our 33rd anniversary next month. Then shortly after that, we should complete another huge goal and will take time to celebrate that too. Then there is a family camping trip planned in October if everything works out.

I forgot to add earlier that we also sat and watched a big thunderstorm. A cell formed right over us, so it was quite something to experience!

Thank you, Brian!

 Thank you, Brian, for the catfish! We will enjoy every bite!

Rainwater Collection Calculator

As Clint and I look to automate more of the daily daily tasks, I discovered this little gem:

Rainwater Collection Calculator

I learned that just one-half of one roof on our place can capture 400 gallons during a 1" rainfall. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Prayers for High Risk Induction, Please

July 20: From Sarah: "We are going home, there are no signs of long-term effects, they are going to continue to follow him outpatient and try to manage his reflux medication."

July 19: Walter's grandmother (also a very good friend of ours) contacted me to ask you, Dear Reader, to pray for Walter. He went in Friday for a scan to see how his esophagus was doing. If there was a sign of it narrowing, they were going to do a dilation procedure and then send him home. Everything looked good, so they did not do the dilation procedure.

Sunday afternoon, Walter was nursing when he suddenly stopped breathing and turned purple. His father performed CPR while they awaited an ambulance. 

Walter has been admitted to CHKD. X-rays were clear. They suspect his esophagus. The last I heard, they were waiting on tests from the ENT team. I will post more when I learn it. Thank you all for praying for this sweet newborn.

9PM Sarah told me you can now hear stridor when Walter is breathing. Please pray they are able to find the source and correct it quickly. 

"Stridor is a noisy or high-pitched sound with breathing. It is usually caused by a blockage or narrowing in your child's upper airway. Some common causes of stridor in children are infections and defects in the child's nose, throat, larynx, or trachea that the child was born with." -source


June: 3 Walter is back home. My sweet "niece" reports that Walter will have another dilation surgery this coming Friday. This time it will be as an outpatient. Sarah and Joe ask for prayers that everything goes well. Specifically, prayers are needed that Baby Walter's esophagus will stay at the diameter needed. 

May 27: Almost two months old Walter was showing signs of his esophagus closing up last night, so they took him back to the hospital. Please pray that the dilation surgeries go well and that he is able to be free of doctors and hospitals soon. 

May 14: Walter went home!!

May 10th: Walter had another dilation surgery. He did very well and was expected to go home shortly after. However, just as he was very close to leaving, he started having bradycardia episodes. So, now he will have to stay another week. 

Sunday April 18: Sarah wrote me last night and told me Walter pulled his NG tube out. The radiologist could not get it back in, so they called the surgeon. The plan was for the surgeon to put Walter under, dilate his esophagus, and put the NG tube back. The surgeon decided to try to put it in without putting him under, so he took Walter to radiology. He was able to get it back in, but not Walter can not get his O2 levels normal. Walter is now back on supplemental O2. Please pray his O2 levels rise. Please pray for Walter's weary young parents. 

Thursday April 15: Sarah was allowed to start breastfeeding Walter yesterday. He is clearly moving in the right direction.

Monday April 12: My "niece" told me Baby Walter has had another test this morning. He passed it with flying colors. As a result, they almost doubled his feeds. And, yes, "Aunt Wendy" has sent several gifts to her sweetie pie! 

I had to ask a few times: Sarah is very tired still. She is trying to rest when she is not with Walter. Having heart issues means the birth took more of a toll on her than it does with normal births. Please pray for Sarah's body to recover fully so she will have plenty of energy to care for Walter.

Saturday, April 10: Sarah went home Wednesday. Walter is expected to be able to go home this coming week. He is doing very well. He is to have a contract test today to see how his insides are healing. They may be able to take the tube out which will let his parents hold him. 

I apologize for not updating sooner. We've been very, very busy. Our neighbor (disabled) had a hot water heater burst and cause some damage and needed assistance with that.


Monday April 5th: Sarah is not feeling well still. The transfusion did not get finished until 10PM. She is concerned the doctors will send her home and something will happen there. She has fainted and fallen down the stairs before. She lives about an hour from the heart hospital. Walter is still in the children's hospital. Thank you to those who are praying.

Easter Sunday: Walter Eli Wade Blair, 6 lbs 6 ounces, born March 31. He is still sedated while his body heals, but he is doing very well. I have inquired about her hemoglobin levels. 

