Wood Stove Bouquet

For all you wood stove keepers, here is the perfect gift~

Pro-Woods, Wood Stove Bouquet  Featured image

also known as fire starter for those of you confused about the bouquet part.

Found in a wood near you, unless you live on the prairie or in the big city.


our version of a jar travel mug

Had to show you what we do for a travel mug. I posted a new MADE IN USA item on the blog a few blogs back called the Cuppow. BPA free lid for a mason jar.

But, if you already have straws, jars & plastic lids, you can drill a hole in your lid & you are good to go

Lemon Balm (Melissa)

Lemon Balm is a calming herb. Reduces stress~ It is in the mint family & grows amazingly fast. The aroma is so wonderful which helps with the calming effect.

Make tea using a large handful of leaves, stuff them into a quart jar & pour boiled water over the leaves filling the jar. Leave to steep about 8 minutes. Do not exceed as it tends to turn bitter.  Pour into your picture, add sweetener & stir, then fill picture with water to dilute. Chill & serve over ice. Or enjoy it hot.

The picture shows the fresh washed herb in the colander, the spent leaves in the jar & the tea in the pitcher before sweetening & diluting. The bag shows the leaves in an air tight bag ready for the freezer. I had to gather all my Lemon Balm to avoid the possible frost, so I grabbed it all & preserved it!

Ways to use Lemon Balm~ flavor butter, sugar, ice cream, great with fish.

How to preserve: Dried in a dehydrator, or on trays in a hot car out of sunlight (remove before sun goes down), for long term storage over winter. Fresh leaves are the best for tea. Tincture fresh leaves for highest quality tincture. For an easy essential oil, take fresh leaves, place in clear jar with oil of choice (coconut, jojoba, almond), cover fresh leaves with oil. Place lid on jar, tighten and put in a window or outside in the sunshine for 6 weeks, shake daily. Strain and you have essential oil for many uses. Use with salves, lotions, etc.

Avoid lemon balm if you are on thyroid medicine…not sure why but if you are on the medicine I am sure you know why. It says it is an inhibitor of the medicine so you don’t want to do that. It is a very safe herb otherwise.

Milk Cows & Natural Cures

This still fresh on my mind I must put down in words. It has been a frightful day, one of much prayer & hard thinking. A messy & frustrating day to say the least.

I woke this morning & noted my milk cow attempted to get up off the ground & she could not. I dressed quickly telling the family & off downstairs, grabbing my coat & boots & heading to the barn/stall. She was down. Knowing so little about cows being not yet a year owning a cow had my mind in a whirl. I did know it was not normal. The calf was bawling which was obvious to me he had not eaten & was very hungry.

We tried helping poor Ethel for several hours. We tried our new bucket with nipple to give the calf some nourishment to shut him up if nothing else. He would not take it..we got a little bit down him but it was by force.

I got out all my homeopathics for what I thought was milk fever or being lame. She got lots of herbs~nettle, plantain, echinacea, comfrey, oat straw, alfalfa.

Homeopathics~ phytolaca, arnica, mag phos, ipecac, every fifteen minutes. We managed to help her crawl bit by bit to get out of her stall into the sunshine which we praise God for it being warm & sunny today. Cold & rainy or snowy would not have been a good mix.

I read some more information & gathered some vitamins & minerals, C, Magnesium Oxide, & copper. I added to it diatomaceous earth, azomite, molasses, apple cider vinegar & managed to get her to lick the bowl clean. Now we are in a wait & see mode.

We got from the vet some Calcium gel which she seemed sickened by~she had that look in her eyes as if she would puke, but got it down. Most of it anyway. She went back to her hay & about three hours after her getting up laid down. In my panic, which is normal for a cow to do, but since she had trouble this morning I didn’t want it to be another episode. I sent husband to TS to get the recommended I.V. and Calcium Gluconate and will see how that goes! never having done such this should be interesting!

I write this so we can get a good source of help from other’s who have had to experience such an episode. How to prevent it & what to do in case it happens to someone else.

I sure need support & much of it is too far away to have someone else come help. Money is an issue at present as income is at a halt so this adventure is yet another trial we must go thru & on the other side use for future reference. We have had several of those the last couple years with dogs & chickens. Things we learned!

