Monday, December 28, 2009

My Apologies

for not keeping up with this blog better. It has become increasingly difficult for me to find the time. Erinn is just not feeling well enough to even get her own snacks most of the time anymore. She is having a very hard time with food lately. The nausea is BAD. It's worse when she is hungry, and then it's worse when she eats. So many things she used to be able to eat are now "unthinkable", so it's really hard to find nourishing meals and snacks that she can handle. Breakfast is the hardest time of day. Mum and Dad recently blessed us with some Jules Gluten Free Flour and that has been a big help in the mornings. We're trying to make it last, so we dont use it every day, but when we make muffins, or something, with that flour, Erinn can usually eat it with no problems. Pancakes were one thing that she usually loves, but couldnt handle.

Tana and Dalton came for a visit after Thanksgiving and we had a wonderful time!

Friday, December 04, 2009


We have seven baby rabbits, born Monday from two different rabbits. One doe had 5 babies and they all lived. The other one had 4 babies and 2 died. So, I am keeping ALL the babies in one nest to be sure they are warm enough. Each mother feeds all the babies twice a day, with no complaining about which baby belongs to who...

Sunday, November 22, 2009


This is our two female rabbits enjoying some fresh grass this morning. Mooky made nest boxes for them this afternoon, so we got them moved into separate cages. He did a great job!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mooky and Erinn in Hico
Mooky and Erinn with Billy the Kid

Kris' Birthday

We moved the ducks to the garden and they are LOVING it. They've started laying more eggs. We were getting one a day, and now we often get two a day. In this picture, you can see Mooky working on repairing an old rabbit cage. He added a base to it so that it is up off the ground as well. He did a really good job!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hey, guess what Everyone?!?!?!?!?

"THERE IS NO LYME DISEASE IN TEXAS!!!" - a quote from a doctor in Fredericksburg to me, today.


*******falling off my chair laughing my head off********

And he "knows" this because his wife was recently seen by the "Top Infectious Disease doc in San Antonio who KNOWS everything about Lyme" and this "guru" (his words, not mine!) told him that there is no lyme disease in Texas. So, it must be true. (You couldn't hear the sarcasm in that last sentence, could you?)

The reason we went to this doctor was to get a referral to an I.D. doctor so that the insurance will pay for it. Ridiculous. So, now I am wondering if there is even any point in following through with the referral?
Oh my, this will need MUCH PRAYER.
Erinn is sick. Very.
We have been praying and praying and strongly feel that we can't just sit back and do nothing. Well, we'll pray some more and see where we should go from here.

I'm not one to disagree openly with a doctor or anyone else who thinks they know everything. I typically keep my opinion, or knowledge, to myself. But, today when that doctor told me there is no lyme in Texas, he must have seen some expression or something because he said, "I'm not blowing you off!"
...pause... (silence on my part)
... "Really, I'm not blowing you off."
...long pause... and I said "Yeah, I can see that."
And he held up Erinn's positive Lyme test and said "I dont have any way of knowing what type of outfit this lab may be, these test results are most likely not accurate. But, I'm not blowing you off."
Then he was silent a moment, and I calmly said, "That seems fairly obvious to me."
Then he tells me about this website where he can look up medical stuff that he "pays $700 a year for" that tells him there is no Lyme in Texas. Too bad he's paying so much for faulty information!
I'm not too surprised at his attitude, just kind of concerned that the "specialist" will have the same attitude. You think I could give them a call and ask "Is there any Lyme in Texas?"

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Jack of All Trades

Customer says to Kris: Thanks for looking at my fridge and my old '78 truck while you were out here installing the dryer for me. I could have called the Maytag Man out here but I doubt he would have been able to figure out what was wrong with the truck, and besides that, he would have thought I was really crazy for even asking!

Mooky and Kris are back out at that same house today working on a tractor and putting a new fuel filter in that old truck. It's nice that Kris can fix so many things! This week we have several things to work on, but it's still slow going. Hopefully over time, business will pick up.

Jack of all trades, master of none.

Sayings and terms resembling 'jack of all trades' appear in almost all languages. Whether they are meant positively or negatively varies, and is dependent on the context.

