Friday, July 25, 2014

The results are in!!!

Just received a call from Heavens primary Dr's office to inform us of a certain result from a lab draw.
I must say again, as hundreds of times before, praise the Lord!!!!! Her CD4 count ( which is your main immune system count) is now in a normal range since November 2011!!!
I have just one statement for everyone.....

Ain't God Good!!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sorry its been so long.......

Been very busy here on the Coblers Corner with gardening, yard work, tending to animals (we purchased our first hog), canning, foraging for wild fruits and medicinal herbs with our neighbor, setting up a salt water pool, hanging out with the grandkids, even went to a local Soccer game that played in ho or of Heaven.

Amen!!! God is so good. I can't find the words, as there aren't any, to describe how good He has been. Heaven is doing great. She is down to 2 meds a day (she was on 48 a day). We have clinic again on the 17 the of July. We need prayer for all counts to be normal.

Heavens Day benefit ride is on the 26th of July.

This is a short version update to how things are going around our little acre of blessings.

Below are a few pics to take a peek as to what's been happening. Blessings to you all.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mothers of children with serious illnesses

“Motherhood is the hardest job you’ll ever love.”

I’m not sure who first coined that phrase, but its truth becomes clearer to me everyday. And nowhere is that truth more evident than in mothers of children with a serious illness.

Throughout my years of working at this hospital, I’ve had the privilege of knowing dozens of moms who find themselves within these walls fighting for the lives and wellbeing of their beloved children. We look at them and say things like, “I could never do what you do,” and “I don’t know how you manage it all.”

But the truth is, they don’t know how they manage to keep it together, either; it’s just that they don’t have a choice. They fight because their children need them to fight. They keep going because if they don’t, who will? They learn to put their own needs and wants aside because they value the life of their child much more than their own.

When children come face to face with the Goliaths of disease — cancer, heart defects, cystic fibrosis, brain injuries and many more — it’s their mothers who gather the stones that this small child will use to fight the fearsome foe. We often revere the doctors who take care of these little ones, and it’s true, they are heroes. They make the stones so that we have weapons with which to go into battle. But often, there is a forgotten hero: the mother who gathers each and every stone, places it into tiny hands, and stands by while her baby takes his best shot.

Mothers who take care of children with serious diseases don’t have the same luxuries that the rest of us have. Every parent carries the nagging fears: What if something happens to my child? Will I be able to give my child all the things they need to help them live a happy, healthy life? How can I help them realize their full potential? And perhaps it all comes back to this question: Am I enough? Am I enough to give my child what she needs?

But, for mothers whose children are healthy, we can put those fears on the back burner. We don’t often have to look that scary monster in the eye and face the reality. We can hide our heads under the covers and pretend that as long as we can’t see the monster, he can’t come and get us. For mothers who are battling a child’s illness, that’s a luxury they cannot afford.

They are forced to face the monster head on, and their monsters look like this:

Explaining to a child why they must face yet another surgery that will bring  incredible pain.Holding frail little hands as they vomit and lose their hair and cry from the pain and frustration of chemo and explaining why the medicine seems so much worse than the disease.Navigating the fine line between protecting the health of your medically fragile child and allowing them freedom to experience the joys of childhood.Grieving the loss of the child you envisioned yours would be and coming to accept the reality of the one you have.Cradling your baby in your arms as his worn-out body takes in his last breath.Managing the guilt that you carry for so much of your time and energy being focused on your sick child, knowing that your well children need you, too.Talking to your child about the reality of death, knowing that you would trade places with them in a second if you could. But instead, you’re faced with the heart-wrenching task of letting them go on before you.

These are just some of the burdens that the mothers of sick children carry. They carry them around every single day, and the weight is heavier than you and I can possibly know. What is astonishing, though, about this thing called motherhood is that somehow, someway there is still incredible joy. Their pain is deep, but their joy runs deep, too.

They are faced with the harsh, unfair realities so they’ve been forced to clarify what is truly important to them. They know that the most precious parts of their lives may not be around forever, so they’ll appreciate every moment. Their child’s illness has given them a higher calling, a purpose in life that is beyond any desire they’ve ever had. They know exactly what they’re fighting for.

