“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Clean And Maintain Floors In House With Pets

cleaningFollow simple actions proposed by cleaning services bedford on how to clean floors with pets. Transform your flooring from grimy and boring to gleaming, gorgeous and clean!
Initial Things First-Determine the final
Before you grab a bucket of water and a mop, you need to learn how your hardwood floor is sealed-if at almost all. Why? The final, not the wood kind, determines the method that you clean and look after the floor.
Surface-sealed floors: Most fresh wood floors are usually sealed with urethane, polyacrylic or polyurethane. Surface-sealed floors are usually stain and water-damage resistant and least difficult to look after and clear: Sweep, mop and you're done!
Penetrating-seal-treated and oil-handled floors: Also common, a penetrating seal or essential oil finish soaks in to the solid wood hardens and grain. This kind of floor should be protected and pampered with liquid or paste wax.
Lacquered, varnished, shellacked and untreated flooring: Although technically surface area finishes, lacquers, shellacs and varnishes aren't as proof to moisture, wear and spills because the other sealants mentioned. Treat floors with one of these finishes and floors without finish as you'll penetrating-seal-treated and oil-treated flooring.
Not sure what type of finish you have that is not harmful for pets? To inform the distinction in a pinch, rub your finger over the floor just. If no smudge seems, the ground is surface sealed. In case a smudge is created by you, the ground has been handled with a penetrating seal, essential oil finish, shellac, lacquer or varnish, and then waxed.
Cleaning Surface-Sealed Floors
Product Do's and Don'ts
Don't use oils, furniture or waxes sprays. Oil results in a residue, furnishings spray creates a slippery surface area (think ice-skating rink!) and wax does take time to use and makes recoating (observe Tackling Simple Wood Ground Problems) difficult.
Avoid straight ammonia, alkaline items or abrasive cleaners. They'll boring or scratch the final.
Do work with a floor-cleaning item recommended by the ground finisher or choose plain soap and drinking water. If the recommended item is difficult to find or expensive, and other ground cleaners contain things that violate your floor's warranty, try water and soap. I put in a quarter mug of moderate or pH-neutral soap (like liquid dishwashing soap) or Murphy Essential oil Soap (regardless of the name, it generally does not contain essential oil) to a bucket of drinking water.
Don't depend on water alone or perhaps a vinegar and drinking water treatment for clean hardwood flooring. Mopping with water can lead to dingy-looking flooring and won't-budge dust buildup. Vinegar and drinking water is not as effectual as soapy drinking water and-some suggest-may dull flooring sooner. (Eventual dullness and the necessity to recoat are unavoidable no matter what you utilize. See Tackling Simple Solid wood Floor Problems.)
Routine Cleaning
In high-traffic areas, just like the dining kitchen and room, you should daily sweep, if possible, and mop a few times a week. Mop less-trafficked areas monthly or once a time of year.
Mopping Technique
Remember: Drinking water is wood's worst type of enemy (still on sealed floors!), so work with a damp mop rather than soaking wet one.
Dip the mop in to the bucket of ready cleaning answer, wring it out completely, mop in direction of the solid wood grain and repeat. When the water dirty gets, empty the bucket, blend a fresh batch of cleaning answer and continue mopping.
When finished, return back on the entire surface with thoroughly clean water to rinse.
Don't be scared to get on your own fingers and knees if required. Whenever a floor needs severe attention, I clear it with a fabric. (It's much better than a sponge as you can "feel" the dust as you wipe!)
Tackling Simple Solid wood Floor Problems
Scuff marks getting you straight down? A little bit of baking soda on a damp sponge shall erase them.
A stubborn food noticed, water or grease stain on your own surface-sealed floor? Work with a commercial cleaner to take care of this problem always.
Hairline cracks inside the ground? Don't panic and try to fill them. Dry out heat during the winter season causes wood flooring to shrink and crack. Cracks should up close through the summer (though utilizing a humidifier may also help).
Finish looking dull? Sand the ground lightly and recoat having an additional coating or two. Recoating is essential about every five to seven yrs.
Cleaning Penetrating-Seal-Treated, Oil-Treated, Shellacked, Varnished, Untreated or lacquered Floors
Item Do's and Don'ts
Carry out use stripper to eliminate old wax buildup. Select a product the ground manufacturer recommends, an industrial product from the equipment shop or mineral spirits.
Carry out use liquid wax created for wood flooring or paste wax. Liquid wax is simpler to apply but results in a thinner coat (and less safety) than paste wax.
Avoid acrylic or water-centered waxes, furnishings waxes or one-stage waxes. Acrylic and water-centered waxes can change floors white, furnishings wax creates a slick surface area and one-step waxes (regardless of the compelling pitches: They clear! They remove aged wax! They lay out fresh wax!) can trap dust.
Routine Cleaning
USUALLY DO NOT damp-mop waxed flooring. Just vacuum cleaner and regularly sweep the top. Once or twice per year, strip the aged wax and use a brand new coat. In case a high-traffic region gets dull among treatments, it is possible to spot-wax the certain area.
Waxing Technique
Vacuum the ground to remove dust.
Strip the old wax with stripper (following a manufacturer's guidelines) or mineral spirits (rub into wood and clean off with a new clean, soft cloth). Keep carefully the certain area well ventilated as you work so when the floor dries.
Following the floor has dried, use a thin coat of wax, utilizing an applicator (if you are using liquid wax) or perhaps a cloth (if you are using paste wax). Allow wax dried out. For added safety, apply another coat of wax.
Finally, buff. Work with a cloth or, to help make the working job easier, rent a buffing device. Be sure you always buff in direction of the wood grain.
Tackling Simple Solid wood Floor Problems
Whitened water spots marring your floor's finish? Add a little bit of mineral spirits to an extra-fine metal wool pad and softly rub the region in a circular movement. Keep the area nicely ventilated as you function.
Got back heel marks that will not wipe off? Add a little bit of wax to an extra-fine metal wool pad and softly rub the region in a circular movement.
Food stains causing trouble? Wipe the top with a damp fabric, rub dried out and wax. When eliminating any stain (from solid wood or carpet), always function from the outside advantage in toward the guts.
Tips for Preserving Hardwood Floors: 3 Must-Follow Rules
To extend the full life of one's hardwood floor no real matter what the finish, bear in mind these three simple guidelines:
Vacuum or sweep often. Ground-in dust destroys wood flooring. To avoid buildup, clean floors a few times each day in high-traffic areas, like the dining and kitchen room. No time? Lessen sweeping time by putting a doormat at each entry to your house.
Wipe upward mud and instantly spills. Wood is very easily damaged by water.
Choose carpeting wisely. In the event that you try to protect your solid wood ground with a rug, be mindful. Rug dyes have already been recognized to stain floors, and plastic material backings may impact the wood finish. Ask the carpet shop to recommend an underpad as a safeguard.