Cantonese: 周身刀,無張利. ("Surrounded by knives, none are sharp") :o)

Brazilian Portuguese: Pau para toda obra ("Wood for every construction"). Commonly used, but with a positive connotation, describing someone who is able and willing to serve many tasks with enough competence.

Russian: Мастер на все руки ("The one who is highly skilled (or just talented) in many areas"). Used only as a term of praise.

Spain: Un océano de conocimiento de una pulgada de profundidad ("An ocean of knowledge of an inch deep"). ha! This one is funny.

Obviously, I think that only the first part of the saying (Jack of All Trades) is appropriate in Kris' case. But, I got a laugh out of some of the above sayings in various languages.

What do we do all day?

In between all the following medications we try to get some school work and house work done...
Thankfully, the outside work load is pretty light right now with no goats in milk and no garden work.

6 Tetracycline
7 Cat's Claw, Artemisinin, Metronidazole, Nystatin
9:30 Probiotics
12 Cat's Claw, Artemisinin, Tetracycline, Nystatin
3 Metronidazole
6 Cat's Claw, Artemisinin, Tetracycline, Nystatin
8:30 Probiotics
11 Tetracycline, Metronidazole

Except for the probiotics, Erinn has to eat something with her meds every time or she'll throw up. Even if it's just a 1/4 cup of something. Thankfully Mooky doesnt have that problem. So, when I wake them up at 11pm and 6am, he can just swallow the pill(s) and go back to sleep. But, Erinn has to drink a little juice and eat something, so she loses more sleep than Mooky does.
They both go to bed around 8pm and wake up at 7am totally exhausted.

Another problem is that they can't have any dairy 2 hours before or 2 hours after the tetracycline. That makes it even harder!!!

The above schedule is just for 10 days (until Nov 11) and then we get to stop the antibiotics until Dec 1. Whew.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy Birthday Mooky!

Christopher Brooks just turned 17.

In public he prefers to be called Chris, rather than Mooky.
When he is not feeling bad, he is quite the jokester of the family. We all enjoy the funny stuff he comes up with.
When he is feeling bad, he pushes himself hard to get his work done anyway.
He is a huge help to me around the house and although he no longer likes to cook very often, he is quite capable of following any recipe.
He doesn't like math, but he is very good at it! Very.
Best of all, Mooky loves the Lord and desires to please Him. He really enjoys going to church and I know that the Lord has great plans for Mooky's life.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

3rd month of antibiotics

"This is the toughest cycle." -- Dr. Braun.

Starting at 6 am and ending at 11 pm, there are 7 times per day that the kids have to take either Tetracycline or Metronidazole. With the Tetracycline they cant have any dairy 2 hours before or after.... *sigh*
I dont know how we'll manage, but hopefully we can figure something out. Erinn can not take meds on an empty stomach.
BOTH kids are having a LOT of stomach problems right now due to a BIG MISTAKE that I made on Mooky's birthday. I'd like to blame Blue Bell for changing the ingredients in an ice cream flavor that use to be safe, but honestly it was MY fault for not double checking the ingredients.
Mooky was bound to have stomach troubles anyway due to eating sugar, but with the addition of gluten it is 10 times worse. He has only had sugar about 2 or 3 times a month since August. And sometimes not even that often. We have seen a big improvement in several areas when he is sugar free!
He had a great 17th birthday and I will try to get the pictures up soon!

We were given 7 rabbits and 4 cages from a neighbor who moved. She had planned to butcher 3 of them (4 months old) but ran out of time. So, I butchered the 3 within a couple days of getting them and was amazed at how easy and quick it is compared to butchering a chicken! Honestly, I did not kill them myself as they are awful cute and fluffy. Mooky did one, and then went in due to being sick, so Kris came out and did the other two for me. I am sure I could do it myself eventually. It got a lot easier with chickens the more I did it.
We gave one rabbit to Halcy who in return is going to share a recipe with us. RIGHT, Halc? Dont forget!! :o)
I cooked the other 2 this evening and they were delicious! I cooked them in the crock pot with some chicken broth and spices and made a gravy that we ate over rice. I was very proud of the kids that they didnt bat an eyelash. Just willingly tasted it and thought it was great. I know that I shouldnt expect any less of them but sometimes they do surprise me!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dreamer likes Zoe.