For the rest of us who look at these mothers and think, “I don’t know how she does it,” know this: It’s not their abilities that are superhuman, it’s their love. It is this intense love for their child that pushes them out of bed every morning and forces them to keep going, no matter what odds are stacked against them.

On this Mother’s Day, look around at the mothers who are fighting for the lives and well-being of their children. Let them know you recognize that you can’t possibly understand what it’s like to walk in their shoes, but you know enough to appreciate every single step they take. Share in their hopes, their joys, their triumphs and their disappointments. Listen and learn: Their hard-won wisdom will take you far.

But most of all, love them. Love them well because they have loved others well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Water Wise from the Organic Gardener

6 Tips for Watering the Garden Use these smart techniques to conserve water without leaving your garden thirsty. Designing a Drought-Resistant Garden A garden that's lush and drought-tolerant at the same time? It's doable. Water Wiser Don’t let this precious resource go down the drain. By Lori Ball
As an organic gardener, you know that water is as vital to life—yours and your garden’s—as sunshine and fresh air. But while you revere its life-giving properties, you may be letting this precious resource go down the drain. Literally. It’s easy to think when you turn on the faucet that water is naturally pure and endlessly plentiful. But even on a planet that is three-fourths water, the supply of fresh water is diminishing.
Americans extract 3,700 billion gallons per year more than is returned to aquifers and other freshwater sources. That’s the reason at least 36 states are projecting water shortages by 2013. The average American uses 80 to 100 gallons of water per day. You can make a difference and reduce your own water use by 30 percent, lightening demand on your local water system and giving groundwater sources a chance to recharge. Start with simple changes that will have an even more significant impact—they'll be as satisfying as a cool drink on a hot summer day. Let it flow only when necessary. Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving. Sounds basic, we know, but at ordinary household pressure, a running faucet can pour out 6 gallons of water in 3 minutes. Same goes for washing the dishes. Use a basin when hand-washing dishes. Wash all of the dishes and then rinse them all together. Pass on the prerinse. Using your dishwashing machine when it's full can be more efficient than washing by hand, but prerinsing dilutes the savings. Instead, wipe dishes with a wet sponge before they go in the dishwasher.
Compost, not garbage disposal. Your kitchen-sink garbage grinder requires lots of water to operate properly. Put all vegetable-based food scraps in a compost pile instead. Learn all about compost here. Keep cool. Refrigerate a pitcher of water for cool drinks rather than letting the faucet flow until it gets cool. Shorten your shower. The average shower lasts 8.2 minutes, and the average showerhead dispenses 2.5 gallons per minute. That’s about 20 gallons per shower. Reuse and Recycle. Put a bucket in your shower to catch water while you wait for it to warm up. Use the bucket of water for houseplants or in your garden.
Ready to make more dramatic cuts in your water use—and utility bill? These steps will really stem the tide. Audit your usage. If you get water from the public system, check your bill for the total water used and figure out daily use by dividing total water used by the number of days in the billing cycle. (An online conversion calculator will help you convert from cubic meters, cubic feet, or liters to gallons.) If you draw water from a well, you’ll need to check your water meter at 24 hour intervals to get your daily household water use. Do this for several days so you can get an average. Look for leaks. Read your water meter before and after a 2-hour period during which no water is used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, start searching for the leak. It’s worth the effort: A faucet dripping just once per second wastes 2,700 gallons per year—the equivalent of 135 showers.
Test the toilet. Take the time to check for leaks in your toilet, where they are common and not always obvious. Get dye specifically for this purpose at a hardware store—if there is a leak, color will appear in the bowl 30 minutes after you put dye in the tank. Toilets leak 1 gallon of water every 24 minutes, or 60 gallons per day. Update the fixtures. Federal legislation passed in 1992 raised efficiency standards on faucets, toilets, and showerheads. Look for low-flow toilets, faucets and showerheads, which use half (or even less) of the water needed to operate models manufactured before 1992. Dual-flush toilets offer you the option of a half flush (no solids) or a full flush (solids). Replace appliances.
The EPA’s labeling programs make it easy for you to identify efficient products when buying dish- and clothes-washing machines. The EnergyStar label has been used for years. New for 2007 is the Watersense label, for which the EPA has established even greater efficiency criteria. Water use in laundry machines is identified by the Water Factor or “WF,” a measure of water used per cycle. The lower the WF rating, the higher the efficiency. New front-loading washing machines use about 40 percent less water than top-loading machines.
Save the rain. Attach a rain barrel to your downspout to gather water to use in your garden. Go one step further and direct rainwater into a cistern for indoor use. You’ll need to check local regulations and building codes and at least consult with an engineer experienced with such systems. But what a difference you’ll make.

Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense program Consortium for Energy Efficiency California Urban Water Conservation Council U.S. Green Building Council Check with your local water utility to see what programs it offers. Many areas, such as Charlottesville, Virginia; Santa Cruz, California; and Albequerque, New Mexico, offer homeowners rebates for water-conservation measures. Lori Ball gardens and writes at her home in Philadelphia. ADVERTISMENT ADVERTISEMENT Sections Connect Learn & Grow Cook Biome Store Services Magazine Subscriptions Gift Subscriptions Renew Subscription Newsletter Customer Service Contact Us Site Map Corporate Copyright Notice Email Preferences Rodale Inc Advertising Your Privacy Rights Community Terms of Use Amazon Affiliate Other Rodale Sites Bicycling.com Runners World Running Times Womens Health Prevention Mens Health Rodale News Fitbie.com Rodale Grow Rodale's To make a payment, cancel or renew your subscription for Organic Gardening, contact customer service at: 400 South Tenth Street • Emmaus, PA 18098-0099 (800) 666-2206 • www.organicgardening.com/customer-service • E-mail: ogdcustserv@rodale.com • Your Privacy Rights ©2014 Rodale Inc.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting the canning jars ready

Each year several thousands of people, women, men and children alike, begin to prepare, plan and then plant their gardens to help soften the blow to their family's bank account. Each year our family does the same, but not only to soften the blow to the wallet but to have better foods for or family.

We love fresh fruits and veggies from our garden and yard. Actually, this year we have planted 9 different fruit trees along with a mixture of fruit vines and bushes. I am so syked to get the garden planted and for all the veggies to pop up and supply our family with tasty, nutritious foods.

Now back to the canning part. For 2 days I have been washing and storing our canning jars. Washing? You may ask. Well, we had over 200 jars stored in our outdoor shed for about 2 years. Medical reasons. So, having clean jars, and I mean clean jars is important to home canning. Even when you purchase jars new, you should and it is recommended by the manufacturer that you wash your jars thoroughly.

So, I washed all the jars in soapy water with a little bleach. Don't worry, our jars get washed a second time and the boiled individually before being filled with all those fresh veggies we spoke of earlier. I had a delima on how to store all the jars as I hate keeping cardboard boxes in the house. Yuk!!! My reasoning is because those pesky little bugs get in the grooves and lay egg after egg after egg...well you get the point. Anyways, I have to fight off ants in the Spring, so out with the boxes.

So, after giving it much thought, for now I am openly storing them by lying them on their sides and stacking them on my shelving units. On the 3 shelves combined there is over 200 jars and I have about that same amount filled throughout the kitchen and pantry. This seems to work, but I do know that my husband will have to come in and put a thin board with pre-drilled holes, and use bolts and washers across the open end to keep them from falling when I need jars (right now I am using small strips of cardboard) but as before that will have to go.

And lastly, I love going through my jars and finding those little "gem" jars, those oldie but goodie jars, those jars that you know have many stories they could tell and I still use those jars, no need to shelf them because they're old, they were made to be used for a long time and that's what this family is going to do.

Hope you enjoy the pics I have added of the shelved jars and those "gems".

Have a Safe & Happy Canning Season!!!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Pole Bean T Pee.....