Sarah says her hemoglobin levels are still low. She is feeling the effects of that. She is receiving a transfusion tonight to help her. She says thank you for the prayers.


Friday 11 a.m. The baby is still in surgery which can take up to 4 hours. Mama is having issues keeping her hemoglobin levels up, so she is staying in the hospital at least through Monday. She is being allowed to go see the baby. The heart hospital and children's hospital are nearby and are part of the same network. I will update once I know the baby is out of surgery. Thank you to those who are praying along.

6 p.m. The baby did OK through surgery and is sedated due to the NG tube. 

Thursday: I received an update a few hours ago.

I've been asked the birth details, but I am waiting on the parents to announce it to the rest of their family and friends. Prayer needs: The mother is a bit anemic but OK. The plan is for her to be released Saturday or Sunday. The baby is at CHKD. Surgery is planned for late tomorrow morning. There is a hole in the esophagus and the esophagus is not connected to the stomach (esophageal atresia and a tracheoesophageal fistula). These issues will be easily repaired during surgery. This condition goes along with polyhydramnios (too much amnio fluid). The baby is doing very well and is very active. They are giving "sugar water" via IV. Please keep praying for the baby and new parents. (I'm going $hopping (again) for this special baby!! <3 <3 I am overwhelmed with joy for this sweet Christian young woman.)

Wednesday 3/31 evening: The baby was born at 2:48 p.m. I am not going to post the birth details until later since some of the family do not know yet. She, the mother, is fine. The forceps were not needed! She was able to have the birth the way she wanted! The baby needs prayer and is on the way to CHKD for surgery. I did not get the sense that it is a huge issue. 


Wednesday afternoon: She is 6 cm and 80% effaced. Her water broke on its own yesterday morning about an hour before they planned to do it manually. Once the 3L of fluid was off, the baby started having heart rate issues. She asks for prayer that the baby's heart rate will stay up. I have known this young lady since she was born. She has had such a hard road to travel medically. It is my prayer that she can have the baby vaginally as she wishes because so much in her life has been out of her control. Thank you to those who are lifting her and the baby in prayer.

Wednesday morning: When I checked on her at 4 a.m., She was still at 4 cm but the contractions were getting closer together. She is in a delivery room with her husband. The doctor plans to use forceps to help deliver the baby to keep her heart from working too hard. 


Tuesday: 11:00 a.m. She has kept in close contact via text. Please pray that I can give her words to encourage her and build her confidence. She has choices she has to make soon. Please continue to pray for this brave young lady's safety as she delivers her baby. She is stronger in the Lord and braver than most. She is very special to me.

7:17 a.m. My sweet "niece" has been in contact since she was admitted, but I have not been able to update on my computer.  I copied and pasted the important parts of the conversation for those interested. A quick summary is highlighted below.

Please note: The doctors started the induction process early and she will be in L&D early. This is a high-risk delivery for mother and baby. Please keep them covered in prayer.

Monday at 10:05 AM
Thank you, I love you and will keep you updated. Induction is scheduled to start Wednesday, we just got settled in our room. Waiting to start heparin drip.

 at 10:06 AM
Will you be on the heparin drip the entire time?

at 10:07 AM
    They will stop it while I’m in active labor and restart it after the birth
at 8:38 AM

So when we got here yesterday morning we were under the impression we would be here 6-7days, and induction would start Wednesday. However, as the day went by that quickly changed and we are already in the induction process as of last night and will be moved down to Labor and Delivery this morning to start the medications to finish out the process. We won’t know how long afterward we will have to stay until... well afterward. But please keep us in your prayers as this isn’t exactly the plans we had in mind; we are still leaning and trusting on God 100% and the plans he has for our delivery. We know he will carry us through.


Please pray for mother and baby.

3/24: Our young friend with the heart issues is being induced weeks earlier than planned due to pressure on her heart. She will begin the process with a heparin drip on Monday and the plan is to have the baby born on Wednesday. Please keep them covered in prayer. I will update once the baby is born.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Repost: That Dangerous "I Don't Care" Attitude

 This is one of our most visited pages. First shared November 23, 2012:

"I don't care. I am going to do what I want." 

Scripture tells us that we have to be humble to be useful to the Lord. The problem today is that most Christians lack humility. Pride is a rebellion against God. When we have that "I don't care!" attitude, we need to slow down and ask ourselves what it reveals about us and what we need to do to get it our will lined up with God's. 