The I.V. not put in the vein but into the peritoneum (a layer of skin) not on the surface but more deep. The needle is proof it needs to go down into, not like a vein needle that stays more near the surface skin.  The following are the instructions we were given by a friend who is a farmer that helped us to accomplish this task. A neighbor who has done intramuscular injection came to help & she is the one who did the needle jab & got it done right the first time. I told her I am so glad she came because I probably would not have done it so well. It helped having the confident person doing it. I know now I can do it if I had to again.

“If you can’t get her to a vet, you will either need to get someone to administer the calcium gluconate for you, or do it yourself. If you are going to do it, go to Tractor Supply and buy 4 bottles of calcium gluconate and an IV set. Lay the cow on her left side. Push the IV needle  quickly and forcefully into her right side behind the ribs and a few inches down from the spinal processes. The needle needs to puncture her peritoneum, not just her skin. Open a bottle of calcium and connect the tube to it, then hold the bottle up high so the solution flows into her side. It will take a few minutes, don’t rush it, but you need to make sure it is flowing. Give her a second bottle, then watch her for an hour or so. She should regain her strength in a while. If she isn’t making any progress in 2 hours, I would give at least one more bottle of calcium, maybe two. You can’t overdo the calcium.

 She doesn’t need antibiotics. She doesn’t need vitamins. She needs calcium, quickly. If you don’t do this, you will need a backhoe to bury her. It’s that simple.”

We do not know what was wrong with our milk cow, I was told if she had milk fever she could not have gotten up on her own without the I.V. but she did get up after I gave all the above vitamins, minerals & homeopathics. She was standing while we did the I.V. because how do you make a cow get down once she’s up. I did not want her back down in case she couldn’t get back up. I know standing is a good sign. She is still doing great two days later with no signs of having been down for the several hours giving me a new awareness of fear!

One of my biggest frustrations in all of this has been finding a diagram of the skin layers on a cow! I have googled every possible wording to no avail. I wanted to see the peritonuem layer so I knew I was in the right place.
Here is a good site that has a 911 question/answer section. I did not have this available when I needed it, but good to know it is there.
She’s eating her hay as it snows covering everything in site. No worries today. I slept well last night to boot. Ahh healthy cow!

Rennet for Making Hard Cheese

This is not the kind of blog I like to write, but information good & bad is how we make our decisions.

what a little research will tell you. 

The more I research, the madder I get…here is from wikipedia on rennet in the USA..

Alternative sources of rennet http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rennet

Because of the limited availability of proper stomachs for rennet production, (really? we nearly feed the world & we have no calves available for stomachs..they kill many young ones for the tender meat. what do they do with the stomachs? oh I so don’t want to tell you what I think, its ground up & fed back to the cows in the feed lot? I hope its not so!) cheese makers have looked for other ways to coagulate the milk since at least Roman times. There are many sources of enzymes, ranging from plants, fungi, and microbial sources, that can substitute for animal rennet. Cheeses produced from any of these varieties of rennet are suitable for lacto-vegetarians to consume. GMO-Microbial rennet (see below) is used more often in industrial cheesemaking in North America today because it is less expensive than animal rennet, whereas cheese from Europe is more likely to be made from animal rennet due to tradition.

Aren’t we a sad case of cheap!!!

 In 1999, more than half of US hard cheese was made with genetically engineered chymosin and it has most of the global market share for rennet,  approximately 80% to 90% of commercially made cheeses in the US and Britain were made using GM-based rennet,  the most widely used genetically engineered rennet is produced by the fungus Aspergillus niger.  Don’t you feel safe using this stuff! not!

Acid coagulation

Milk can also be coagulated by adding an acid, such as citric acid

Citric Acid  

In this production technique, which is still the major industrial route to citric acid used today, cultures of A. niger are fed on a sucrose or glucose-containing medium to produce citric acid. The source of sugar is corn steep liquormolasses, hydrolyzed corn starch or other inexpensive sugary solutions. After the mold is filtered out of the resulting solution, citric acid is isolated by precipitating it with lime (calcium hydroxide) to yield calcium citrate salt, from which citric acid is regenerated by treatment with sulfuric acid.

NOTE…the corn steep liquor is likely genetically modified corn. 

