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Livestock: Friends and Food

Posted by admin December - 22 - 2010 - Wednesday Comments Off

Livestock: Friends and Food? Is it possible?

Yes but it’s not easy.

When my wife and I first moved to our farm about 16 years ago, we were advised that if we obtained any livestock that we intend to eat, then we should not allow them to become pets.

“Uu -huh” I said in my characteristic covertly defiant agreement. I think that means I lied.

Since then we’ve enjoyed having numerous animals around here that we’ve enjoyed both as near pets and as food.  No, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we’ve hugged and petted these animals as we do with our cats and dog, but they have been cherished as a part of the family. Sounds a bit gruesome I know, but I’d feel guilty if we didn’t show them at least some appreciation as we raised them.

Our farm is blessed with a really nice chicken coop, so the first animals we obtained were chickens. They were given to me as a gift from a former neighbor. They are Aracauna breed, and I’m told they originated in South America. Known for laying eggs of multiple colors (teal, brown, tan and white) they are also cherished as dual-purpose chickens good for both egg production and roasting.I love the fresh eggs we collect and eat most mornings – I can really taste and see the difference! They are a wonderful benefit to health.

We were given one rooster who we were told is called Garth. We love the way Garth cockadoodles  frequently.

I hope the neighbors do too! LOL.

Then another neighbor started telling us about how his kids raise piglets every spring. Before I knew it, there were squeals coming from our lower barn, both from my kids and the cute pink piglets!

We are amazed how fast they mature, growing from 40 pound cutey-pies to 200 pound hogs in a matter of weeks. And the pork meat is delicious; much tastier and leaner than what I’ve had from the grocery store.

I built them a very strong pen with heavy metal fencing so they could have plenty of fresh air and sunshine. “They’ll never get out of there.” I said. Ha! One day we arrived home to find the big boy and girl standing in the driveway. I still can’t figure out how they escaped because there was nothing amiss about their fence or gate. So what did I do? Well one of the tricks of raising livestock is to always shake the food dish before feeding. So I opened up their gate, stepped in, shook the food dish to make it’s distinctive sound, and in they ran! Hey mothers, try that and see if it works on your kids. LOL!

Then one day I saw a young turkey for sale at a local farmer’s market. “I’ll take it” I gleefully said, picturing my family drooling at Thanksgiving as they eyed the roasted fresh home-grown bird. We named him Gobble and enjoyed watching him grow. Well, as Thanksgiving approached the kids stated asking “Dad, we won’t eat Gobble will we?” Luckily turkeys freeze well. LOL!

Then, somewhere along the line I decided to tackle one of my greatest fears – bees! Ever since I was 6 years old I’ve panicked whenever I hear something buzzing. This terror began on the day I saw and heard my sister screaming after she stepped on a honey bee with a bear foot. Even the sound of a fly put me in a panic. So a friend gave me some bee raising equipment and before I knew it, and after much anxiety, I was raising bees. Their kind of difficult to hug, but make for a very interesting hobby! Amazingly, one can obtain 20 pounds of honey from even one good hive. I’ve really enjoyed giving my fresh, organic honey away as gifts, not to mention using it as a sweetener.Have you ever tried honey in coffee? Fantastic!

So, we’ve enjoyed these animals both as near pets and food. I’m delighted to be eating this freshly harvested, organically grown food. Animals are truly a gift from God. As the author of the book Whole Health Healing: The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible for All Ages, this kind of healthy, holistic lifestyle is right up my alley.

What’s next? I’m considering cattle, maybe goats, or even emu. I’ll keep you posted.

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Pet Pictures

Posted by admin November - 24 - 2010 - Wednesday Comments Off

Pets are another wonderful gift from God , ; so are all animals for that matter. They make a nice component to optimum wellness.

Below are some pictures of my family’s pets with a few fun details.

Here is our dog Lou as a puppy getting squeezed by my son Mike and daughter Emily.

Lou is a Jackaby (half Beagle, half Jack Russell Terrier) and a real sweetie-pie. She never seems to get angry no matter how much we tease her. She loves it all! She barks like crazy when someone pulls into our drive way. But I think she would lick the hand of a burglar! LOL!

Lou loves boat rides too!

Lou loves fish. She kisses them!

And Lou gets along well with our cat Rosie! Except when food is involved – Yikes! That smiling face in the background is my son Andy.

Here is a closer look at Rosie. She’s a real lady with white on all 4 feet and the tip of her tail. She acts very dainty!

I’ve often wondered if my kids spoil our pets. Ya think?

And then there is our cat TJ (held here by my daughter Emily) What a life!

Was TJ kind of cute as a kitten?

TJ and Lou get along pretty well too!

My favorite of all is Lou. She found this shelf next to my desk and made herself at home. I wonder who else I’m putting to sleep? LOL!

My point with all this besides making you say “awwww”, is that optimum health and wellness has more to do with just the absence of symptoms. We are all more than just physical beings. Don’t forget to nurture your mental, emotional, and spiritual sides also. Love a pet today; it’s a natural!

Next time, I’ll share pictures of our farm animals – chickens, pigs, turkeys.

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Relaxation: Don’t fight it

Posted by admin May - 4 - 2010 - Tuesday Comments Off

Relaxation comes naturally, if you let it.

I observe how my animals relax and learn a lot from them.