Are we really saying: 

"I don't care... what the Bible says. I will do what I want to do."

"I don't care... how this affects my testimony."
"I don't care... who I hurt."
"I don't care... what anyone thinks about it. I am going to do as I please."
"I don't care... about the consequences of this action." 
"I don't care... because I have stopped believing in God's promises."
"I don't care... what the law says. No one will get hurt. I know better than the lawmakers."
"I don't care... if I make an exception to obedience in this one area. I am good enough/will make up for it in other areas."

We can ask ourselves the same type of questions with other sayings. That's why we call them "expressions." They express the motives of our heart. We like to drop the parts that we aren't comfortable with so we can do what we want to do. We make excuses and pat ourselves on the back in other areas to give ourselves permission to sin. Even when we get Christian counsel, we have to be wary. Sometimes counsel will give a pass on our sin so we will give a pass to theirs later. 

The Bible lists some serious consequences of stubborn pride. The consequences of the choices we make will not only affect us, but those around us. Even when my attitude is so far into the tank I don't care about what happens to me, I still care about what happens to my husband and children. They are a strong motivator to continue to do what is right and pleasing to the Lord. 

Diving deep into our hearts to do the nitty gritty work of self examination and making a course correction isn't easy. Honesty can be painful. Making course corrections in front of the people who saw us charge ahead into sin is humiliating. God knows "weeding" is a painful process. Yielding to His way of thinking and behaving means sometimes we give up our own. It can be quite a struggle. That is why He blesses us with incredible spiritual growth for doing it.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Colossians 3:5-10 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Extreme Effort

Guo Xinzhen's father, Guo Gangtang, never stopped looking, either. After his son went missing, he embarked on a search across China, riding a motorbike through nearly all of the vast country's provinces, covering 500,000 kilometers (310,685 miles), according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

    He carried little with him except a bag full of fliers, and a flag emblazoned with a picture of his son. He used up all his savings and racked up staggering debts, burning through 10 motorcycles on his long journey, Xinhua reported. -source

    Dear Reader, This is a touching story of a good father going through extreme effort to find his lost child. I can only think of one other story that surpasses it. It's the story of a Father Who gave His only Son to die in our place for the wrongs we have committed. I hope you know Him. I hope you have made Him your Lord and Savior. I hope He truly reigns in your life. Love to all!

    Friday, July 16, 2021


    Please join our family in rejoicing with friends of ours over their son's progress! Ben is the son of friends, and he has dwarfism with some other complications. He was unable to walk in a straight line and do things that are very easy for other children. Today, he showed off wonderful gross motor skills by taking instructions from his sister and learning to row a kayak. GOD IS GOOD!

    Can you spot a familiar name?


    If you can enlarge the image, you will see a familiar Asbell name speaking his piece. Clint, Brandon, and Joshua attended the meetings. 

    I wrote a letter that was read during one meeting calling out our leadership for not making the necessary regulations to protect our community. Most cities/counties have those in place to protect their citizens' neighborhoods. Because we do not have them here, we have become a target. One meeting after my letter was read, our county announced it is now working to get those protections in place.

    The company mentioned in the article has litigation pending against them for not keeping to their promises. That was brought up at the meetings. The panels they are saying are "safe" are actually only a bit "safer." They are not safe enough for such a fragile environment as wetlands and a state-registered wildlife habitat that has been devastated by past tornadoes, hurricanes, and flooding.

    Our community has land next to an industrial complex for a much larger facility, but for some reason, they wanted to put it right next to our neighbors' homes. It would not have been in view of our home, but it would have been surrounding other neighbors' homes. Those neighbors did research and learned the air over the panels creates so much heat that is carried by the wind that it would affect their comfort levels while working in their yards. 

    A check with realtors and actual people in other areas where these "farms" have been installed say the property values do decrease despite what the company claimed their research showed. The people who had them installed in their neighborhoods also shared that they did not get the price break on their power bills--not even once. Instead, their power bills went up by quite a bit! 

    Clint and I are not against alternative energy. In fact, we use panels ourselves. We just do not want a huge* "farm" of them stuck in the ground at flood level in such a fragile environment that is home to wildlife populations that are threatened. This is a very rural neighborhood, not an industrial complex. Please note they went from calling them "facilities" to "farms" to make them more palatable. 