Other methods

Prior to the fermentative process, ascorbic acid was isolated from citrus fruits. The juice as treated with lime (CaO) to precipitate calcium citrate, which was isolated and converted back to the acid.

In 2007, world wide annual production stood at approximately 1,600,000 tonnes. More than half of this volume was produced in CHINA.    Folks…do we trust China? isn’t it amazing how we come full circle to the influx of damaging products from this place. We have been duped far beyond anything we can imagine. 

When rennet is listed on a cheese label, you may not be getting what you thought.

I do not know what other rennet’s offer, but I do have one here I will share with you so you know just what could be in that cheese you are eating. To avoid any liability I will only post the ingredients, and not the web page it came from…you do your own homework if you want to know more. 

**This item is currently out of stock. We recommend Liquid Vegetable Rennet and Vegetable Rennet Tablets as substitutes.**

2 oz. bottle liquid animal rennet for cheese making.

Ingredients: Veal rennet, sodium chloride brine, acetate, propylene glycol, caramel color, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate.

It is time we get back to doing it the old fashioned way. For our health’s sake. 

Get back to local, knowing where it is coming from & how it is made. I am one farmer, small as I am who is going to do all I can to do it right & safe. Making my own rennet to make my own cheese so it is safe to eat. Hard work never hurt anyone!

MADE IN THE USA ~revised again

I have another wonderful company to add to this MADE IN USA list, WeatherTech is playing their add during the super bowl for 2015 so if you missed it, here it is today, just before the superbowl airs it.

This blog has been updated promoting what a  wonderful country we are that still make stuff in our country! If you know of other’s please comment here so those who might want to know of another great business to support can find it too.

Many of the people I know helped to give me this list. I am not that knowledgeable of all the Made in USA places. I did search many of the sites & was sure to link it if I liked what I saw believing other’s would like to know it as well.

I cannot vouch for all the sites. There are so many~ so who would have guessed! We are still geniuses, or creative & know how to market. We can beat this foreign reliance if we want to.

I fear however, that many will see the “cost” of some items & think, heck, I can go to blank Mart & get it cheaper~ but friend, remember, we are trying to stop this trend, or you would not be reading this. Yes, it does cost more if it is made in the USA, because it is the reality of it all. It costs to make stuff. Did you know that much of the items not made in the USA are done with slave labor? That means, the top guys make all the profit! The workers are not treated well & many are forced to do the work for pennies! That is not an understatement. This is why we must get back to buying local~ to keep our own country from going the way of foreign reliance & to keep the slave labor from destroying other countries. If we don’t buy, they don’t need workers~ It’s up to US~

So, here is the “incomplete” detailed list~

I have clicked on all these sites below, or have purchased some of the items from them to have recommended them here, but there will certainly be the one that slips thru that I did not check. Do your homework & enjoy shopping! Keep this for future reference~

Locally we have a business that sells local crafter’s items. Look to your town to find these as well. Or, start your own store…we live in a college town & that helps as they often have crafts to make & sell. But certainly not required. Just let others know so you have a great business. Better yet, comment here & post it for other’s to read all about it~ periodically I will add the new ones you send me to this list. Keep them coming~

Here is a main page someone alerted me to. It has the Staber Washing Machines listed & is the only Made in USA washer. 

Welding Supplies~ Hobart Welding~ All welding equipment is manufactured in the USA. Wire and Accessories are made in USA and overseas. Regards, Keith McQuown Manager, Technical Support Hobart Welding Products   An ITW Company 600 W. Main St. Troy, OH 45373 USA

Lehman’s offers a Made in USA page~ http://www.lehmans.com/store/USA_Made?Args=  click the USA Made tab at the top to see all they offer~
Wood drying racks for hanging clothes to dry like hand washables. Click on Laundry at the site http://homestead-store.com/
Hand Wringer for hand washing to squeeze the water from the clothes http://homestead-store.com/
Wash boards for scrubbing stains from clothing http://homestead-store.com/

http://madeinusaforever.com/davaallnabea.html ~ beeswax furniture polish

http://www.lodgemfg.com/lodge-history.asp ~Cast Iron pots~proudly made in Tennessee
MagLite LED Flashlight http://maglite.com/
Home Improvement Paint~http://www.ecosimplista.com/ ~ Yes this is a South Florida company, so for those of you there, take advantage. If you are not in FL, contact them to see if they will ship their paint. 