Seen a cool tp o Facebook, found some old PVC pipes and went to work with Heavens help, she held them while I tied. Had fun!!!
All seeded up and ready to grow. Grow pole beans, grow.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

How to locate and prepare Heritage Breed Chickens

Everything old is new again, with farmers and eaters rediscovering heritage breeds of chickens. But finding and cooking one isn't as easy as heading to the local grocery store and buying a pack of chicken breast filets. Here's how to cook a chicken that actually tastes like chicken.

Heritage-breed chickens are defined by The Livestock Conservancy as breeds with four characteristics: they were recognized as an American Poultry Association Standard Breed prior to the mid-20th century, they are naturally mating, they can live a long and productive life outdoors and they have a slow growth rate — meaning they reach market weight in no less than 16 weeks. These are different than industrial-breed chickens – the kind you typically find at a grocery store or restaurant – in price, form, conformation and genetics.

They’ll also likely cost quite a bit more than your normal bird – expect to pay anywhere from $5.50 to $10.50 per pound for your heritage chicken – but many cooks and eaters swear by their flavor. Heritage birds also look a bit different, as Americans’ obsession with huge chicken breasts is a relatively recent phenomena. Expect, instead, to see longer-bodied chickens with smaller breast-meat portions and darker dark-meat portions.

Heritage chickens aren’t typically sold in a grocery store, so you might have to do some research to find them in your area. Look at the farmers market, at the co-op, or online at The Livestock Conservancy’s directory, EatWild.com, LocalHarvest.com or Heritage Foods USA.

A Breed for the Table
Heritage-breed chickens were developed for different purposes and climates – some strictly for eggs or strictly for meat, and others for dual purpose, meaning both eggs and meat; some for cold weather, and others for tropical climates – so you won’t find every heritage breed in every locale. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find some of the following breeds of heritage meat birds for your home use:

Brahma: 8- to 10-pound market weight; found in cold climates; was considered the best meat chicken from mid-1850s through early 1900s

Buckeye: 5.5- to 8-pound market weight with meaty thighs; developed in Ohio

Catalana: 5- to 6.5-pound market weight; known for succulent meat; warm-climate bird

Plymouth Rock: Fast-growing; 6- to 8-pound market weight; cold-hardy bird; foundation breed for industrial-chicken production

Orpington: 7- to 8-pound market weight; slow-growing chicken; excellent for cooking at any age

Delaware: Fast-growing; 5.5- to 7.5-pound market weight; flavorful when eaten at any age

Wyandotte: 5.5- to 7.5-pound market weight; fast maturing; cold-climate bird

Sussex: 6- to 7.5-pound market weight; known for flavorful meat

Cornish: 6.5- to 8.5-pound market weight; very muscular; young birds eaten as Cornish Game Hens; foundation breed for industrial-chicken production

Rhode Island Red: 5.5- to 7.5-pound market weight; flavorful meat; hardy in all climates

Dorking: 6- to 8-pound market weight; cold hardy; tender and delicate, especially white meat

Langshan: Slow-growing birds; 6.5- to 8-pound market weight; abundant white meat

In The Kitchen
When you get a heritage-breed chicken home, don’t cook it like it’s any ol’ bird. Here are five cooking tips:

1. Make sure you’ve selected a bird of the proper age for your desired dish. Get a younger bird, which will have more tender meat, as a fryer; an older bird as a roasting or stewing chicken.

For example, the French dish coq au vin literally translates to cock (rooster) with wine. It’s considered a peasant’s dish, because this method of cooking is designed to break down tougher – and therefore less desirable – meat. An older bird can be marinated and cooked slowly with moisture to produce tender results.

2. A Dutch oven is an excellent tool for roasting a heritage-breed chicken. The large, heavy, lidded pot is designed to retain moisture over long periods of oven cooking. Place the chicken, breast-side down to keep it moist, in the Dutch oven with quartered onions, garlic cloves, a cup of water and some butter. Roast it for 30 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F.