Great Things About Hardwood Floors Cleaning

A shiny and sparkling hardwood floor will be able to bring classy elegance in virtually any available room. This is a great expense because it is lengthy lasting yet quite appealing. Any homeowner with hardwood flooring in their home will need to consider refinishing it at some true point.
Heavy traffic, dirt, animals and moving of furnishings round the room are a number of the things that may wreak havoc about the finish of one's hardwood ground. As a result, you might have to refinish it to be able to restore the natural luster and beauty of the wood.
Although they're very appealing within a glance just, a bit is required by them of maintenance. Luckily, refinishing hardwood floors isn't a big challenge, unlike what a lot of people think. You can find professional contractors always open to quickly complete the complete job, efficiently, and affordably. Here are a few of the primary benefits associated with choosing the maid service durham, nc for cleaning hardwood floor and in addition refinishing tips.
Improved Appearance
This is the biggest benefit of hiring a specialist contractor ultimately. These professionals have yrs of encounter in the flooring industry. Therefore, they know the very best answers to hardwood problems.
They know what must be done to provide your floor a better appearance. A better look of the ground will reflect on all other top features of your room and house nicely.
Affordability and Disruption
Refinishing is certainly less of a headache and cheaper than replacing the complete floor. An upgraded project will take a longer span time also, disrupting your entire day to day existence in the home. Lots of points should be moved because the entire floor region will most likely need to be done.
Professionals can refinish your complete floor in just an individual day often, which is a great deal less invasive. You wind up reducing the quantity of hassle you have to offer with, and you also save a substantial amount of money by devoid of to displace your floors.
Here are a few factors that needs to be considered while budgeting:
·The situation of the floor.
·The colour of the floor.
·Whether it’s on a new staircase or the top is flat.
·Any additional services.
Value
Floor refinishing is really a worthwhile investment for just about any homeowner. It adds worth to the true home as a whole, and can especially attractive to prospective home purchasers whenever it really is set to become sold. It does increase the chances of the house being purchased in the true estate market.
Risk
Refinishing the hardwood ground all by yourself could be very risky, particularly if you don’t have much encounter in it. This risk may not be worth taking based on your situation. After all, in the event that you up mess it, chances are you will undoubtedly be hiring a specialist anyways as well as perhaps paying extra to repair up the mistakes.
Rebuffing the Finish
A professional can rebuff your floor end effectively. If you opt to do it on your own, you’ll need to buff it as you strip off any staying residue.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Once your ground is refinished by way of a professional, you are certain to get many years of service as a result before having to repeat. Refinishing furthermore reduces the probability of the floor learning to be a harbor for termites or some other kind of pests.
Unless you have the proper machinery and sufficient experience, hardwood floor refinishing isn't something you need to do by yourself. Doing therefore could be messy, and time-intensive. Floor refinishing is really a process that should be done precisely, the result will never be appealing otherwise. Hiring a specialist refinisher can save you lots of time and money in the long term.

Underground dog fence pros and cons

How can electric dog fences do the job? And exactly what are their advantages and disadvantages?
There are two parts of underground dog fence columbus ohio:
A cable That's buried across the perimeter of the "fenced in" place
A pet-collar using a radio
The underground cable transmits a signal Which Makes the pet-collar beep if The pet comes too near the electrical dog fence perimeter. A mild electrical shock will also be implemented; the jolt isn't regarded as violent enough to damage your pet. Among those better-known businesses in this industry states that specialist coaching sessions are a part of the setup procedure, describing that, in "the coaching procedure, your Professional Pet Trainer will present the personalized stationary correction to your furry friend that strengthens the bounds of your house and informs your pet obviously at which they can and cannot go." The identical source states, regarding cost, the price depends not just on the amount of these quests, but also on how big your lawn, what gear you would like to purchase, and "the number of pets are going to be on the machine" (yes, you can comprise numerous pets in precisely the exact same time with those systems).
Incidentally, though these pet containment systems originally made a name for themselves mainly among pet owners, systems can also be available for cats.
Experts:
Aesthetics: Using electric dog fences, you aren't made to erect a type of fencing which, while successful for keeping pets in your home, might not match your landscape design very nicely.
For the exact same reason, you do not need to be concerned about the maintenance generally related to bodily fences, for example needing to clean weeds from them with a Weed Eater.
Disadvantages:
Pet Fencing frequently doubles as security to a level, maintaining Your lawn. Tall chain-link fencing, for Example, will do this double role. out intruders.
Enough to maintain Rover from multiplying in the event the incentive to split loose is Good enough (since it can be if a locality cat is seen running by).
When Pets do blow off the jolt and cross the outside of the fencing, there's A disincentive (in the shape of the shock) to allow them to return home. So The end outcome could be the reverse of everything you need: a missing dog.

How to train your dog?

Are you prepared to begin training your puppy or dog? Good training and Socialization are one of your ​dog's basic requirements. It is important to begin training your dog when possible. But how can you begin?
In the Beginning, dog training may seem quite overwhelming, particularly if that is your Initial dog. The fact remains that training your puppy is a really major job. But should you take it step by step, you'll see the job to be much less daunting.
Teach Your Dog Utilizing Games: Coaching your dog Ought to Be fun! Everybody knows it is a lot easier to learn when you're having a fantastic time, therefore try implementing a few games into your puppy training regimen.
Six Weeks to some Well-Trained Dog: Applying this program as a guide, it is possible to teach your dog the basics in about fourteen days.
Look at getting Assistance from a puppy trainer. Try out group courses and/or personal classes.
You're almost ready to Start the training procedure, However, you may discover that specific tools can assist you on the way. Find out about the main dog training equipment before you begin buying. Luckily, there aren't a great deal of equipment necessary for great training. Particular dog training publications can be a terrific assistance. You will also have to choose if you would like to seek out the support of a professional dog trainer.
House Coaching and Crate Training
Unless you Intend to keep your puppy outside--and a few People do As it is not recommended--you will want to instruct your puppy where to remove. Consequently, home training (also referred to as housebreaking or potty training) is among the very first things you want to work on together with your dog. Including home training in addition to several different regions of training.
Are you prepared to begin training your puppy or dog? Good training and Socialization are one of your ​dog's basic requirements. It is important to begin training your dog when possible. But how can you begin?
In the Beginning, dog training may seem quite overwhelming, particularly if that is your Initial dog. The fact remains that training your puppy is a really major job. But should you take it step by step, you'll see the job to be much less daunting.
Teach Your Dog Utilizing Games: Coaching your dog Ought to Be fun! Everybody knows it is a lot easier to learn when you're having a fantastic time, therefore try implementing a few games into your puppy training regimen.
Six Weeks to some Well-Trained Dog: Applying this program as a guide, it is possible to teach your dog the basics in about fourteen days.
Look at getting Assistance from a puppy trainer. Try out group courses and/or personal classes.
You're almost ready to Start the training procedure, However, you may discover that specific tools can assist you on the way. Find out about the main dog training equipment before you begin buying. Luckily, there aren't a great deal of equipment necessary for great training. Particular dog training publications can be a terrific assistance. You will also have to choose if you would like to seek out the support of a professional dog trainer pittsburgh.
House Coaching and Crate Training
Unless you Intend to keep your puppy outside--and a few People do As it is not recommended-you will want to instruct your puppy where to remove. Consequently, home training (also referred to as jelqing or potty training) is just one Of the primary things that you want to work on along with your puppy. Crate training may be a Very beneficial portion of the training procedure. Including home training Too As many different regions of training.