I've been keeping a close watch on Zoe because she has NO FEAR of Dreamer and I dont want her to get stepped on! However, I have noticed that Dreamer is very careful of her and stands still when Zoe gets close.

"Are you thirsty, Dreamer?"

Zoe walked over to see the goats, and look who's following her.
(You can just see black legs in the background.)

Then Zoe walked over to say Hi to Liberty!

And look who showed up...

Liberty ran off because she isn't really find of Dreamer.
Then Zoe gave her the attention she was looking for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A few weeks ago I met Gabe in Lampasas to send some goats home with him.
This is Gabe and Daniel putting together a goat pen in the back his truck.

Here are a couple pictures from today.
Zoe helped me make cheese crackers! GF, of course.

Here's the recipe:
Homemade Cheese Crackers

2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
6 T. butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
1 c. rice flour
1/8 – 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
3-5 T. or so of cold water - just enough to make it hold together.
Salt, for garnish, optional
Roll into a log, then cut into wafers. If you want them thinner than that have your little helper press them down with a floury lid, or some such. :o)
Bake at 350* until they are done to your satisfaction. I think it took about 20 minutes. They were very crunchy!

This is one of our two ducklings that I hatched out in the incubator.
I had NO idea that ducklings were such a hassle to raise!
They are in the box with the chicks because I dont want to run two heat lamps.
They have this strange (to me) but normal obsession with water!
I have to change the newspapers in their box at least 3 times a day.
I started out with wood shavings, but that didnt work at all, so had to switch to the newspaper.
We had to borrow a tractor to get this behemoth of a mower unloaded from our trailer.
The owners are just convinced that there "isn't much wrong with it". Yikes.

While the tractor was here, Kris cleaned out the middle section of the barn.
There wasn't room for it to get to the 2 side sections so we'll be cleaning those out the old fashioned way.

Mr. P's Catfish Pond

October 24 was a red letter day!
Erinn felt pretty bad most of the day, but in the evening she was able to ride Dreamer.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New (to me) Recipes to try this week

1 64-ounce bottle apple cider
2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
10 whole allspice
5 whole cloves
1 2 1/2” cinnamon stick
1 lemon, thinly sliced

Zesty Soup
1 qt. corn
1 qt. cooked pinto beans
1 qt. chicken broth
1 qt. tomatoes
1 qt. chopped, cooked chicken
chopped green chili peppers
Combine; Heat; Top with shredded cheese, Serve with chips.

White Chili
1 lb great northern beans, dry
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb bulk sausage
1 qt. broth or stock (homemade or additive free)
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
salt to taste

Unfortunately, I didnt save the links to where I got these recipes. Sorry!

I finally made a 14 day menu plan! I havent done that in so long and have really been missing how easy it makes grocery shopping and meal planning.

Tomorrow is Validation Day. We have to take Erinn's goats to the show barn in Harper and get their 4-H ear tags. (Mooky is showing chickens, not goats this year.) Recently I have been a VERY MEAN MOTHER. I have been making Erinn go for a 10 minute walk in the sunshine every day. Ten minutes can be torture when you feel as bad as she does. But, she has been using that time to teach her two wethers (Rocky and Lazer) to lead. Sometimes when she doesnt feel quite as bad she stays outside longer. And sometimes she loses track of time and stays out for 20 minutes! And no, I do not point out to her when her 10 minutes is up. :o)

Today I needed to get Dreamer up from the back pasture so I asked her if she'd drive me down there on the 4 wheeler. (heh heh, devious plan) When we got there she put Dreamers halter on and decided to ride her back to the house. (Yippee!!! it's the first time she has ridden in weeks. Months maybe?)

Then when we got back to the barn we tried to teach the two hard headed wethers how to get up on the exercise ramp that Kris made for them. I'll have to post a picture of it - it's really a neat idea! So, Erinn was outside for about half an hour today!

We did not go to church today because both kids seem to have a virus or something that is making them feel much more miserable than usual and I dont want to spread it around if it is a virus.