Staber washing machine & dryer 
http://cuppow.com/ Cuppow is manufactured in Minneapolis from BPA-free polypropylene, which Resnikoff says doesn’t stain or deform at boiling temperatures. “In theory, it’s reusable indefinitely,” he tells Co.Design, but it’s also recyclable. The packaging was designed by Natalya Zahn and is printed by hand by Repeat Press, in Somerville, Massachusetts. “We’re striving to keep our product 100% made in the U.S.A.,” Resnikoff says, “employing people who hold their work to high standards.” (Safety tip: Because a glass cup isn’t known for its insulating properties, when filling your jar with piping-hot liquids, you may want to consider using a cozy.) Get yourshere for $7.99.
http://www.championjuicer.com/ I have owned my juicer for 16 years. It has been a reliable tool & still going strong~


Food~While searching for some dried beans, I did find some organically grown black turtle beans grown in the USA. http://pacificgrainandfoods.com/home.html
with lots of other goodies to boot!
My favorite vitamin & misc, ordering place http://www.iherb.com/Search?kw=Made+in+USA
Farmer’s Markets*****
http://www.localharvest.org/ type in your zip code & it will bring up locally grown food~safe, non GMO
Re-usable canning lids~ I have these & they are great~
Food Safe Lye~
http://www.essentialdepot.com/servlet/the-1/8-lbs-Food-Grade/DetailCan be used for Pretzels, Olives, Lutefisk, Hominy or any other food use.
http://www.bulkherbstore.com/ bulk teas, herbs, heirloom garden seeds, salves, books on how to make tinctures, DVD’s on how to make babies, sign up for a free catalog…etc
http://www.morethanalive.com/ herbs & such bulk herbs, books, water filters, beeyoutiful supplements, grains, coffee, salves, free catalog here…etc
Clothing~Pointer Brand Denim Jeans/ Bib Overalls, Jean Jackets, Shorts~ http://pointerbrand.com/
Diamond Gussett Jeans http://www.gussetclothing.com/
modern JEANS***Adriano Goldschmied~http://www.agjeans.com/
Aerostitch (motorcycle clothes)http://www.aerostich.com/
http://www.localharvest.org/store/wool.jsp  Fibers for knitting, crocheting, spinning
Couture Clothing~Alabama Chanin is a made by hand clothing company in Alabama. The clothes are literally all made by hand stitching.  If you buy her book, http://www.amazon.com/Alabama-Studio-Style-Celebrating-Sustainable/dp/1584798238
you get the pattern to make many of the items. For the cheaper option. I have made two dresses so far, going to make more. http://alabamachanin.com/
Imogene & willie~  jeans t-shirt ~Nashville, TN ~ You have to read their “Our Story”…it will make you smile
Men & Women’s clothing ~ www.stillmadeinusa.com/women.html ~Organic options too~
Organic Cotton for baby!
http://www.etsy.com/people/collettegrace~ baby hats & other knitted baby items

some of these shoes might be good for the bowling alley, but if you need a low heel, this is the american made shoe for you!  Some of them are not bad looking. Check it out! Men’s & Ladies shoes. href=”http://www.sloggers.com/5007-tulip.shtml” target=”_blank”>http://www.sloggers.com/5007-tulip.shtml

http://www.sloggers.com/5002-tall-boot-flowers.shtml~ these are beautiful & good price water proof boots! Made in USA


They will make you a pair of socks from your own fiber! COOL *** http://www.zwool.com/fiber-processing/socks/

wool socks http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/3-prs-guide-gear-16-wool-blend-rubber-boot-socks-olive.aspx?a=552743  ~ the first 7 on this page are made in USA..then more are scattered ~but this page will change as new ones are added. Effective December 2011

For the Body~ 

Lip balm junk~isn’t this great! contains no poop! 

http://www.realpurity.com/ ~safe, organic cosmetics made in Crossville, TN

http://www.aubrey-organics.com/custom.aspx?id=36 ~ I use this makeup because they do not use chemicals. Though they get some of the herbs & minerals for their makeup from fair trade people’s around the world, this product is made in the USA by hand.


http://www.stillmadeinusa.com/toysngames.html#Dolls   ~***a note about this company…they do not have just toys…they list garden supplies, lawn care, lawn furniture, grills, home spas, hot tubs..etc..quite extensive. They also tell if items that used to be made in the USA are now made somewhere else..so no guessing on your part~ stuff for your pets! including horse feed.
safe pet food. http://www.canidae.com/index.htm  ~I found our local dealer ~search your area for a dealer. oh, btw, its not cheap..but it will be safe. Remember the china scare of the damage done to all our pets kidney’s out there due to the harmful ingredients in the stores bought food. This feed would have prevented such.