Cleaning after Your Pet

Much we might love our animals however, cleaning up after them may become a nightmare in the event that you don’t understand how to take action properly. From rogue canine tresses to cats marking their territory, being truly a pet owner could be hard work. Pet waste materials that hasn’t been recently cleaned up may also turn into a potential health danger for your animal as well as your family. Here are tips from cleaning company medway ma that will help you to make cleaning after your pet more effective.
 Clearing up Pet Hair
If you own a dog or cat, shedding hair can be an inevitable reality. This problem can be as bad if your dog includes a long coat twice. Brushing your animal will lessen shedding regularly, and can protect your cat from hairballs. But with the most rigorous grooming routine even, your property is still more likely to have tresses scattered around it every once in awhile.
 Hair on Furniture
Because animal hair is holds and static a power charge, with the ability to stick to every surfaces. While just a little dog tresses never hurt anyone, getting your preferred chair covered inside it is not the easiest method to entertain guests.  Among the best answers to this tricky problem is really a portable vacuum cleaner. These devices imply that you can tidy up hair without needing to drag around an enormous vacuum quickly.
If you need to remove pet tresses from wooden furniture, utilizing a soft cotton fabric with some furnishings polish shall take away the static so the hair won’t re-stick, rendering it a breeze to completely clean away
 Hair on Floors and Carpets
Pet hair may become a nightmare when it starts accumulating on your own carpets and floors. It’s not merely ugly, but may also hold allergens and dirt that can be dangerous to your family. When vacuuming up after your dog, you’ll discover that often regular vacuums aren't that effective since they don’t have sufficient lift. Look for a vacuum that's specially designed to grab hair either by way of a brush roll or beater brush. It’s also vital that you use one that includes a filter to capture all the dust mites, pet and pollen dander.

Clean-House Strategies for Pet Owners

Staying in Touch with a New Dog
They are so cute -- and therefore cluttered. Prevent the frustrations of a brand new pooch together with Prevention hints proposed by Maid Service Columbia and also our advice to canine-proofing your own residence.
Certainly One of the most recurring problems Pet-owners confront is creature hair -- on Set an old towel or sheet where your puppy enjoys to break, and periodically shake it out to get rid of the majority of the hair before pitching it in the washer. Grooming your puppy regularly can help reduce the issue of hair that is unrulyloss.
To eliminate dog hair on carpets, vacuum several times a week with complete suction. Decide on a vacuum having a highefficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.) On timber and other hard floors, use a spray cleaner; they truly are more efficient compared to vacuums as they don't really blow off the hair around.
For clothing, your very best choice is to make use of a roller coaster. Loop a ribbon throughout The manage and hang one from the door knob inside cupboards through your house so that they're always readily available to utilize. For furniture, utilize the vacuum upholstery tool or perhaps a hand vacuum using a retractable beater-bar attachment. Lint brushes intended for dry and clothing sponges (sold in pet-supply stores) also function well.
Maintain a towel and a shallow container stuffed forty of this manner with Room Temperature water from your doorway before walking outside the doorway. Once the walk has ended, dip all your pet's head into the ground. Dry off them and let your pet start your own business. This clinic is particularly helpful during the winter time when sidewalks and drives are usually covered with ice-melting representatives.
Work Instantly on Stains
The more quickly you're able to arrive at a pet blot, the higher. Canine urine left on Take out any solid residue using a dull knife. After consuming up to Moisture as you can, employ an alternative of 1/4 teaspoon clear dishwashing liquid Mixed with a single cup tepid water; blot with yet another wash, dry towel. Rinse by Continue alternating using a Scrub towel and a clean, damp towel before stain is still gone.

Pet store shelving ideas

The dog times of summer are upon us nearly. While kids might be rejoicing, many retailers are usually lamenting the anticipated lag running a business as individuals pack their head and bags for much flung, warm-weather destinations. Meanwhile, merchants which have been situated in vacation destinations are usually prepping for an onslaught of new business. Either way, now could be prime time for merchants to strategy the most efficient merchandising strategies for warming up summer sales.
Some stores would want to concentrate on highlighting cutesy novelty and toys items which will interest tourists. Others may choose to concentrate on special promotions that provide local pet owners justification to get out from the pool and enter into town to shop.
Listed below are top five ideas for creating inexpensive and effective pet store shelving to improve summer sales:
Use Mobile Display Models for Specialty Merchandise
Mobile displays are ideal in pet shops for most reasons. They allow merchants to highlight or showcase any fresh merchandise in or about the checkout area which are perfect to improve impulse sales. The wonder of a cellular shelving device is having the opportunity to constantly change the positioning of a screen without disrupting the complete store.
Retailers can use a wide variety of shelving features also. For example, retailers can truly add glass shelves that may give even discount dog stores a boutique sense, without spending a complete lot on store fixtures.
Displays for Live Animals
In the summertime season, when school is closed, live animal displays are a smart way to attract families with children, who'll want to start to see the animals close up for themselves. Independent dog retailers which have entertaining live pet displays may draw family members away from big retail chains as it pertains period to restock on the pet food supplies.  
And such displays need not break the bank.
Make Great Usage of Endcaps
Endcaps are valuable real estate in virtually any store extremely. They are an excellent way to raise the amount of retail area with gondola shelving works. Most retailers believe probably the most expensive products should be presented on endcaps. That's not 100 percent accurate; probably the most profitable products must be featured on endcaps.
Using signage can be an excellent method to seize the customers’ interest, and making proper usage of your store's finish units is key to your pet business.
Add Shelf Addresses to Differentiate Store Sections
Up-date any pet shelving along with transforming shelf addresses. Handy Shop Fixtures Shelf Addresses, which fit over regular shelving units, are ideal for touching up aged, scratched or rusted shelves. Of painting over a vintage damaged shelf instead, retailers can just very easily place these shelf addresses along with existing shelves, making them look completely new.
They are ideal for adding color to a specific retail sections also. For example, use glowing blue for the fish region, crimson for cats, and yellow for canine section. You may also use shelf addresses to highlight your endcaps to pull the eye of customers. To go on it a step additional, you can replace aged pegboard with the coordinating Shelf Cover color to essentially improve the display fixture.

Some facts about clinical laboratory consulting

The practice of clinical laboratory consulting is undergoing rapid change, both leading and also reflecting changes inside our healthcare system. These modifications are driven by fresh technologies that allow molecular and genomic screening now, electronic data integration and collection; evidence-based and personalized medicine, and the vertical and horizontal integration of most ongoing health care. The laboratory will be in the heart of these massive modifications, with medical laboratory test outcomes a key element in 70% or even more of most medical decisions.
The transformation of the clinical laboratory from the passive service role to a dynamic role in patient diagnosis and administration, has encouraged nonphysician laboratory professionals to get involved beyond the bench. Their growing role in what offers historically been named the practice of medication has generated a conundrum: are nonphysician professionals really qualified to recommend clinicians, interpret tests in medical contexts, and/or suggest testing for specific individuals?
The question has been raised concerning whether laboratory medication as practiced today requires, on a routine basis, direct pathologist involvement in the choice and interpretation of test outcomes built-into specific clinical contexts.
Studies show the clinical and economic worth of properly trained laboratory experts that are truly expert inside assisting attending doctors with test choice and interpretation. Having less clinical involvement is connected with significant consequences: 15% - 54% of primary treatment medical errors are linked to the testing procedure; 17% of healthcare investing in the U.S. is because of test over-utilization; and almost a third of overall healthcare spending could be because of potentially avoidable clinical treatment.
Is consultation supplied by medically-trained laboratory experts, including pathologists, along with other physicians with laboratory coaching, more closely connected with enhanced clinical outcomes than consultation supplied by non-medical laboratory experts? In a recently available study, researchers figured non-medical scientists also have successfully undertaken leadership functions within laboratory medicine, like the directorships, therefore precluding the absolute dependence on a medical level in fulfilling the majority of the laboratory professional’s responsibilities.
However, it really is acknowledged that high quality laboratory service is not about providing accurate just, useful and timely info to the attending doctors; it must be offered within the context of this patient’s conditions. As a total result, in many situations, without medical training and encounter in the treatment of patients, nonphysician clinical laboratory professionals usually don't have the contextual history to totally and optimally aid the clinician.
It really is in this atmosphere of interacting forces and passions, that the laboratory and its own professional staff must redefine their functions, including who provides what forms of consultation to attending doctors.