Dahl Sheep at the Cabin

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Last week we spent some time out at the cabin getting the feeders
and stands ready for deer season.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

I've been reading Ship Full of Pirates about the Feingold Diet and how beneficial it can be to kids who are "hyper", like I was as a kid, and like Mooky was. Mooky did benefit GREATLY from the Feingold Diet when he was a kid. He would have been even better off if I had known at that time that he was sensitive to gluten as well. This diet has been around a long time, because I was on it as a kid and that was about one hundred years ago, at least. :o)
I saw a link to Taylor's Fuzzy Brained Mice, and thought that was a really good illustration of how food dyes can affect people as well as animals.

Family Practice?

This is at Dr. Braun's office. Tana was doing schoolwork rather than getting an IV.
Erinn was getting her IV on the other side of the room.
Kiwi, Dad, Mum, and Montana

Erinn and Dr. Braun
The IV was terribly painful for Erinn, so it was a long 3 hours.

On our way home we picked up Zoe.
Here she is enjoying her smoothie.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

PJ and the goats, eating in the barn.
Teresa's goat Picasso is the one in the middle.
I am teaching him to lead without spazzing out, and it's quite the adventure.
I work with him twice a day before feeding time. We're at the point where he still runs from me, but when I get him cornered and grab his collar he doesnt freak anymore. He seems resigned to having to take a walk before he can eat. He's a gorgeous boy - cant wait to see what colors of kids we get from Ailei, Sparrow, and Vanilla.

I planted 5 pumpkin seeds and they produced WAY too many pumpkins.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All my captions disappeared.

We got ducks so that Erinn can eat eggs again. 2 females and 2 males. They were free, so although we really didnt want 2 males we took them. We've gotten two eggs so far!

All my captions disappeared.... so I'm trying again.
Erinn made it to church yesterday! She did fairly well. Had some dreadful leg pains that I couldnt do anything about because I hadnt brought any essential oils with me. But, other than that she was glad she came because Branded was there. Beautiful music!

We had visitors on Saturday! This is Johanna and Elise.

Gabe's new truck

Hannah wanted to go home with Gabe but Kris wouldnt let her.

Elise rode Dreamer who wasnt too happy about it, as you can see by her body language.
She has been enjoying her extended vacation while Erinn has been sick!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Last night we got Erinn's church clothes all ready, and this morning I fixed her hair up nice and then she just collapsed. "If 10 is dead, then I'm a 9". I made her stay home from church because she wouldn't be able to sit up that long, although she was quite willing to try.
I've been putting peppermint essential oil mixed with coconut oil on her legs when they hurt SO bad and it's been helping! Yesterday I did it about 3 times in different places and we teased her that she should just go take a bath in essential oils so the pain wouldn't keep moving to new places.
Mooky is back to his old self, meaning not 100% but maybe 75%. He's sure not complaining at all, and is getting his school work and chores done every day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


The kids had a much better day yesterday!
Erinn was back to her "normal sick" even though her left ankle still hurt pretty badly off and on.
Mooky is back on the full dose of antibiotics and is handling it fine now.
I was able to get all those chickens canned up and that took most of the day.
We have gotten a lot of rain over the last several days - it's wonderful! The garden is growing right before my eyes. :o)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Day 5, Month 1

And double ugh.
Today was the first day on the Samento and it was AWFUL. Erinn felt worse during the morning and laid on the couch looking pale and feverish with a headache. But, what was worse was Mooky's reaction. MAJOR depression attack. Well, that means it's doing some good, if we can just survive it. I'm backing down from 3 drops to 2 and see if they can handle that a little better, and we'll move up slower.
I had penned up 5 obnoxious roosters last night to butcher this morning, and then after breakfast the kids fell to pieces. So, after milking the goats I picked up the pieces as best I could and quickly butchered the roosters and threw them in the ice chest. Tomorrow I will can them and make broth to can as well.
It rained a little bit today - YIPPEE!!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Day 4, Month 1

James sleeping on a hot hot day.
He's getting old- 13 years!
Whew! Each day has been pretty hard on Mooky, and is getting worse rather than better. He seems to have a VERY sensitive stomach and just cant handle the antibiotics. Today Doc told me to cut him down to a half dose on both antibiotics. However, he seems fine in the evening, so I think he can handle a full dose at night. Tomorrow morning he will just get a half and hopefully that will help him a lot. He gets huge stabbing stomach pains and diarrhea and is very miserable.

