Little Kitten

Late one night in August, as we were just heading to bed, Girl2 realized that she had accidentally left her cat outside, unattended.

She (in a panic) and I grabbed flashlights and flew out the door. We quickly located him as he wasn’t very far from the house. But he was just on the other side of the fence on the west side portion of our property. Sweetly calling and coaxing him, we figured he would run right back to us. But alas! He had other ideas. He ran back under the fence, onto our property, but instead of coming to us, he decided to go northeast into a huge pile of tumbleweeds! At that same moment, we heard the tiniest mewing coming from south of us near the end of the driveway. Feeling frustrated with her cat, Girl2 went to investigate the crying. In the meantime, I went toward the tumbleweeds, determined to hang a cat by his tail, I mean, to rescue the poor darling!

By this time, Mr. SBF had joined me with another flashlight and was approaching the tumbleweed pile from another direction. Just as I caught sight of her cat, Girl2 deposited a tiny, dirty, orange ball of fluff into my arms, said, “hold this” and went storming off after her cat. As she approached the tumbleweed pile, her darling darted back into the stickery mess.

Annoyed with her cat, Mr. SBF came over to see what I was holding and upon inspection, exclaimed, “Not another effing cat!” and walked away. I took that as my cue and went back inside with a little purring bundle of fluff.

I dug out an old animal crate, found an old towel, set out some food and water and made the little guy comfortable. As he was settling in Mr. SBF came inside, scoffed and got ready for bed. Girl2 remained outside on the steps, crying because her cat didn’t want to come in and she was terrified to leave him out because coyotes run across our property almost every night. Confident that he wouldn’t stay out there all night, I got convinced her to come inside and to get ready for bed. After making sure the little guy was comfortable and tucking our little dog into bed, I went outside and began calling Hunter Kitty to come inside. I guess midnight is his curfew because he came running and very gladly bounded into the safety of the house.

The next morning, the little orange kitten was ecstatic to see us. He and our little dog, Andy, became instant friends.

Already feeling somewhat attached to the little guy, I set about contacting the neighbors to see if any of them were missing a kitten. It turns out that he belonged to a family who lived a couple of miles away from us. It also turns out that he was one of six kittens that were born in June and they would gladly let us keep him if we so wished to. I knew what was in my heart to do, but I also knew that Mr. SBF was going to be the one who would decide his fate. What I didn’t know was that while I was tracking down who had lost him, the little guy had crawled up onto Mr. SBF’s lap and was fast asleep.

I don’t know how Simon ended up two miles from his original home but I’m sure glad he ended up in our driveway and purred his way into our hearts. He’s mischevious but he’s adorable, and he’s ours!

To get to know Simon better, follow our Instagram page. He makes regular appearances there!

Some of Our Favorite Essential Oils

Essential oils are concentrated oils that naturally occur in plants which are extracted via steam and/or water distillation, expression or cold-pressing, or by maceration distillation. Different methods are used on different plants but the results are the same; aromatic, beneficial oils that can be used in a variety of ways.

There is some controversy about the use and benefits of essential oils but as with anything else, do your own research and make the decision that is best for you and your family. Personally, we love using essential oils. We use them around the house, on our bodies and as a form of dietary supplementation as well.

Lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, bergamot, and frankincense all contain compounds which help with relaxation. That’s why I use a blend of these oils on my pillow and bed sheets. Mr. SBF has seasonal allergy flare-ups so he prefers eucalyptus oil sprinkled onto his pillow. Eucalyptus helps with congestion and inflammation, so a few drops of eucalyptus oil on his pillow help his nasal passages to remain clear while he sleeps.

Sweet orange oil helps to boost the lymphatic and immune systems and helps to calm nerves. One of my favorite uses for this oil is to add it to my diffuser while I yoga. The aroma is simply wonderful. I also like to use a ginger and cinnamon oil combination in my diffuser simply because I love the smell! But ginger oil is wonderful for an upset stomach and cinnamon oil is great for brushing teeth and for cleaning.