Bar Bells for Preemies http://magicalinnovations.com/
Stickers ~ these are among our favorites! http://www.mrsgrossmans.com/

***Brown Craft paper duckbrand.com*** ~I inquired of their Made in USA products, here is their response~Dear Ms. Cahow:Thank you for e-mailing ShurTech Brands. We appreciate your interest in our products.Many, but not all, of our products are made in the USA.  We are constantly striving to source as many of our products as possible from the USA and still maintain our low prices. If you have a UPC code from a specific product, we could look it up and see where it is made. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to call us at (800) 321-0253, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time; or visit us on the Web at www.duckbrand.com.
Thank you for your inquiry. I hope you find this information helpful.
Sincerely,Consumer Relations RepresentativeShurTech Brands, LLC

Miscellaneous Etsy sites
http://www.etsy.com/shop/littleserendipities ~ hair bow holders, can make to order if you want a specific color

http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaryAnnsWorkshop ~vintage made items & vintage decor, linens, vintage chenille bedspreads, vintage chalk ware, roseville pottery, vintage cookie jars,

http://www.etsy.com/shop/sparrowseave ~ cameo rings, hair accessories, I bought a ring at the latest sale, very beautiful & affordable
http://www.etsy.com/shop/20littletoes ~cute hats for all, infant to adult, she makes the cutest little boy ties~using velcro but an authentic tie sewn so it will not come apart.
mishymeemaw.com ~ solid roll on lotion, lip balm, organic dog treats, she makes quilts to order too,

Sportsmans Guide sells a slew of Made in USA, from hunting supplies, clothing, shoes, bedding, kitchen ware,  down comforters, camp stoves, military canteen’s, knives, ammo, beds, furniture, etc. type in the search bar Made in USA and it will bring up all they offer. http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/search/eSearch.aspx?SearchTerms=Made%20in%20USA&eMode=

Miscellaneous things

Recorded Moments, support@recordedmoments.com ~ Teleseminars, Webinars, Live Events ~  Contact them for such 931-445-7411 ..this is done via the internet/phone so you need not be local to the company who are also friends of ours ~

what is Cassia? or Amalaki? Color your hair safely

Amla, Emblica officinalis, also known as the Indian Gooseberry

Amla powder is from the dried and ground fruit of the Indian Gooseberry tree, Emblica Officinalis. Amla contains natural tannins, vitamin C, ascorbic acid, and acts as a natural astringent. Amla has been used for tanning and dying hides as well as a cosmetic and folk remedy. Amla grows in central and southern India, Burma, and Ceylon.

I get mine here ~ http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Indian-Gooseberry-Powder

 Here is what wikipedia has to say about it ~



I turned gray too early. My younger children were often mistaken for my grandchildren. I had to do something. I did go the gray route, but did not like how it paled me. I looked unhealthy. So I wanted something safe & natural. No skunk stripe. Cassia promised to be the answer. I use it & love the golden color of my hair..it is soft as it also conditions & no more gray. It has taken my hair in the back of my head & brought back the true brown color & the gray is now blonde/golden. All mixing very nicely & not unnatural looking. I will never go back to the gray unless I cannot get hold of the product. Its a safe way to treat & color your hair. I get mine here

I have a new site where I am going to continue getting my cassia. It turned out amazing. see picture below. You have several choices in color. This brand was far superior to all that I have tried so far. The cheapest for the amount. a whole pound for $6.50. I am part of a coop where we get enough orders for free shipping so it may be a little more than this. The color was wonderful comparing to the other brands. More grainy & left residue that keeps falling out, but I will deal with the trade off for a cheaper & better outcome.


at this site they say 100 grams colors/conditions short gray hair. I use the 100 grams in four uses. So I stretched it out & it works to divide it up in smaller amounts.