Child Custody Types

child_custodyLearn the distinction between legal custody, bodily custody, single custody and joint custody.
Physical Custody
Physical child custody implies that a parent gets the right to have a young child live with her or him. Some says will award joint bodily custody once the child spends quite a lot of period with both parents. Joint physical custody is most effective if parents live near each other fairly, as it lessens the strain on children and enables them to keep up a somewhat regular routine.
Where in fact the child lives with one parent and contains visitation with another primarily, usually the parent with whom the kid mainly lives (known as the "custodial" parent) could have sole or primary physical custody, and another parent (the non-custodial parent) will have the proper to visitation or parenting time along with his or her child.
Legal Custody
Lawful custody of a kid means having the correct and the obligation to create decisions in regards to a child's upbringing. A mother or father with legal custody could make decisions concerning the child's schooling, spiritual upbringing and health care, for example. In lots of states, courts award joint legal custody regularly, which means that both parents do share your choice making.
If you talk about joint lawful custody with another parent and you also exclude her or him from the decision-making procedure, your ex can get you back again to court and have the judge to enforce the custody agreement. You will not get fined or head to jail, but it is going to be embarrassing and trigger more friction between your couple -- which might harm the children. Also, if you are represented by a lawyer, it's certain to be expensive.
If you were to think the conditions between you as well as your child's other mother or father make it impossible to talk about joint legal custody (another parent won't talk to you about important issues or is abusive), it is possible to go to courtroom and have for sole lawful custody. But, in lots of states, joint lawful custody is recommended, so you will need to convince a family group court judge that it's not in the very best interests of one's child.
Sole Custody
One parent might have either sole lawful custody or single physical custody of a kid. Courts usually won't hesitate to award single physical custody to 1 parent if another parent is regarded as unfit -- for instance, due to drug or alcohol dependency or costs of kid abuse or neglect.
However, in most says, courts are leaving awarding sole custody to 1 mother or father and toward enlarging the part both parents play within their children's lives. Even where courts do award sole bodily custody, the parties often nevertheless share joint lawful custody, and the non-custodial mother or father enjoys a generous visitation routine. In these circumstances, the mother and father would make joint choices concerning the child's upbringing, but one mother or father would be deemed the principal physical caretaker, as the other parent could have visitation rights under a parenting schedule or agreement.
It's understandable that there could be animosity in between you as well as your soon-to-be ex-partner. But it's best never to seek single custody unless another parent truly causes immediate injury to the children. Then even, courts may still permit the other mother or father supervised visitation.
Joint Custody
Parents who else don't live together have got joint custody (also known as shared custody) if they talk about the decision-making obligations for, and/or even physical custody and handle of, their kids. Joint custody can be found if the mother and father are divorced, divided, or no more cohabiting, or even should they never together lived. Joint custody could be:
· joint legal custody
· joint physical custody (where in fact the children spend a substantial part of time with each mother or father), or
· joint lawful and physical custody.

Your perfect garden: mulch landscaping

mulchIf you would like great curb appeal, a refined turn to your landscaping, and dollar for dollar increased worth for the home, then you’re likely to like these mulch landscaping suggestions to give a polished contact to your trees, shrubs, and beds. While mulching is essential because of its aesthetic appeal, it is a necessity for the ongoing health of your plantings, as well.
Various kinds of Mulch
Mulch could be either organic, as in the full case of shredded solid wood with compost, or inorganic, while in a variety of decorative stones. While inorganic choices will longer last, there's some maintenance to take into account still. Weed seeds shall blow and discover their method into any surface, so some weeding, either yourself or with Roundup chemically, is necessary. Every couple of years, the top ought to be restored with a lighting layer to pay for the settling and sinking occurring as time passes. Inorganic materials ought to be pass on at a depth of 2 - 4 inches.
Organic best mulch needs to often be replenished more, either each full year, or almost every other year. The organic parts breakdown, which enriches the soil for nutrition. A preexisting mulch bed ought to be top-dressed with 2 - 3 ins of mulch. A fresh bed ought to be established with 4 - 6 inches. Make sure to leave area at the bottom of vegetation, you don’t desire to bury them. In case you are laying Playground Chips for a recreational region, 6 inches may be the recommended depth, since it is to become a cushion for falls.
Form Follows Function
Consider the design that you will be landscaping. A formal design dwelling would reap the benefits of a formal landscape strategy, which may include symmetry. Think about sheared low-developing hedges, such as for example boxwoods, or holly. Include defined designs, such as for example shaped evergreens.  Geometric designs prevail in this design. A  Casual, or Modern, abode would look greatest with informal plantings which are asymmetrical. Pruned junipers or forsythia would achieve a natural look lightly, aiming for a nice variety of texture. Curved edges and walkways will be the norm because of this style.  Some landscape programs can achieve a distinctive combination, with an official approach toward leading yard, then tapering to more natural ranges on the borders, sides, and back of the house. Some home owners adopt a concept, like a Japanese water backyard, or a Rock backyard planted with succulents.