    From the manufacturing to the disposal and the failed solar situation in California that is leading to rolling brown and blackouts, there is a lot left to improve in this type of technology. These ugly facilities that clash with a natural environment can easily be put on land adjoining industrial complexes.

    Just so you know, Clint and I were on the fence about it until we did hours and hours of research. We dug deep. Then we went beyond what was on the internet to listening to actual people in communities where these have been built. Having been thoroughly educated over the last few months, we are firm on where we stand. 

    In this post, I didn't even touch on the "site abandonment"  and a few other issues some communities have experienced. Beware! There is A LOT to know and to look out for before you lend your support to one of these types of projects. 

    *There were plans in place, which our neighbors uncovered, to greatly expand beyond what they told us.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2021

    Silicone Dehydrator Sheets and a Dehydrator Tip


    I use these in my dehydrators. 

    This is a very good deal (about 50% off the prices I normally see), so I am sharing here so others can take advantage of it also. 

    Tip: If you are using an older dehydrator, make sure you turn it off after 12-15 hours and let it cool for a couple of hours before running it again. My older models have been losing their heating element. I noted as I compared an array of newer models that the modern ones all have timers and instructions to allow a cooling period. I hope this helps someone else.

    The two square Nesco dehydrators I own do not have the timer. After C-Dawg repairs them, I will give them cool down periods every 12-15 hours. The newer Excaliber knock-off model I just purchased does have a timer. 

    Tuesday, July 13, 2021

    Paying attention?

    I warned you they were not being forthright. If I, a simple home/small business money manager, can get an idea of what's coming, then they, with all their tools and inside knowledge, KNOW. For whatever intent or purpose, they are not being straightforward. 

    “This is not what the market expected,” said James McCann, deputy chief economist at Aberdeen Standard Investments. “The Fed is now signaling that rates will need to rise sooner and faster, with their forecast suggesting two hikes in 2023. This change in stance jars a little with the Fed’s recent claims that the recent spike in inflation is temporary.” 

    Proverbs 27:12?

    Better and Better

    CoVid slowed down so much, but now things are starting to pick up again. Amanda received word that she is now in the training program for her next step up. This training can take 2-5 years but it will be well worth it as a career move. Very few people get to be in this training program. It is an opportunity given to employees that stand out. We are very, very proud of her!

    Monday, July 12, 2021

    Thank you for the concern for Caleb.

    Caleb's cut split open at work today. I am hoping I can get home in time to look at it before he has to go to bed. I have glue to reclose it. I also keep sutures on hand for livestock. I offered to stitch him up. "I need the practice, ya know!" :-D That "No, thank you!" text came back very fast! LOL!

    7/10: Thank you for your concern for Caleb. As many of you know, he was taken to the ER from work yesterday. Those who heard about it mistakenly thought it was something to do with his lungs. He was removing a cabinet in an RV when his hand hit jagged metal. He has a 2" cut in his palm. It was not very deep. They were able to close it with glue. He returns to work on Monday. 

    Btw, his lungs are fantastic! The surgery to adhere his lungs to the lung cavity worked. He has not had any more partial collapses.

    Friday, July 09, 2021

    Prayers for a Dear Friend

    A dear friend from our hometown is undergoing a risky surgery this morning. Please pray for her and her family. Clint and I are very concerned for her well-being.

    8 p.m. She is OK. The surgery revealed she has a second slow leak in a valve, but it is not worth the risk of surgery. This explains some worrisome test results she received recently. Thank you to all who prayed for her. 

    I apologize for not updating sooner. Clint planned a last-minute romantic weekend getaway for us. I had to finish what work I could, put away my gardening gear, pick nine five-gallon buckets of pears, shower, pack, and literally jump in the suburban. Tuesday and Wednesday, I will be peeling and preserving pears.

    Thursday, July 08, 2021

    Curious website (copy and paste)

    The street address for the company is even more curious.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2021

    Are you paying attention?

     Supermarkets Are Stockpiling Inventory as Food Costs Rise

    Grocers are setting aside larger amounts of frozen meat, sugar, and other items to protect profits ahead of anticipated price increases

    "after more than 100 suppliers notified SpartanNash that they would raise prices,"


    Grocery stores are buying and stockpiling at lower prices in anticipation of higher prices coming. This brings them a financial benefit. A year and a half ago when I spoke with people about this happening, they thought I was crazy. Now, what I have been saying is on our doorstep. 