3. Use fat. Coat your chicken in oil or butter — try coconut ghee — to create a crisp skin, and cook it in a rotisserie oven with water in the bottom pan to produce steam to keep the meat moist. Leave it on the rotisserie at a medium to low temperature for 20 to 30 minutes per pound.

4. Stew on it. Heritage birds, particularly older birds, make excellent stewing chickens. Put a whole or cut-up chicken in a pot, add enough water to cover, and simmer on low heat for about one hour per pound. Try this in a slow cooker, too, on low. Do not allow the water to boil. As it cooks, the meat will fall off the bone, ready to be used in soups, casseroles and other recipes. Strain the resulting stock for all manner of use, as well.

5. Low and slow wins the day. Experiment using heritage-breed chicken in your own recipes, but always cook it slowly, at a low temperature, with plenty of moisture. Like you should all meats, don’t cut into it right away; let the heritage chicken rest for 10 or so minutes after cooking so the juiciness is sealed into the tender meat.

These old-school breeds can be a hit in the kitchen with a little attention to the intricacies of cooking a different kind of chicken meat.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Strawberry Smoothie for 2

Ever need a metabolism boost? Ever want it to be natural? Want to use ingredients that you can pronounce?
How about a delicious smoothie with only 3 ingredients!

2 cups homegrown frozen strawberries ( use frozen so you can delete the use of ice)
1 cup Homestead Creamery Milk (if available in you area)
2 tbsp. Raw Local Honey

Blend and enjoy!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Very good day for outside work

Today I began my regime of getting up at 5 a.m to get alone with Jesus and afterwards, get the day started. Wow! What a beautiful day today. Was able to get 7 loads of laundry done, de-rocked the new garden, raked up some brush, pruned up some fruit vines and picked up dead limbs for the brush pile, raked some leaves and put them in the dog pen, and I think that's it. Also went and put gas in the truck for Thursday, now I am sitting back for a few and then I'll go check on supper.
Added a few pics of various things over the past week. Enjoy ♥

Pic 1.....Hubby's new nuc box, he was able to split one of our honey bee hives.

Pic 2.....Pic of our "reduce, reuse, recycle" greenhouse. Hope to finish on Saturday.

Pic 3.....Pic of a beautiful Red Bird

Pic 4.....I sent in 4 samples to see if I  can be a blessing to someone who may need a bone marrow transplant.

Pic 5.....Pic of pretty Buttercups.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dental time

Arrived at Duke Pediatric Dentistry with Heaven today. Pray for her as she will need extensive dental work done.
Enjoy this beautiful day that Christ has blessed us with.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Simple Home Decorating Tips

Living Room

Introduce more life and color by adding a vase of flowers (artificial if needed) on your coffee table or end table. They’re a great and inexpensive way to decorate your living room. Try adding some patterns on your cushions or area rug to make the room more interesting. Stripes, chevrons, dots, zebras and damasks are some of the many prints you can try. Mount a mirror on the wall opposite your window to easily reflect light and make your living room look much brighter. Going for a modern look? Keep your design minimal yet functional at the same time. Choose modern furniture and palette colors such as white, chrome and black. Then add little hints of bright colors to liven up the room. When decorating your first home, make sure to choose a neutral palette for your main color scheme. Neutrals like white are very flexible to decorate because they go with everything. It’s easier to just add accent colors to your cushions, vases, lampshades, pots, pans, countertops, placemats, towels, linens and other stuff whenever you feel like changing it up, rather than repaint the entire house to get a new look.

Kitchen

To save more space, consider hanging your pots and pans from the ceiling or on the wall. Hanging equipment always looks good on any kitchen. Another simple way to upgrade your kitchen is to repaint your cabinets. If you’re on a budget, use colors that complement your walls so you won’t have to redo everything. Install more cabinets especially if storage is a problem. Get rid of the stuff you don’t need to minimize clutter in the kitchen and hide the items you don’t always use inside drawers and island. Got a shelf that you want to redo? An easy fix is to add some nice wallpaper or paint on the insides. For example, if you have a charcoal-colored shelf, paint the insides a nice pale red for a surprising touch. Other combinations to try are brown and light blue, white and blue, black and salmon and so on. There are many possibilities–it’s just a matter of selecting the best style for your kitchen’s design.