Home Secrets: Natural Cleaning Solutions

clean_houseMost store-purchased cleaners contain chemicals that may cause not eye and pores and skin irritations but even malignancy just, birth and asthma defects. They could be ingested by children and pets accidentally.
Thankfully, nature offers provided us with the necessary ingredients to help keep our houses spic and span without killing ourselves, wildlife or the surroundings. Just use these healthy household cleaning solutions - most which you probably curently have in the kitchen-for an all natural cleaning that's much better for your health insurance and for the air flow, soil, water, vegetation, and creatures around you.
1. Lemon
When life offers you lemons, help to make lemonade-or an ideal non-toxic household cleaner. An all natural bleaching deodorizer and real estate agent that may give your home an excellent fresh scent, natural lemon fruit juice cuts through grease, removes stains, gives hard surfaces a lovely shine and eliminates fungus even. Dilute some lemon fruit juice with water to completely clean staining on trimming boards and destroy germs. Dip a vintage toothbrush in lemon fruit juice to eliminate grout. Then add salt and you have a highly effective cleaner for metallic grills and a polisher for chrome. Soak plastic material meals containers in lemon fruit juice overnight to eliminate smells. Put diluted lemon fruit juice in a spray bottle to help keep your kitchen countertops clear and smelling great. Who requirements toxic chlorine bleach for the laundry when you're able to just add a mug of lemon fruit juice to your load for brilliant colors, whitened whites and a lemony new scent? The set of things that could be cleaned by lemons will be impressive.
2. Olive oil
Not for cooking just, olive oil is an excellent natural cleaner and polisher. Then add salt and you may scrub pans and pots. Rub it into natural leather to obtain scratches out. Then add lemon fruit juice or vinegar and there is a great natural solid wood polisher. The citric acid in lemon juice helps it be ideal for dissolving tarnish. Work with a cotton fabric to buff stainless and brass to avoid streaks and rust and obtain a brilliant shine. Work with a halved lemon dipped in salt to brighten copper cookware. Plus, it can be used by you to lubricate all your kitchen appliances, from blenders and grinders to any cookware with movable parts-or fix a squeaky door even. And before you begin your springtime gardening, spray some essential olive oil on your own garden tools to lessen dust buildup. With all of this value (not forgetting its culinary, health insurance and beauty programs), it's no question that for the historic Minoans, essential olive oil represented wealth.
3. White vinegar
The natural acidity in white vinegar helps it be an excellent natural antifungal and antibacterial. Not only is it a fantastic nontoxic degreaser, it eliminates soap scum. Placed on a white natural cotton glove and dip your fingertips in a 50/50 solution of whitened vinegar and warm water and all of a sudden cleaning Venetian window blinds and piano keys is really a breeze. Dip a natural cotton cloth in a 50/50 solution of whitened vinegar and essential olive oil to eliminate water rings from solid wood tabletops. To completely clean and brighten floor coverings, dip a drive broom in a remedy of just one 1 cup whitened vinegar and 1 gallon of water. Utilize the same treatment for clean brickwork. To eliminate tough odors like tobacco smoke, leave a plate of vinegar in the available room overnight. There are over 100 different ways you may use white vinegar throughout the house.
4. Baking soda
You probably understand that an open box of baking soda in the fridge absorbs odors. But additionally to being an efficient deodorizer wherever you would like to eliminate stinky smells, it is also a highly effective antiviral agent and surfactant that eliminates grease and grime. Utilize it as a scouring powder to completely clean countertops, sinks, tubs, bathing room floors and your outside grill. To unclog drains, pour some baking soda down the drain, and slowly pour in a few whitened vinegar until it foams. Flush with warm water and repeat before drain is clear. To keep floor coverings fresh, sprinkle on some baking vacuum cleaner and soda after 15 minutes. Maintain your combs and hairbrushes clear by soaking them in a few drinking water with a teaspoon of baking soda. And create your tile flooring sparkle with a mop . 5 mug baking soda in a bucket of tepid to warm water. You can find so many makes use of for baking soda throughout the house you'll would like to involve some handy all the time.
5. Club soda
For an effective and safe window cleaner, fill a little spray bottle with club soda and work with a soft cotton fabric (a clean T-shirt can do the trick). If you want to cut through grease, put in a little lemon fruit juice. Being an added bonus, club soda is an useful stain remover and polisher. You may also water your interior and outdoor vegetation with golf club soda once weekly: they love the nutrients in the soda, which assists them grow. To help keep your valuable gems sparkly, soak them in one glass of club soda overnight. Plus, the carbonation in golf club soda makes it a perfect rust remover. For cleansing cast-iron cookware, pour in a few club soda as the pan's nevertheless warm therefore the food contaminants don't stick. With one of these and more surprising home uses, it's obvious that golf club soda isn't only for drinking.
6. Salt
You wouldn't pour salt in a wound, but pour it in white vinegar and there is a powerful cleaner with a deodorizing impact. A remedy of salt and golf club soda will clear and deodorize the within of your fridge. For wines spills on natural cotton or linen, blot out everything you can and pour salt on the stain to suck out the others. Then soak the material in cool water before throwing it in the clean. Mix some salt into lemon juice to eliminate mildew and rust staining. To brighten coloured curtains or washable dietary fiber rugs, clean them in a saltwater solution. Work with a cloth dipped in exactly the same treatment for brighten rugs and carpets and rugs. Use it alone for a smooth but effective scouring real estate agent. With over 14,000 utilizes, salt is just about the world's most flexible mineral.

Home Secrets: Home-made Carpet Cleaning

Carpets keep their elegance if deep cleaned at least one time a year longest. This working job will be one where it will pay to create in the pros, because they have muscle, methods and machinery not available to home carpet cleaners usually.
If your allowance won't stretch to top notch services for a very reasonable rate, you can find do-it-yourself alternatives that produce a good job of home rug cleaning, so long as you carefully work, use the best equipment and observe these cautions:
Know your carpet. Make sure to understand the sort of cleaning method suggested by your carpet's manufacturers.
Adhere to steamers, not shampooers. Once you buy or lease a carpet cleaner, select a carpet steamer. Old "carpet shampoo" units make use of rotary agitators to use detergent solution and could overwet carpets. The hair shampoo film could be difficult to eliminate, causing resoiling.
Vacuum first. Water plus dust equals mud, which is extremely difficult to eliminate. Before cleaning the carpeting, vacuum completely to remove just as much loose dirt as you possibly can.
Choose the right cleaners. Stick to cleaning products designed for home carpet cleaning, and follow package instructions to combine cleaning solutions.
Pretreat. Work with a traffic-lane cleaner or pre-spray to take care of areas of higher soil before cleaning.
Keep it dried out. Over-saturated carpets and rugs aren't cleaner, wetter just. After extracting, create a second dry move over the carpeting to remove just as much dampness as possible. Keep traffic off cleaned carpeting until it really is dry freshly.
Looking after Hard-Surface Floors
Much like carpets, routine cleaning is the greatest way to keep up with the elegance of hard-surface flooring. Regular sweeping, vacuuming or dust-mopping removes abrasive dust and grit from the ground. Establishing a "shoes-off" plan and using entry mats helps prevent road soil from getting into the home and becoming tracked onto floors.
When it's time and energy to clean, thoroughly clean with a light hands. Hard-surface floors look greatest when clear and clean, but detergent make use of or cleaner buildup can make a hazy movie that dulls flooring - and attracts and keeps more dirt. Depend on these cleaning ideas to keep hard-surface flooring looking clean and gorgeous:
Linoleum and vinyl Floors
To look after linoleum and vinyl, sweep, vacuum cleaner, or dust-mop every day to eliminate surface grit. Damp-mop with pure water to remove dust and restore shine. For more heavily soiled flooring, vacuum first, after that wet-mop floors utilizing a very light answer around 1-2 teaspoons liquid dishwashing detergent per gallon of tepid to warm water. Rinse the ground with clean drinking water before drying it with whitened cleaning cloths.
If you can find depressions in the ground, work with a scrubbing pad to loosen any soil in these certain areas as you clean, then wash with fresh pure water.
Hardwood Floors
These floors are vunerable to abrasion, are often dented and may be broken by moisture or incorrect cleansing methods. Remove dirt and surface area soil from hardwoods every day, preferably with a large-headed microfiber dirt mop. Alternately, hardwood floors could be vacuumed but make sure to change the beater pubs off in order to avoid scratching the ground. When required, damp-mop with plain drinking water to get dirt, using a hardly wet mop. Avoid any drips or standing up water; the mop mind or terry mop protect ought to be wrung till nearly dried out before it touches the ground. A solution of whitened vinegar and drinking water will up the cleansing ante, so check it out for stubborn dirt.
Even more intense cleaning will demand a cleaning item formulated for the floor's specific finish. Usually do not use essential oil soap on hardwood flooring; it'll develop a dirt-trapping sticky film also it can hinder recoating or refinishing flooring later on.
Ceramic Tile Floors
Keep ceramic tile flooring looking their finest with daily sweeping or even vacuuming to eliminate surface grit. If using a vacuum cleaner, arranged the beater bar to the off placement to vacuum. Every full week or so, damp-mop with a remedy of 2 tablespoons liquid dishwashing detergent to at least one 1 gallon of tepid to warm water. Use a cleansing toothbrush to scrub stained or unclean grout. Rinse with pure water. Buff the tile with a clear, dry towel to eliminate any water spots. In no way apply wax to ceramic tile flooring; it can be hard to remove, could cause slip-and-fall injuries and could hinder resealing grout.