It hasnt affected Erinn like that at all though. She has trouble getting all the pills down throughout the day, but doesnt seem to be feeling any worse OR any better. Well, her legs have been very tired and hurting, and that's a new problem.

Tomorrow they start the CCE (Samento) drops, so that oughta be interesting.

Friday, September 04, 2009

God is Good!

Well, to treat both kids for Lyme Disease is going to cost $425 or so for just the first month for prescriptions, plus the 4 kinds of probiotics I have to get at the health food store. Mum and Dad bought the herbal stuff from Doc that we needed, so that was a big help and a big blessing!

There is NO WAY that the insurance will pay for this.

So, we're sitting around talking about it and trying to figure out how we'll swing it this month, when suddenly I remembered that I had been saving money to buy a miniature milk cow. LOL

Aha! There's the money we need to cover this month's meds - thank you LORD!!!

So, I'm off to Fredericksburg in the morning to get the meds... the kids have already started the Artemisinin and the minerals.

I'm Back from town. UPDATE! It didnt cost $425 after all because I asked the pharmacist if they could match anyone's lower price and they said yes! So, I ended up paying $290 instead. YIPPEE! Then I headed to the health food store for probiotics. They were having a store wide 20% off sale. That was a savings of $12 more.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Lyme Disease

After being sick and running a fever every day for almost six months, and seeing many many doctors, Erinn has finally been diagnosed with Lyme Disease. We got her test results yesterday, September 1.

Mooky had a positive lyme test a couple years ago, and at that time he was too sick with stomach problems to be able to handle the treatment. So, now he and Erinn both will be treated for Lyme at the same time. Mooky's knees have been hurting him very badly for a long time now. He has various other joint pains too, but his knees hurt constantly. Hopefully they will both recover soon!

I almost finished up with the pears today. I picked through them and used up all the ripe ones.

Here's what I made:

8 pints of cherry vanilla (pear) jam - you can barely taste the pear flavor. This will be good with plain yogurt!
2 pints of cherry vanilla pear sauce
8 pints of pear sauce
10 pints of raspberry pear sauce
& 2 trays of dried pears. If we like these, I will make more.

This is my "canning grill" on the deck.

These jars, plus 5 more in the kitchen, are the ones I did today.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A pic from Erinn's birthday.

Mooky and Kris are working at the fort in Mason this week, and I am peeling pears. My finger tips are stained brown from all the pears. I am determined not to waste a single pear, so I need to get them all peeled and cut up before they get over-ripe.

For some reason the crazy Maran hens picked August as a good month to go broody. I guess they dont know they were supposed to do that in the spring!! So, last night after dark I moved two of them to a "nursery pen" and so far they've hatched out one chick each. The other two broody hens are in the barn and they will have to be moved before their eggs hatch as well. Oh yeah, there's a broody banty in the loft and she will DEFINTELY have to be moved soon. I dont have a date for her eggs to hatch, so I better do it soon.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Erinn's gone East

Erinn has gone to E.T. with Mum and Dad again. This time Zoe and Katie went along as well, and Kiwi brought Tana up to stay with them in Lindale, so they have lots of entertainment. :o)

The antibiotic that Erinn has been on for the last 10 days did not seem to help her feel any better at all. She is still running a fever daily. Hopefully it did do some good though. Today she had an anti-viral IV at Doc's, and tomorrow she will get that again, plus a Vitamin C IV.

The Food Allergy Test showed that she is allergic to eggs, pinto beans, and navy beans.

The Lyme Test has not come back yet.

Thanks to everyone for praying for her!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pear Topping - mmmmmmmmm, good!

We were blessed with pears. LOTS and lots of pears!

The first thing I made started out to be pear butter, but I adapted a couple recipes and came up with Pear Topping. Hopefully we will like it on pancakes in place of syrup.
This is the recipe I used, but I put vanilla in instead of nutmeg. Mooky ate some over pears. LOL

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cousins Reunion

What do these two photos of the Cousins have in common?