    A friend who works at Sams Club reports an extra meat case has been added. Another friend who works in a grocery store says food is being stacked as high as they can get it. Walmart, Home Depot, and Sams Club have increased prices every time I go into the stores. Tracking prices is as easy as saving your receipts or using a receipt app* that allows you to view them which is the main reason I started using receipts apps. It's nice to get a few pennies for it too. You can also take a picture of shelf prices with your cell phone. *my referral link

    What I am reading is 3-5% over the next month. 

    However, I've recently observed one item which jumped close to 260%. The item was .99 and it jumped to $2.56. That was in ONE price change. Other items have doubled in price or come close to it. The ground beef I use has increased 125%. The steaks I buy have doubled in price which is 200%. Another product I buy jumped from $1.12 to $2.12 or 189%. The can of soup I use to purchase for .98 is now 1.28 or a 130% price change.

    Critical thinking: Why would one thing be told to us when the increases are definitely much higher than they are saying? How many people will believe what they read/hear vs taking the time to do the math? Do the masses tend to panic easily? What happens before a hurricane?

    Dear Reader, I encourage you to invest in some of today's prices by buying food and the other everyday items you use. I was told prices are supposed to increase "in a way that more will feel it" around September/October. With this article, it looks like that timeline is very close to my sources' information. 

    My love to all! And, I do love you. You might not believe it, but I truly do. Look well to the ways of your household, and watch the Lord bless you!

    She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise. Proverbs 31:25-31

    Tuesday, July 06, 2021

    Home Shopping with Brandon

    Brandon has found a big two-story home with a two-bay gas station/repair shop next door. The gas pumps have been removed long ago, but he is very interested in purchasing the property. He may rent out his existing home. Clint and I view the home with him today. He wants to check a few things, have Clint do his home inspection, and learn about the special conditions clause. We will see where God leads! It's an exciting time in the Asbell household!

    Another Big Milestone on the Horizon

    Our family has another big milestone on the near horizon. Light at the end of the tunnel! We are pretty excited! I think we will have this project completed by the end of fall at the latest unless something happens. GOD continues to bless and provide for our family!

    Hire a Farm Sitter or Be a Sitter for a Farm

    Sunday, July 04, 2021

    Happy 4th Weekend to All

    HAPPY 4th of July!

    to our family and friends
    near and far, 
    old and new,
    close and estranged

    from The Asbell Family!

    Our family will be celebrating the 4th surrounded by the beauty of the East River.
    We will be celebrating with grateful hearts!

    Thank You Father for making us American citizens and giving us 
    the freedom, privileges, and responsibility you have blessed upon us!
    May we conduct ourselves as worthy servants and bring YOU glory!

    Saturday, July 03, 2021

    Classes are Done After This Book



    I have just started reading it, so I can't recommend it. 
    I shared the contents and a couple of opening thoughts.
    I bought the book in 2013 when I started the counseling course.
    Look at the price increase since! 
    Lord willing, I should finish the course before 2022.
    That's not that bad considering all I have on my plate day to day.

    Thursday, July 01, 2021

    Dog Fennel

    Eupatorium capillifolium
    capillifolium=hair leaf

    In the past, I have had to cut neglected fields that were overgrown with this plant. It was taller than I was! You've probably seen this plant along fence lines and roadways. I am not one of the people who likes the way it smells.

    Its name is dog fennel. It is not the same fennel used in kitchens. The two plants are not even in the same family. The kitchen herb is in the carrot family. The dog fennel is related to daisies and sunflowers. I would not take dog fennel internally because it has alkaloids that can damage the liver. Livestock won't eat it. 

    A Native American tribe in North Carolina did take internal preparations of dog fennel, but I am not comfortable sharing that information. Some people do eat small quantities of it in dishes and claim it has not affected their health. Seeing as to how there are plenty of other plants we can safely consume, so why risk it?

    Dog fennel has antifungal properties. The fresh leaves can be crushed and used externally on wounds and insect stings. You could make a tea to use as an antifungal wash. 

    Dog fennel is also useful to us as an insect repellent.* Native Americans burned fresh stalks on their fires to ward off mosquitoes. It can be cut and laid in bundles inside dog houses and dog runs to repel ticks and mosquitoes. Some pick the green stalks, crush the leaves, and rub them on their skin to repel mosquitoes and biting flies. 