Home Secrets: Useful Cleaning Methods

To help with making your spring cleaning much less frustrating, here are some tips from the cleaning company serving durham:
·When you do severe cleaning, it is possible to kick up lots of dust by moving things around just. Open the windows to obtain as much oxygen in the homely house as you possibly can.
·Start at the very top and work the right path down. Dirt and dirt have a tendency to settle in lower locations if they are disturbed, so save the carpets and floors for last. Vacuums like the Hoover WindTunnel II upright consist of features like a telescoping wand and extend hose with a complete 20 ft of combined cleaning grab cleaning those hard-to-reach locations at the tops of areas, such as shelves, draperies and ceiling fans. The machine really lifts and traps dust, so that it won't scatter back to the room.
·Nearly eight in 10 grownups who do annual cleansing rely on equipment for cleaning hard-to-reach locations, such as for example under and corners home appliances, or for cleansing curtains or rugs.
·Use vacuum cleaner wands and hoses to completely clean cobwebs, walls, blinds and drapes.
·Clear miniblinds by hanging them in the bath with suction cups, spraying them together with your favorite rinsing and cleaner them clean with a removable showerhead. Vacuum clear between washings with a dust-brush attachment.
·Clean windows with an assortment of 1/2 mug ammonia in a bucket of drinking water.
·Use vacuum pressure cleaner with a brush device to clean dust and lint off baseboards, and follow-up with a wet towel then.
·To look after hard surfaces, like a hardwood flooring and tile, consider a cleaner like the Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub difficult floor cleaner. This 3-in-1 device is made simply for those tough work: vacuuming, cleaning and drying hard-surface floors. A remedy of Hoover FloorMate Floor-to-Floor hard ground cleaner and water is preferred on marble, ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate and sealed hardwood floors along with other surfaces throughout the house.
·To tidy up spills on the carpeting, first dab up just as much of the spill as you possibly can. Next, have a damp, absorbent cloth and lay it on the spill. Finally, location several heavy books on the cloth for approximately 24 hours.
·Steam cleaning carpets and rugs is considered one of the most challenging tasks of heavy cleaning. That's where a machine like the Hoover SpinScrub SteamVac multi-surface cleaner might help, providing professional high quality deep cleansing that keeps your carpeting looking better longer. We advise that you first vacuum cleaner the carpets, and clean the carpeting with the SteamVac and Hoover Deep Cleansing carpeting/upholstery detergent for an ultra deep clean.
·Before performing any wet cleaning, ensure that you possess vacuumed your complete home, including drapes, furniture and walls.

Home Cleaning for Each Season

Winter Cleaning YOUR HOME
Cozy nights simply by the fire, holiday entertaining, snowfall and rock salt all around the homely house -- winter season brings its own group of specific housecleaning challenges. This season is more about organization and preparedness than cleaning actually. Sustain your regular cleaning routine or let cleaning organization to provide you with superior maid services.
Inside, you need to change your furnace filter systems a little more in the wintertime regularly. The furnace often runs more, so - particularly if you've got a fireplace - there's more particles in the air.
Winter is a good time to clean your personal computer also, since you have significantly more downtime. Energy the pc down and unplug it. Remove the trunk panel -- it's simple and generally just a few little screws. You don't have to touch anything. Simply make use of some canned compressed air flow to blow out dirt and pet tresses from the parts. Turn your keyboard ugly right into a trash bin -- you will be surprised at just how many crumbs and points lodge within the keys. Wipe down the table and keys with a damp cloth. You can use compressed air to obtain between the keys also.
In the event that you enjoy decorating for the holiday season, make sure the homely house is clean when you begin. And at the final end of the vacation season, take the extra time and energy to dust and clean down all your decor and ornaments as you put them away. That way, next winter season, you'll focus on a clean slate. Are you experiencing an artificial Xmas tree that's obtaining a bit dingy? Put it in the tub and spray it with the shower gently! Let it dry and it'll be exactly like new completely. Of course, please avoid doing this in case you have a pre-lit tree.
If you reside in an area where you get snowed in often, you might like to come up with a little "survival package." Add a few days' well worth of energy bars, batteries and flashlights, blankets, non-perishable food it doesn't require cooking food or refrigeration, and powdered milk. Remember a can opener, utensils and a gallon of drinking water per person, each day. Don't forget meals for your pets.
Pull your cold-weather equipment out of storage space -- sleds, skis, snow scrapers and shovels. Make certain everything is in operating order and all set. Create your coats, hats, scarves and mittens handy.
Outdoors, there's less cleaning to accomplish; plan the weather instead. Put your snowfall shovels within an easy-to-reach place. Buy salt or some other de-icers so you are not caught unprepared. Search for nontoxic compounds for the security of your as well as your neighbors' pets. Make certain all your vehicles possess ice scrapers and brushes to eliminate snow. Check your wiper antifreeze and fluid levels, and keep your gas tank close to full in order to avoid freezing always.
Deposit waterproof floor mats close to every door leading outdoors to catch melting snowfall and salt. Grab some large baking linens - the type with an elevated edge - and utilize them for shoe and shoe storage. It'll keep dirt and snowfall from spreading and melting inside your home. Look for the baking linens at garage product sales or flea marketplaces for real savings.

Here Comes The Sun...

In case you wondered,
Grizz is getting along quite nicely since last week's neutering.
He seems to have taken the whole thing in his stride.


Each time we arrive at the barn he is there to greet us...
often wrapping himself around our legs, purring.

Yesterday I sat on the barn floor with him and he ended up in my lap.
We had quite a long "loving" session.


What a change in demeanor he's had over the past two months!


When he first arrived here at the barn, 


I wouldn't have thought that in a couple months this would happen...


He is such a love!


It looks as though we have a permanent member of the barn family.


Yesterday began as another grey day.


But, with no precipitation in the forecast,
we turned everyone out into the pastures for the entire morning.


This is one of my favorite activities.
Witnessing the animals' obvious joy in being free to roam makes my heart happy!


[Link to video]

By noontime, the sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky.
Not wanting to miss a chance to enjoy the sunshine,
I worked on cleaning up the garden.