Lemon oil is great for cleaning as well and sometimes I will add a drop or two to my lemon scones to give them an extra boost of lemon flavor!

And my “life-saving” favorite is peppermint. Peppermint oil helps to calm nerves, soothes sore muscles, clears the mind and contains antimicrobial properties. But I use it mainly when something I eat doesn’t agree with me. A drop or two of peppermint oil under my tongue does the trick in a matter of minutes. It truly feels like a ‘life-saver” when I’m in pain!

Always exercise caution when using essential oils as they are highly concentrated. When used on the skin, it is recommended that most oils be used in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. And if you are going to ingest an essential oil, do so in moderation and add it to something that it can adhere to, such as something oily or “fatty”. Buy quality, therapeutic grade oils and research them before you use them. But don’t be afraid of them! There are countless things on the market that are labeled as “food” which will harm you far worse than essential oils will.

If you’re skeptical about essential oils, I would encourage you to give one a try. Choose one that has benefits to a mental or health issue you might be having. Begin by simply removing the cap and inhaling the aroma a few times per day. Aromatherapy is a wonderful thing. Once you get comfortable with that, do some research into the other ways you can use that oil for the issue you are experiencing. Implement the uses for that oil for a month and take note of how it is helping. Once you realize the benefits of one oil, you will grow in confidence for using others.

Don’t rush. Be wise. Take good care! And please visit us again soon!

 

***Disclaimer: Information shared here is the express opinion and personal experience of the author who is neither a doctor or healthcare professional.

For the Love of Food

I am a Foodie by birth. Both of my grandmothers were Foodies and my momma was a Foodie, so really, I didn’t have a choice but to be one too!

My fraternal grandma had nine children so I think that she became a Foodie out of necessity. When I was small, three of her children still lived at home and I remember her always being in the kitchen. She would get up early in the morning to make breakfast for my grandfather (which usually involved homemade flour tortillas) and to prepare and pack his lunch for the day. Then when the children (teens by this time) would get up, she would make breakfast for them. After they would go to school, grandma would do some cleaning and various other chores, watch a “novella” or two, then by late afternoon she would be back in the kitchen preparing dinner. By the time the dishes were washed and put away and everyone had eaten their dessert (usually a bowl of ice cream) it would be “late” at night.

Even as I got older, grandma was always in the kitchen. Everyone knew that if you were going to her house for a visit, you had better make sure you were hungry. And even if you weren’t, you’d better be prepared to eat anyway! I can’t recall ever going to her house and not eating while I was there.

My maternal grandma, I believe, was a Foodie by choice. She simply loved food and loved cooking. After their children were grown, my grandparents opened a restaurant in northern California. I’m not sure how long they had the restaurant (it was before I was born) but I remember hearing stories about it. And when Gram spoke about it, she did so with fondness. “It was hard work,” she would say. “But we met some good people along the way.”

 

After my grandfather passed away, Gram began working in a school cafeteria. She eventually became the head “lunch lady” and worked directly with the school nutritionist to create delicious, healthy meals. When I was thirteen I was able to go to work with her during the Summer School program and help out in the kitchen. I was amazed at how much food they had to prepare! And even more amazing was the fact that they made almost everything from scratch. That same summer Gram was asked to cook for a church family camp that was taking place at one of the local lakes. She took me along to help. I learned a lot that summer and I treasure the time I spent with her.

Even after retirement, Gram continued her kitchen activities. Every year for Christmas she would bake dozens upon dozens of various kinds of cookies and goodies. Then she would divide them into tins and containers she had collected throughout the year and every household in her family (along with many of her friends) would receive a container full of her delicious creations. To this day, at Christmas time, my (adult) children still ask me to make Great-Grams Molasses Crinkles! (I will share the recipe in another post).

Just before she passed away, Gram gave me her recipe cards. Every so often I take them out and look through them just to feel the nearness of her spirit.