Pork Chop and Quiigley take a nap

I find some people are confused about relaxation. For example, some people will say “I’m going to relax and watch TV” or “I’m relaxing with a good book”. This is only partially relaxing. Remember that we are physical, mental, and spiritual. Watching TV and reading a book may relax the physical but the mental and spiritual are left out. This is quite a problem in our current era. All the media and electronics are wonderful advancements but they are stealing our mental and spiritual relaxation.

Recently, a very popular Pastor was interviewed as he was nearing the final chapter of his life. This world renowned Pastor was asked “Now that you can look back and reflect on your extraordinary life, what would you have done differently that you believe would have allowed you to accomplish even more?” His answer was profound. He said “I would spend a lot of time just sitting in a quiet private spot and just listen to God.” Wow!

So the solution to more relaxation is partly elimination (No, not a bowel movement. LOL). By elimination I mean getting away from and eliminating the distractions that interfere with our relaxation. The mind and spirit need as much rest if not more than or physical selves. TV, radio, internet, cell phones, and even background noise all interfere with our ability to really relax deeply.

This concept of real relaxation is so important that I placed instructions about how to attain it in my book Whole Health Healing – The Budget Friendly Natural Wellness Bible For All Ages.

Now if you have not done a true, deep mind and or spiritual relaxation before, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. You will likely discover an aspect of yourself that you will really like – inner peace. That attainment of inner peace is severely lacking in our American society compared to other cultures – especially eastern cultures.

Start by setting a time to be alone, in a quiet place for at least 30 minutes. This runs so counter to the norm in our society that if someone sees you or learns of your plans they may likely suspect that something is wrong with you. Just laugh it off and tell them that what’s wrong is that you haven’t been doing this enough.

Next, after getting in this quiet solitary place, lay or sit comfortably, pray for inner peace, and then just listen to the things around you. You may hear birds, cars, planes and may likely notice sounds you had not been paying attention to – that is a good start. If it’s a totally quiet place you may likely hear your self breathing or even your own heartbeat – this too is good.

The greatest battle you will have is fighting the thoughts of all the things you think you need to be doing that will initially be popping into your mind. It may take days or weeks to master clearing your mind, but each time you work at it you will get a little closer and you will notice 2 amazing things happen: 1) you will feel more refreshed and energetic afterward, 2) you will find it easier to recall and reclaim that feeling of inner peace in tense situations throughout your day.

You’ll also likely notice health benefits like less musculoskeletal pains, lower blood pressure, and even stronger immunity. Best of all – it’s free. Warning, it’s also addictive! Some addictions are good. LOL

Some people wonder “Why doesn’t God tell me what I should do?” When you get in this totally relaxed state, you may find out God was talking all along – you just did not take the time to hear. This is spiritual relaxation, letting go and letting God.

Do you think it would do you good to really relax?

My dog Lou relaxing

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Kids and Chickens : natural similarities

Posted by admin March - 3 - 2010 - Wednesday 2 COMMENTS

Kids and chickens? What does this combination have to do with health and wellness?

Sure, I understand the value of human life, particularly your own offspring and especially when they behave. LOL. But the behaviors I observe between kids and chickens have some remarkable similarities.

Take my chickens this morning; for example, when I walked in to the coop with a plate of their favorite delicacy – food scraps like bread crusts, fat from yesterdays pork roast, and stale cereal, they came running as if they haven’t eaten in weeks.  Reminds me of my kids but replace the food scraps with French fries!

And the other day when I was out shoveling snow near the coop, I heard “bawk, baaawk, baaaaawk!” So, I ran in there thinking one of the chickens was dying. Lo and behold, one of the hens just laid an egg! She wanted the whole world to know about it. My kids squawk enthusiastically too; like when my son Mikey came home with no homework, and when my daughter Emily finally cleaned her room after a month of my nagging.

And I notice the chickens don’t share or take turns, just like my kids. Lay some food scraps down in the coop and you better stand back, you can count on a food fight.  Just like I’ve learned to never hand one of my kids a bag of potato chips. That never works unless you want to induce a Cain and Able situation. No, what must be done is to get three equal size bowls and very carefully measure out equal portions with precision. And I mean precision because they’ll be checking.

And just when you were hoping to sleep in after a previous hard day, the kids arise before you and raise a ruckus with loud cartoons, banging cereal bowls, and bickering about who gets the last orange. Yeah, the rooster does that too –“cock-a-doodle-do”, not once but more like 25 times as the sun starts its accent on the horizon.

The roosters name is Garth IV.  Yep, forth generation. We got the first Garth and his harem from 2 lovely ladies who lived together. They graciously donated them to our new farm life, but I felt bad because I noticed Garth was the only rooster they had. “Don’t worry about it.” they chuckled, “We’ve got no use for boys around here!”

Garth IV and some of his harem
Garth IV and some of his harem

Garth IV and some of his harem

So, I love our chickens just like I love my kids. We’ve got 6 hens besides Garth IV. They are fairly easy to care for. They basically need only water, food, and someone brave enough to shovel out the coop twice yearly (the manure goes right in the garden). And they reward us with these neat stories and best of all; those hens provide us 2-3 eggs each day.

Those chickens are a real blessing, just like the kids.

What blessings do you have in your life?

By the way, have you seen my 2 other web/blog sites?

For the general public – http://www.wholehealthhealing.com.

Specifically for doctors - http://www.reclaimthejoy.com.

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