This is the earliest in the year that I have ever been able to work in the garden.
The ground has not yet frozen, so the soil was easy to work.


We cleaned pastures and paid a visit...

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Forty-Five Shades of Grey

Everyone sat, eyes glued to the sky... waiting... hoping,


hoping that the sun would peek out from behind the 
thick, grey, downy blanket of clouds.


It just never happened.


Puffy clouds undulating in colors of steel-grey and grey-blue,
rolled across the sky all day.

Check out Sally's goatee...adorable!
Clouds crowded together, pushing and shoving...
moving along so tightly,
like a crowd of pedestrians on a New York City street...
so that no ray of sun could possibly
squeeze through.


Sun or no,
blue or grey,
rain or snow...
life goes on around here.


Still, it's nice to bask in the warmth of the sun at this time of year.
Yesterday,
there was no basking to be had.


And so we contented ourselves in our somewhat monochromatic world...
slowing down...visiting with friends...
patiently awaiting another day when the clouds once again part
and allow golden light to bathe the earth.


We've had our share of wind storms this winter...
and with them, electricity brown-outs and downed trees in our woods...
all - typical casualties of winter.


Sadly, because the ground has been so wet,
when a tree goes down, it is often up-rooted.

Because this happens so frequently, we have taken great care in removing trees
that could...

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Good Night, Sleep Tight

Just as we greet the rising sun each morning as we tend to chores around the farm,
we re-do those chores, or repeat them in reverse each day as the sun sets.


We live by the rhythm of the sun and the earth.
It requires a great deal of commitment and a willingness to schedule our own
activities around the needs of our animals.
Luckily, we have really great help during those times that we need it.
We have neighbors, friends- really, that are always willing to pinch-hit for us when needed.
For this we are truly grateful!


I often get questioned as to how we get the birds into their respective shelters for the night.


The chickens are very responsible and respect their nightly curfew.


By the time we are ready to close up their houses, as the sun sets,
they are all inside... tucked into their favorite roosting spots.


Getting the chickens to bed is no more complicated than 
simply closing and locking the doors to their sheds.

By this time, usually (although not always),


the turkeys have also found their ways back to their house,
and merely need to be closed inside for the night.
They are quite easy to lead back to their houses on those evenings
when they get a little confused, however.


The guineas always...

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Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary

How often do we experience extraordinary days?
Some would say they are few and far between.
Others live them every day of their lives.

Why the difference?

Are some people luckier than others?


I don't honestly think so.
I truly believe that the key to having an extraordinary day is to
just see it that way.
It's as simple as that.

When I turned 50, I suddenly became completely aware of my own mortality.
Yes, 50 was the magic number for me.
From that day forward, I realized that this life was finite...
that at some point I would reach my own end of days.


This realization can do one of two things...
it can depress you,
or it can energize you into really living each day to its fullest.

If, each day, we open our eyes and live the day as though it could be our last,
we can all have extraordinary ordinary days.
For me, it's a choice to be present in the moment,
to appreciate what is around me,
and to be ever grateful...
for another sunrise,
the song of birds,
the sound of wind in the trees,
 the taste of good food.

Sure, life can be better.... but it can also be worse... much worse.
So, go... have an extraordinary, ordinary day and be grateful,
 and I'll share a little of my ordinary day with you... just to get...

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Monday Meanderings

Yesterday may have been the most glorious February day of my life!


We reached the barn just as the sun rose above the horizon...
and it stayed shining in a lovely blue sky for most of the day.
Temperatures reach mid-60's and it was heavenly.
I could have sworn that Spring had arrived.


During morning chores, we were serenaded by a few bluebirds
that were perched high in the branches of the willow tree.
(So glad that Jack cleaned out their nesting boxes last week...
because I do believe they were calling to some females
and boasting about the real estate.)

We walked the horses up to the upper pasture and they were overjoyed
with the morning... kicking up their heels and leaping into the air.

After morning chores were completed, we stayed outside and worked
on our project list.

Laundry always tops the chore list on Mondays, and it was the perfect day line dry
the white wash.


I had wanted to build a wattle fence around my tiny rosebushes
to keep the guineas and ducks from digging in the soil.
Also, the grape arbor right next to the rosebushes was in need of a good haircut -
which made for the perfect opportunity to tackle both jobs.


Each piece of vine that I trimmed was woven between the upright...

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Indoor Gardening and a Kitchen Tale

We welcomed February this weekend.
And with it came some unseasonably warm weather... 55 degrees today!


I have to tell you, I am getting Spring fever...
so much so that I am looking for any excuse to do garden-like chores.


We drove an hour and a half on Saturday to see Tyler swim in his meet.
He was so happy... taking home a third place ribbon.


On the way, we stopped in a garden center.
I just wanted to walk down the aisles between the tables of houseplants.
I walked and touched and took a deep breath... 
filling my soul with that wonderful vibration that only comes from
green, living things.

Of course a few may have followed me home...


a Stag-horn fern, a Crispy Wave fern, and a large Maidenhair fern...
all of which I re-potted in larger pots for continued growth.
This window in my bathroom is the perfect place for ferns.
It gets no direct sunlight and is in a room that has high humidity.

Last spring, Jack and I took a houseplant propagation course at 
Penn State University.
From this course, we brought home several "cuttings" from some
of their greenhouse specimens.
We placed each cutting in potting soil and watered it routinely.
Our babies have all become mature plants.

A tiny spider plant baby...

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Cloud Bursts and Tiny Squatters

Some mornings, the sunrise is so awe-inspiring
that it stops me dead in my tracks.
At that moment, I fumble for my camera, tucked neatly in my pocket.
Anyone with me at the time must be patient and stand very still.


Snap.
There.  The moment is noted and permanently recorded.
I have so many photos of spectacular sunrises.
That's the beauty of digital photography.
Gone are the days of waiting for the perfect shot and laying it down upon celluloid.
(I still remember my first little Brownie camera... its images long gone, now.)


And, for me, it's a much better world...
to be able to take advantage of each and every photographic possibility and save
all of them for rainy day perusal.


And just like that... off goes that particular photograph to a place called "the cloud".
I can only imagine that the cloud must be the most amazing place
that doesn't really exist.
I picture a puffy white cumulus cloud high in an azure sky...
from the ground it is huge and fluffy... an enormous billowy, nebula filled with tiny images.


If you have the privilege of visiting this realm, then you have the pleasure of seeing
billions, no, maybe trillions, of fantastic photographs from every continent of this
diverse, magnificent...

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Making A Dreary Day Sunny

Yesterday was another in a long line of soggy days.
What do we do when it's dreary outside?


We make our own sunshine!
Join us!


[link to video, if needed]

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The Face of Hope

Hope has many faces, for sure.
This Hope, however, has only one face.
Though with sheep it's hard to tell....I'd like to think it is a happy face.


Yesterday, amidst the muck and mire of a rainy day
(we've had precipitation every day for the past 5 days at least)


the sheep were happy to have room service.


They stayed inside their houses, happily munching as raindrops fell from
dense gray clouds.


It's days like this that are best weathered with a heart full of hope.
Hope is so important to our happiness.
It's what carries us through the dark times.
There is no month in which hope is needed more than February.