 

As for my momma, well, she was a Foodie for Love’s sake. Meaning, she cooked because she loved to and because everything she prepared was done so with love. I think that my being a Foodie stems mostly from the comfort of the love that she so generously poured into everything she did.

My passion for cooking encompasses all three of these wonderful women. I have cooked out of necessity, I have owned my own cafe, baking is my favorite, nutrition plays an important role in my cooking (sometimes) and I put a heaping amount of love into everything I do.

I am proud to be a Foodie.

Be sure to subscribe to our website for upcoming recipe posts!

 

 

 

Never too Young to Fiesta!

Our twin grandsons turned three this past weekend. How did this happen so quickly? It seems like just yesterday that we were traveling to Southern California for their Mommy and Dada’s baby shower! The fact that they’re now (very) active three-year-olds almost seems crazy!

For their party, our daughter-in-love purchased mini donkey pinatas and colorful maracas which paired perfectly with the darling terracotta pot sombreros that my crafting goddess sister-in-love made. Dang, Auntie SagebrushFarm is clever!

The Fiesta theme was perfect! The boys love a party (especially a party with chips!) and it was a great way to introduce them to our Hispanic heritage.

There was a bounce house, and for the children, it was the star of the party.

But for us, the Taco Truck and Nacho Bar hit the spot!

A good time was had by all and I am so thankful that we have been blessed to have been able to make the trip to California to celebrate the twins birthday every year thus far.

Time flies when you’re getting older and we have learned to treasure every moment with our littles. It wasn’t so very long ago that our own children were toddlers running around the house, ready to Fiesta!

For more fun with the children, follow us on our social media pages!

Weight, Struggle and Love

I find women’s clothing sizing methods to be extremely bizarre. You go from Girl’s sizes to Junior’s sizes, to Women’s sizes and on to Plus sizes. Girl’s sizes are identified by even numbers, Junior’s by odd numbers, and for Women’s and Plus sizes, it’s back to even numbers. Seriously? Who came up with this?

All my life I have struggled with my weight. I am five feet two inches tall with German bones. And when you’re only 5’2″, a few pounds up or down on the scale makes a big difference in your appearance.

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of my body and when you’re self-aware from a very young age, it has an effect on your self-image. For me, my physical body-image has almost always been negative.

In junior high school, I was in the double digit sizes for Junior’s clothing (size 11 or 13) and for someone who’s 5’2″, this is chubby. I was painfully aware of my weight while going through puberty which did a number on my self-esteem. By the time I entered high school, I was sure that no boy would ever be interested in me and that I would never get married (which was extremely tragic to me because what I  wanted most was to get married and have children).

The summer between eighth and ninth grade was kind to me and somehow I managed to lose some weight. When I went new clothes shopping for my Freshman year, to my surprise, I was a size nine! I was ecstatic and my self-esteem was boosted significantly. I concentrated on my studies and tried not to concern myself with boys. In the middle of my Sophomore year, I got a part-time job as a file clerk in an office. I was quiet, kept mostly to myself and most of my co-workers thought that I was in college. I didn’t tell them otherwise.

When I started my Senior year of high school I was a size five. Imagine my elation. Even a fair number of schoolmates noticed…and commented. But the boys still avoided me. I remember talking to my mom about this. She chuckled a bit and said, “Honey, the boys avoid you because they are afraid of you!” What the heck? I thought she was crazy.  She then explained to me that my self-perception was askew and that I was so used to seeing myself as “chubby” that I couldn’t see myself for what I was. And according to her, I was petite, thin and full of sex appeal.  She said that this coupled with the fact that I was a serious-minded girl made high school boys “turn tail and run”. What?! Now it was my turn to laugh.

The funny thing is, she was right. On graduation day a boy I had a crush on during Freshman year walked up to me, gave me a hug and said, “I wish I had asked you out but I was always afraid of you.” Oh my goodness, I thought I was going to fall over! Instead, I laughed and told him that it was okay because there was a guy that I worked with who wasn’t afraid of me.