    I've been told that the best way to use it as an insect repellent is to make a spray from the extracted oils. You should research it to learn more about extracting, but here are some very brief instructions to illustrate how simple the process can be. You can extract the oils by stuffing a pot with fresh, bruised plants, covering them with water, applying gentle heat for several hours. Then you strain off the plant matter and bottle with 10-20% carrier oil. The carrier oil helps stabilize the plant extracts making hold potency last longer. It seems to give 1.5-4 hours of protection depending on strong the extracted liquid is and how hot it is. Growing conditions, when you pick it, how tightly you pack your pot, etc all will affect the strength.

    After the plant has dried naturally in the field, the leaves and stalks make good fire tinder. I use the dried stalks to mark planted rows in my garden. I read that Native Americans used the stalks as shafts for arrows. If true, those arrows must have been used for lightweight purposes as the dried shafts are hollow and brittle. They will split and break into fairly easily. I can push them into loose soil, but they snap when I try to push them into harder packed soil. Maybe they hardened them with heat at a certain time. 

    *The dog-fennel oil was more potent than the conventional insecticide malathion. In conclusion, these combined results showed Eupatorium capillifolium oil is a promising novel source of a biological insecticide with multiple modes of action. source

    Wednesday, June 30, 2021

    Keeping Hogs and Goats

    Hey Clint, how do you keep your hogs and goats in a fence? Can they share a pasture? 

    FYI: Cattle panels are taller than hog panels. Hog panels have an extra row of wire to keep piglets from escaping. Both are 16 feet long. (There is also something called a combo panel you can find in some feed stores.)

    We used cattle panels to fence in some of our woods and fields. We like having both forest and field fenced because it allows the animals the freedom to graze/browse and shelter where they want. 

    For fencing, we used a T-post in the middle and one on each end of a cattle panel. 

    Our electric bill is high enough so, we ran a length of barbed wire at the bottom about 6 inches up. This keeps the hogs from pushing on the fence. None of our animals have ever been injured by the barbed wire, and it has completely eliminated escapes by the hogs. 

    When the hogs are about to farrow, we move them to a pen with hog panels to keep the babies inside. The goats have been able to climb over the hog panels, so we have few acres of cattle panels and a few acres of hog panels. They get along well with each other for us, but we give them plenty of space and shelters.

    wash each other's feet

    "And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other's feet."
    –John 13:14

    The Secret to Life

     The Secret to Life

    "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

    Tuesday, June 29, 2021

    in the latter times

    I Timothy 4:1-5 

    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall 

    • depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 
    • Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 
    • Forbidding to marry, and
    • commanding to abstain from meats, 

    which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 

    For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

    Monday, June 28, 2021

    Wild Yarrow


    Yarrow grows wild all over the United States. It is one of the more widely available and versatile plants to learn how to use in herbal medicine. It is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial..and so much more. You can even make a first aid powder that will quickly stop the bleeding of deep cuts. We have harvested and dehydrated 13 dry quarts so far this year.

    Sunday, June 27, 2021

    Prayer for family friends

    A long-time friend's father, who was a well-loved pastor in our hometown, passed away. Please pray for his family and loved ones. He made quite an impact on our city while he pastored Suffolk Pentecostal Holiness Church which was right down the road from our school. He was an incredible servant of the Lord. Mr. Starling's reward in Heaven will be great! (Obit)

    Friday, June 25, 2021

    Another Lively Off-Road Adventure


    Where there are no roads, we make our own!
    Chainsaw necessary!
    This extreme off-roading is not for the faint of heart or ill-prepared!

    Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 
    Isaiah 43:16-19

    Thursday, June 24, 2021

    Thank you!

     Thank you, Jim, for the mayonnaise and pickle buckets! 

    We will put them to use right away!

    Wednesday, June 23, 2021

    Hens run off a strange cat.

    I like observing animal behavior. I just watched a strange cat (a stray) enter an area where one of my chickens was standing. The hen immediately realized this is not one of our cats. She held her body very erect. She did not retreat. She started clucking loudly and constantly. One by one three other hens came to join her, also clucking in the same manner. The geese came to the area to see what was happening. The cat became intimidated by the noisy hens and left. The hens quieted and went back to normal.

    Sadly, the cat has a huge injury to its back. My guess is someone did not want to pay a vet bill, so they dropped it here. If I can catch it, I will treat it.