Having a heart full of hope not only buoys us through the rough water,
but also helps us to visualize and actualize the distant shoreline... the future.
Hope keeps us on the right path towards that which we desire.

It's during this shortest month, which can feel like the longest,
that my heart is full of hope for sunny days, for dry ground, for warm breezes,
for new growth... for Spring in all her glory.

And from this hope, grows strong optimism, as I am greeted 
by tiny seedlings emerging in the greenhouse.


In the next week or two I will be starting some of my summer flowers,
followed...

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Another Grand Weekend (My Favorite!)

I am sitting at the computer completely voiceless.
I can manage a whisper, but nothing more.
Laryngitis.
I had thought all through last week that I might be able to fight off
some upper respiratory symptoms that were annoying me.
Looks like I lost the battle.


(It snowed a little both Saturday and Sunday mornings... then melted by noon.)


Whispering can come in very handy, however.
I spent the weekend with my grands...


taking Tyler to see The Lion King on Broadway on Saturday,


and then spending the day here on the farm with my kids,
and their kids... Tyler, Mackenzie, and Easton.
We all had farm breakfast together... along with Dr. Becky and her family...
then spent the rest of the day just hanging out on the farm.


As for the whispering -
I have found that the kids really listen to me when I whisper...
almost as if they are afraid they might miss something important!

After breakfast, the big boys were out and about...
adventuring.
On one of their trips back to the house,
Grizz followed along.


We've seen Grizz out and about - patrolling the farm -
but never as far away from the barn as the house.
Amazingly, he followed the boys right back to the barn again.
I guess he just likes hanging with the guys!


We...

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Food For Thought

Food... a vast subject.
Feeding our bodies is the most basic, elemental task that must be done
each and every day of our lives.
Not only is food the substance that nourishes our bodies,
it is also a cultural expression that is deeply connected to emotions and memories.

Growing up in the 50's, 60's and 70's,
we were children during the time that food became highly industrialized.
We were a captive audience to the marketing of the day.
Our food preferences were greatly affected by the commercials we saw on TV.
To this day we can still sing the jingles that were meant to entice
us to buy those products that were "🎶magically delicious."

Our childhoods were filled with foods that were quick and convenient,
and included a list of ingredients that had nothing to do with anything
grown on this earth.
And we slipped further and further away from really having any type of
real relationship with our food or knowing its origins.


Still, today, many people don't have a clue about the origin of what
they put in their mouths or how it finds its way to their plate,
other than the knowledge that it came from a grocery store.

Somehow over a couple of generations,
food evolved from something your family or your...

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Out And About

After a string of soggy days with varying types of precipitation,
yesterday's sunshine was greatly enjoyed.
(It's raining again today.)


Everyone was out in the pastures, slogging across the spongy ground....
leaving deep footprints behind.


It is the soggiest February in our farm history-


and has gotten to the point that we must use the tractor to navigate
the muddy compost pile area.
(after having gotten the gator stuck in the mud!)


The chicken yard is a swamp, so Mr. Elwood takes his girls


and heads for dryer ground.


The donkeys and horses got a little (much needed) time out in the front pasture.
We keep them in the dry (not dry right now!) lot on rainy days- 
otherwise they run and tear up the grass.


The pasture is quite eaten down at this time of year,
so they are given a little hay as a supplement to what they can find to graze upon.
Getting out still gives them an opportunity to get a little extra exercise
and some mental diversion.
They spend about 7 hours out and about...
just being horses.

When they were finished, I ventured out in the pasture with a pull cart
to clean up the manure.


I was elated to find these growing in our little locust grove...


Can you believe it?  It's only the middle of...

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Pardon The Interruption...

We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post for a bit of wintry fun.
We had our littles here on the farm for the day yesterday,
so normal blogging went by the wayside.

After a trip to the grocery store...


We did this:
[Link to video HERE if needed.]


Some days playing is our most important job!
We'll be back tomorrow with another tale from the farm.

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Life On The Frozen Tundra

Perhaps one of the most important ways to make it through 
the wintery days on the farm is to have an occasional day-off from farm chores.
Sleeping in (relatively speaking) and starting the day slowly
truly recharges the batteries.
And so, on occasion, Jack and I give each other a day off from the work.
Because we had guests to tend to on Sunday morning,
he did the chores while I worked on getting farm breakfast ready.


It only seemed fitting that I reciprocate,
so I did the morning chores solo yesterday morning arriving at the barn before the sun.


Even when we do chores alone, we aren't really alone.
Of course I had my sidekick who loves to ride shotgun.

"Is it ok if I sit in your seat?"
I spread hay in the snowy front pasture and turned the horses and donkeys out
there for the morning.


Of course, not loving snow, or wind, or rain, or any deviation from 
a perfectly hot, sunny day, the donkeys retreated to the barn.
Being the softy that I am, I gave them some hay to eat in the barn stall.
An hour later it was clear that they had no intention of venturing out into the pasture,
so I put a little more hay in their house.

Cats fed, pigs fed, manure cleaned up, ducks and guineas tended to...
we (the...

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Annual Farm Retreat

Happy Monday!!


If you've visited for some time, you might remember
that every summer we make a weekend trek to our friends' home
at the Chesapeake Bay.
Then, every January we have a winter retreat here at the farm
with the same friends.

Each winter, they,


and their (newly) married son and daughter-in-law,


and us, 


and Tim and Amanda get together for a weekend of fun here at the farm.


Everyone arrived Friday evening and we had a meal of homemade vegetable soup
and ham/cheese-filled pretzel rolls (think logs)
and then sat around the dining room table playing games.

Saturday we had planned a day of hiking in a beautiful State park
followed by a late afternoon meal at our favorite brewery.
But, the weather had different plans.


With snow falling and icing on the roads, we decided to stay here at the farm


and hike in our own woods.


As far as the dogs were concerned, this was the much better option,


as they were able to participate in the whole day.


We hiked through our woods, up hill and down, covering several miles
of snowy terrain.

Apparently, we were not the only ones who got an adequate amount of exercise!


Afterwards, we settled back home in front of the fire.


This change of plans meant that I needed to...

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Heading Into A Snowy Weekend (Maybe)

I was so happy to hear that you enjoyed my Foggy Morn video yesterday.
I do enjoy creating videos and hope to do more in the future.
And yes, those horses kick up their heels and run like that almost every time
they go out to pasture.
Pure joy!

It's been a week of crazy weather extremes,
and a week that is predicted to end in snow.

Bring it on, Winter... we're ready!


Jack gave me the morning off yesterday.
I stayed inside and cooked and baked while he tended to our animal friends.
We have friends coming to spend the weekend on the farm and I wanted to 
get all of the food prepared and make some desserts.

As winter winds howled (and I mean they really howled!),
I baked a blueberry buckle and a brambleberry pie...


as well as a quiche.
And just in case you wondered... my pie crusts are all-butter crusts.


Baking was somewhat of a workout this time,
because I had to keep running to our basement refrigerator to get
all of the necessary ingredients.
Yes, our kitchen refrigerator died this week... a compressor issue...
found when I was searching the freezer for frozen cranberries,
only to find that everything had thawed.

Luckily, most all of our frozen food is stored in a downstairs freezer,
so the only...

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