I was still working for the company I had gotten a job with during Sophomore year and by Senior year I had come out of my shell a little bit and had gotten to know a few people. One in particular. He was some years older but took a genuine interest in me. Some may think that’s creepy but that man and I got married.

After I gave birth to our first daughter (Girl1), my mom took me shopping for my birthday. I needed some new clothes because not many of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit. Before I got pregnant I was still a size five but four months after I had my daughter, I was a size two, the smallest I had ever been. And can you believe that I still complained about my thighs?

It’s been a long time since I’ve fit into a size two and I have spent my whole life learning to be confident in and with my body. I still fail in this area at times but I try not to obsess over my clothing size and concentrate more on choosing things that flatter my body. And perhaps more importantly, I am confident in who I am.

My sweetheart has seen me at my best and at my worst, has loved me through thick and thin, through three pregnancies and encourages me when my skewed self-perception gets the better of me.  It’s been thirty years and he is clearly still physically attracted to me and tells me on a regular basis that I am beautiful. He is my biggest fan and my longest admirer. He is mine. And really, what more could a girl ask for?

If you want to hear more about our story, subscribe to our website and leave us a comment!

Camp Guests

Mr. SBF and I did some camping this past summer for the first time in years. Our first trip was to Silver Lake in June Lake, California. When we arrived at the campground our camp host informed us that a coyote had recently given birth to a litter of pups on our site and she wasn’t sure if they were still around or not. She also informed us that deer had been seen around the campground and gave us the usual bear warnings and instructions on how to properly make our camp “bear-proof”.

After cautiously poking around for a little while, we deduced that the coyotes were no longer on our site and began to set up camp. When we were nearly finished, a young buck (male deer) nonchalantly walked across our site over to a Juniper tree and began rustling around. To our surprise, a doe (female deer) got up from under the Juniper and moved to the other side (the side closest to us). We were a bit startled at first because we hadn’t even realized that the doe had been there while we were setting up camp! After a moment of studying us, the buck decided that we were alright and made himself comfortable under the Juniper as well. They stayed there until dusk, then quietly went on their way.

The following morning, they returned with a friend. The two young bucks and doe must have known we were good people because they decided to peruse our campsite even more. I was getting ready to make breakfast and I suppose they were curious about what I was going to serve because they made their way right up to the bear box where our ice chest was. After a peek at what I was setting about to do and then they sauntered away. Later, they returned to the shade of the Juniper tree and spent several hours with us. Then once again, left at dusk.

Meeting those deer was the perfect “welcome back to camping” greeting for us and we’re so glad we decided to get back to it. We had a wonderful time.

Here’s a little video for you to enjoy! And don’t forget to check back regularly for more of our camping adventures!

Sagebrush Dreams

We’ve got dreams. We’ve got plans. We’ve got a long way to go. But we will get there.

Our little spot of earth in the northern Nevada desert is mostly sagebrush with dreams of becoming mostly farm. Ten acres of land is a lot for two people but with hard work and determination, we will get there. Each day is another day closer to realizing The Dream.

I follow farms and homesteads on social media who inspire me to go after The Dream, to roll with the punches, to not give up and to press on. Honestly, most days we don’t accomplish much around here but each day with my Sweetheart is a blessing. Instead of dwelling on how far we have to go, I savor each day that we have together.

Dream big! Never let go. Don’t worry about what life throws at you. Each day brings you one step closer to your dream, even if it seems like you’re going backward! This past summer we didn’t even spend much time working on anything. Instead, we did some traveling. Just the two of us. It was strange. But we got over it and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.

One day we will build a beautiful chicken coop with a large run, a beautiful herb garden and have plenty of hens to keep us supplied with eggs.

One day we will have a barn, a dairy cow, goats and will raise some livestock for meat.

One day we will have a greenhouse, an abundant vegetable garden, a fruit orchard and a tractor.

One day we will have a wrap around porch.

One day Sagebrush Farm will shine.

But for now, we press on. One day at a time. And each day we are thankful for being one-day closer to where The Dream and Life intersect.

To see our progress, follow us on social media!