Dining Room

Create a, intimate atmosphere in your dining area by getting a dimmer switch or lighting some candles on the table. Add a centerpiece of flowers, fruits and others for a more attractive dining experience. If you want more interaction during dinner, consider getting a round table. More conversations happen when everyone can see each other. For those with smaller dining areas and household members, get a table that you can easily place against the wall to save space. When you have people coming over to eat, you can always take the table to the center to add more seats.

Bedroom

Sick of that blank wall in your bedroom? Simply hang an artwork to fill up the space. Patterned quilts, classic movie posters and frames are some good examples. But no matter what type of artwork you use, the important thing is that it always goes together with the colors in the room. Another quick solution to decorating your personal room is to make your linens an accent color. If your room is painted with neutral colors, the best solution is to add accent colors here and there. For instance, if you have light gray walls, you can pair them up with some orange or mustard linens so that the room doesn’t look too monochromatic. Nightstands, headboards, artwork and area rugs are also some things you can bring color to. If the bedroom is small, you can paint one side of the wall in a different color to make the space seem wider. For it, you can choose a darker hue than your current walls, or you can go with a new color entirely. Again, make sure it matches the palette you’re going for. Try positioning some of your furniture at an angle. It’s an easy way to give your bedroom a new feel to it. Remember, your room is your sanctuary, your happy place–which means it should be designed according to you. Show off your personality when you decorate so you can really make your bedroom your own.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The things you find when organizing

Wow! The things you find when organizing. I can across these drawings that I had done for a local church my family attended. The Pastor, at the time, wanted large murals drawn and painted and asked if I would do them. They were done in 2004. Not sure if they are still there as, new Pastor means new views.

Anyways I am still glad I came across them.

Project "Growing Celery" from a root

I have been seeing post on Pinterest lately about growing veggies from the root of one that had been used. I thought, really? So I decided to give it a try with a celery root.

So the picture first below is for Day 1 and the second picture is for Day 5. I used regular tap water (well) and have decided to change  the water every 5 days. So, each time I change the water, I will take a photo.

You are welcome to leave any comments below on your thoughts or if you have done the same with the same or different veggie roots.


Another beautiful snowy day

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Clinic visit at Duke Childrens

Had a great clinic visit at Duke Children's. Heavens creatinine level had come down to 1.7... Praise Jesus!!! Will be heading back to Durham on Tuesday for a dentist appt. Keep praying specifically.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Make your own Foam Soap

Do you love the foam soaps? I do, but what I don't like is the overuse of "antibacterial properties". You don't need antibacterial soaps, dish soaps, etc. to keep your hands, dishes or counters clean. All you need is to clean them with soap.

Anyways, back to the foaming soap and how to make your own without having to buy it over and over. Even if you purchase it from the Dollar Stores, it can become expensive. So, I have come to the solution of making my own with what I have already at home.
I use baby shampoo/baby body wash as it has sensitivity properties. It is sensitive to the eyes and skin and with as much as we all need to wash our hands, we could certainly use something sensitive.
So all you do is, keep your foam soap container, fill it with one inch of baby shampoo/baby body wash, then, this is an option but you don't have to, ( if you would like to add lotion this is where to do so), add some lotion (of your choice), just lightly squeeze the lotion bottle and count 1-1000, 2-1000, 3-1000, 4-1000. There, you have now added lotion to your foam soap.
Now, you need to add water until you are 3 inches from the actual opening, this provides room for the pump to sit down in the bottle.
After you have added the water, replace the pump and mix lightly by rocking the bottle back and forth. Do Not shake vigorously as this will result in over-sudsing. The lotion will break down eventually but not at a first. If you need to, after settling, you can rock back and forth again if needed.
There you have it! Foam soap! So the next time you run out, don't run out to the store, make your own with what you already have at home. Blessings ♥

I have added photos, from start to finish, to help you along.....