Wednesday, March 11, 2020

You feel so empowered when you know this

As of today we have confirmed cases of Coronavirus in our county (Skagit) and we are encouraged to stay home and avoid the public.  In the face of what's happening right now worldwide and in our state, I'm reflecting deeply, taking stock, and noticing things that I might have taken for granted.

I'm not writing this to show off, but to make a point, so read on.

Yesterday Steve and I sat on the porch, drinking some of our homemade hard apple cider while we shaved Devil's Club inner bark to dry into potent anti-viral medicine.

Afterwards, we washed our hands with goat milk soap that I had made months before.

I cooked dinner with onions and garlic that we had grown in our garden, which is fertilized with compost I make myself.  We have food that we grew, canned, froze, dried or fermented, and medicine that we gathered and made into remedies and preventatives like elderberry syrup, devil's club tea, and dried sage for sore throats.

It's gonna be a while til we run out of the gallons of hard cider, Blackberry wine, Oregon Grape wine and Elderberry wine we made in the last couple of years.

Our crawl space is stocked with home made goat cheddar, gouda and manchego.

Our freezers are filled with chicken we raised and butchered ourselves. 

Currently we are drowning in eggs from egg birds.

Steve makes bows for hunting, and he can harvest meat if need be. My sons know how to hunt with guns. They have fished and provided our family with protein since they were little. We know how to identify and gather super nutritious wild foods.

I can just about knit everything you would want to clothe yourself, and I can spin wool into yarn to knit or felt with. Although woollen underpants don't sound too appealing, if you ask me.

If we ever ran out of toilet paper, we would know which plants make the softest substitute (moss and mullein leaves, y'all!).

What is my point?

My point is that I think it's important to know how to do some of this stuff.  You don't have to be hard-core homesteaders like we are, but you can learn to do one small thing. And then another one. It's so very, very empowering, and lots of it is very, very fun.

Wouldn't it be nice to whip up your own medicine/meals/soap if you run to the store and there is nothing left?

It's not too late. There are so many wonderful people teaching skills.

I have several friends who teach herbal medicine courses, both locally and online.

Many homesteaders and teachers have youtube channels and lots of free content to offer.  

I teach many things, and you don't have to pay for them >> HERE - my tutorials on the blog << or >> HERE - my How-To playlist on youtube <<.

My heart goes out to everyone who is severely affected by the spreading of this virus, either health-wise, economic, mentally, or whatever else is coming up for us.  

Boost your immune system, wash your hands, stay away from crowds, be mindful of not touching your face, and stay positive and away from fear!

Sending much love to everyone!

Let us know how you are coping in the comments below.

Monday, March 9, 2020


Steve and I sit on the sofa - the same sofa our daughter was born on 10 years ago, the same one that sags in the middle because her two older brothers have used it as a trampoline well before she was born.  The sofa is covered with stains - not from the birth, but from one and a half decades of living.

Anyway. Steve and I sip our coffee on this sofa while the sun comes up over the Eastern ridge, lighting up the tip of a snow covered mountain looking like a pyramid. Over the 18 years we've lived here at our homestead in the wilderness, we've watched this spectacle many times. The view was better earlier on, when the Sequoia and Alder trees were smaller and didn't obscure the view of the ridge as they do now. 

Trees do a whole lot of growing in almost two decades. And so have we.

We've done so much growing that we've outgrown this life for now, and that's why we will move in a few weeks.

I kept telling people that they'll have to drag me out of this house on a stretcher when I'm dead. Now, I'm ready to leave it while I'm still very much alive.

We raised our children here (and lots of other animals). We've grown literally tons of food in the garden. We taught numerous kids and adults homesteading and wilderness skills here. Several friends got married here because it's such a beautiful, special place.

There are so many memories on this land.

We love this place with all of our hearts and souls and minds and spirits, and yet, it's time to move on to the next chapter.

Our kids have grown from homeschooled, barefoot, constantly naked-in-nature little hippy people to almost adult (Kai), teenager (Luke) and pre-teen (Eva), and they are definitely not interested in running around the woods naked any more.

I don't blame them.  They need more opportunities, more exposure to a different way of living, other opportunities, a better school system, more peers.

That's why we decided to find wonderful renters who will take care of the homestead, while we live in the Skagit Flats in an area that's famous for its foodie vibe. I bet the money we used to spend on gas now will go to the local bakeries.

I can't show you pictures of our new place yet, because the official closing date is the end of March, but I can't wait to share it with you!

I'm excited about the location! And the great kitchen! And guess what? I'll teach cheesemaking classes in it! Also? I'll show you on the blog what you can do with a blank slate, because let me tell you, the new land doesn't have anything on it.

So stay tuned.

Wish us luck with the moving. Luckily, we have two teenage sons who love lifting weights, so carrying furniture shouldn't be a huge problem!

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

My most powerful strategies against Coronavirus

Are you worried about the Coronavirus?

If you are, I want to share some powerful strategies with you to prepare and boost your immune system.

But first, let me say this. I'm not freaked out about the Coronavirus. I am very, very annoyed at how the media is spreading terrible fear and sensationalism everywhere, and I'm glad we don't have TV at home. 

I do acknowledge that there are populations who are more vulnerable, so I don't want to downplay this.  Believe me, I know what it feels like to have a kid who almost died from a disease, although we still don't know what causes this disease (Even experts do not know what causes Kawasaki diesease. One possibility is that it may be an abnormal response to a common virus that most people do not react to. Symptoms resemble those of a virus or an infection, but no specific viral or bacterial cause has been identified).

Our strategies to prepare for Coronavirus or any kind of flu and sickness here at our homestead include the following:

1) Consume elderberry syrup, a potent antiviral that you can either buy at a store, order online, or make yourself. I have a tutorial how to make it yourself >> HERE <<

Elderberries are amazing medicine with anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anticancer superpowers. Besides lots of flavonoids and free radical-butt-kicking antioxidants, elderberries contain 87 percent of the daily value in vitamin C, and huge levels of vitamin A, potassium, iron, vitamin B6, fiber, and betacarotene. 


2) Wash your hands frequently with hot water and soap

Do this long enough to be effective, not just a quick few seconds of splashing, but a nice 20 seconds rub of the front and back of the hands, and between the fingers.  Just sing the "Happy birthday" song twice, and you're good.   

Don't keep touching your face. So many of us touch our eyes, noses and lips many times during the day without even noticing it. If you refrain from doing this, the chances of a virus entering your body are drastically reduced.  

3) Stop eating sugar

Sorry, I know you don't want to hear this. Sugar is so yummy and addictive... and bad for your immune system.  I stopped eating refined white sugar eight years ago, although I still eat honey and maple syrup.  My immune system has been so much stronger!

4) Consume foods that ward off viruses, and use natural remedies

On my membership site, I list these foods and herbs and also give some awesome recipes to soothe you if you do contract something.

I'll leave you with images of our still wintry homestead. May these pictures soothe and calm you. Remember: Don't let yourself get all hyped up and fearful now!!!

Sitting in the very, very, very rare sunshine with a glass of home made apple cider

Click on the image to download my free ebook and to join my mailing list

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