    Harvard Panel: Homeschool Parents Share Success Stories

    Harvard Panel: Homeschool Parents Share Success Stories

    Tuesday, June 22, 2021

    God Answers (I just need to pay closer attention.)


    We had a lot of elderberry growing in the back and along our driveway. Some of it has died off. In other areas, I can't get to it easily-meaning I have to spend hours cutting through thick brambles and poison ivy to reach it. About three years ago around the time I lost access to some of the plants, I talked it over with my Heavenly Father. In my ongoing conversations with Him, I asked Him to send me some elderberry I could easily reach. 

    That spring/summer, we had a lush "weed" that sprung up beside one of our backdoors. One day it was easy mowing. Seemingly on the next, there was a huge tough stemmed plant. I never even considered what it was because it was growing next to the house and I wanted it gone. I cut it down with my machete. It came back bigger. I had Caleb take it out. It came back. Joshua cut it back and dug around it. He used a pickaxe and removed a lot of the roots. "The roots are very large and tough, but I think I got all of it." It came back again. Clint had a good turn at it too. 

    This year, I meant to ask someone to cut it back but I never got around to it with me being home only three days a week. (Life is crazy busy!) I had some work to do in the backyard on one of the days I was home. As I marveled at how big the "crazy weed" had grown and how healthy it looked, I thought I recognized the leaves. FINALLY, with a big smile and some laughter, I finally realized God had answered my prayer. He put the elderberry right at my back door! It's not where I expected it. It's not where I would have put it. Not my way, but His.

    Dear Reader, God not only gave me exactly what I asked; He even put it right under my nose! For nearly three years, I was so busy with life, I missed the gift He had given me and put right where I'd stumble over it again and again and again. Not only did I miss the answer to my prayers, but I actually tried to remove it by force from my life several times. 

    How often do we miss the things we've asked God for because they didn't come where and when we wanted and in the form we expected? How many times do we overlook His goodness to us? How many times do we ask for His help and then go about our way without watching and waiting for His answer?

    Father, give us new eyes and help us to better recognize and acknowledge Your answers to our prayers. Help us to realize more fully Your goodness in our lives. Thank You, Lord, for my elderberry plant. Help me to be a good steward over the gift You have provided. Help us all to grow closer to You each and every day.

    Monday, June 21, 2021


    copy and paste into your browser

    If you have a yard or walk a dog outside or partake in outdoor activities, you should join this snake bite group for the education.

    If you have a yard or walk a dog outside or partake in outdoor activities, you should join this snake bite group for the educational aspects.

    If you are the one people or pets in your household look to when they are injured, I highly encourage you to join the Snakebite group shared in this post. 

    Do you know how to treat a snake bite? Do you tourniquet? Suck and spit? Benadryl? Elevate? Ice? Ibuprofen? Some of those are correct, and some are wrong. What should you do if your child or dog is bitten? What hospital near you is able to properly treat a snakebite? Not all hospitals are equipped or follow the current standards. If you must go to a hospital that does not have up-to-date treatments, what doctor can you get to call them to make sure they follow the best protocols to lessen the risk of permanent injury and disfigurement? What conditions can happen days after a bite and how are they treated?

    If you live where vipers live, this group is a fantastic resource to get the knowledge needed to get the care your child, pet, or self need to minimize damage. Doctors all over the country are on this list and give their treatment protocol and can direct you to the best place in your area to receive treatment. 

    A lot has changed about treating pit viper bites in the last decade. What is very troubling is how often the vets and hospitals are treating the envenomations incorrectly causing even more problems. For that reason alone, I am staying on the group. 

    What also amazes me is how many people living in suburban areas are finding pit vipers in garages and around items like trash cans, etc. One of our cousins told us she has seen a rattlesnake in New York state. I had no idea they were that far north. 

    Warning: I look at the pictures in the group from an educational/treatment protocol standpoint. I have disciplined myself to have a strong mind and a strong stomach because I am the first one in line for my family's, pets' and livestock's care. However, if you are very squeamish, you might have some problems with some of the images. It's easy to scroll on if you can't handle it. 

    Please Note: You can join, but you can not reply to any posts in this group. Only the doctors and vets can. I really like this approach. This keeps the information easy to find and not buried in a bunch of needless comments. 

    I am thankful for the education I have received through the group. It has corrected incorrect information I was given through First Aid manuals and online info. It has also opened my eyes to complications that can take place long after the bite and the length of time it takes to recover from one.