Living a balanced green lifestyle

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Quiet on the Chicken Front

There comes a time when you need to give your land a rest and let the land lie fallow.

We all need rest, which is why God gave us the fall and winter seasons. It’s a time for nature to recover from her productive seasons; a time for hens to stop laying eggs, molt their feathers, and stand around like huddled balls conserving energy.

So it was finally time for my family to relinquish the one thing we delighted in for the past 11 years: our backyard flocks of chickens. It was an easy choice; and then, again, it wasn’t. Easy because we didn’t get eggs in the fall and winter, and keeping chickens, from a production standpoint, wasn’t lucrative through those cold, dreary, wet months. Not easy because we miss the pastoral scenery that our chickens painted across our backyard horizon, lending lovely spots of animated color as they scratched and moved about.


The space adjacent to their coop had been trampled and stripped over the last few years. Even though we allowed our hens and roosters to have free run outside that space, the space adjacent to their coop was where we kept them when we couldn’t watch over them from predators. Over the years, the chickens decimated the greenery there to the point where in the winter, it was an unpleasant task to go up there and feed them early in the cold mornings: squish, splat, splot. Our feet would maneuver treacherously around the uneven, slippery, muddy ground. The only surviving vegetation was the blackberry that no one bothered to clip back and the stinging nettle that opportunely began taking over when the grasses were eaten away.

Ah, I’d talked to my family about the day that we would take a break from chickens. We would take a break after our pet hen died, I said. And after our beautiful pet Buff Orpington of 9-1/2 years died this summer, I kept true to my word. We gave up our chickens.

It’s awfully quiet back there in the chicken pasture this fall. Too quiet. We’ll have to get chickens again soon. But not until the land has had a chance to rest and recover. As Ecclesiastes says, there is a season for everything. When we let our land, our bodies, and everything else rest, we’ll be glad we did.


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Rolling your own oats for oatmeal

I used to use my grain roller a lot, and then one day I forgot about it.


I recently rediscovered it in my pantry, pulled it out, and rolled some oat groats. Now I remember why I used to roll my own oats — because there’s nothing quite like your own rolled oats.




It is extremely easy to use. Just get some oat groats. (I use organic.)




Put some in the hopper.




Turn the handle. The oat groats are processed (or flattened) between two metal rollers. The rolled oats drop down to the bottom bin, and there are your rolled oats.




I like to soak my oats overnight. Soaking oats cuts the cooking time way down.

  • Soak 1 cup of rolled oats in a small pot with 1 cup of water. I use a little bit of whey if I have some. The whey helps break down the oats so it’s easier for your digestive system to digest the oats.
  • In the morning, add 1 more cup of water and blend with a fork.
  • Place the pot on the stove top and cook at medium to medium-low heat, stirring regularly so the oats don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Your oatmeal will be ready in about 5 minutes.

Rolling your own oats is so easy, and your oatmeal won’t be rancid from having sat in a box for who knows how long. I like to add butter, honey, and coconut flakes to my oatmeal. It is a filling breakfast for you and your kids.


The grain roller is very easy to operate. You can put little kids to work cranking the handle and making their own rolled oats.


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Extra Simple Stain Removal — so simple you won’t believe it

I ran across this picture earlier this year.

It went in one eye and out the other. Then I ran across it again more recently, and it grabbed my attention this time.


That pink cloth you see in the right-hand photo is a Norwex Enviro cloth. That’s what this person used to take those nasty brown stains out of the car seat. I’m sorry, but I don’t know what the stains were from, but they look pretty bad. As bad as the stains were, all it took was a water-dampened Norwex Enviro cloth to remove those big brown stains — and some elbow grease, of course.

That’s it. That was not a typo. That’s it.

My Sister’s Story

My sister bought a Norwex basic package (which consists of an Enviro cloth and a window/polishing cloth) from me and a couple of other cloths when I first started selling Norwex. She had no clue what she was buying. But I had talked them up to her because they are so amazing.  (Yes, they DO do windows and the kitchen sink!) She didn’t get to see a demo or even the cloth itself because she lives 2,000 miles away from me. She bought the cloths because, in her words, she trusted me.

So what did she do with her cloths? Nothing.

It wasn’t until I saw her five months later that I made her pull them out. She could not even find them, so I insisted that she look for them before I left town because I was going to help her break them in. She finally found the cloths buried in a pile in the corner of her bedroom, still in the original package that I mailed them in.

Just that morning, I had cleaned her husband’s tan leather upholstery in his car with my Enviro cloth that I had brought along. I cleaned his leather seat because I wanted to show her how well the cloth cleans leather just with water. She was beginning to understand the power of the Enviro cloth, but it didn’t really hit her until she, with no coaxing from me, did something with her own cloth.

Soon after I flew back home, she took her Enviro cloth to her office. There had been a large carpet stain in her office that nobody could get out, no matter what they used. She decided she would try to remove the stain with her Enviro cloth — and water, of course. To everyone’s amazement — including hers — the stain came out. And she was sold. And the folks at her office were sold.

All it takes is the Enviro cloth and water, and you will amaze yourself.

Here are other articles I wrote about the amazing things the Norwex cloths can do.

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Green Eggs and Ham

Actually, this post has nothing to do with green eggs and ham. I thought I’d throw you for a loop today.

So why did I give it that title? My blog is about living a balanced green lifestyle. So that explains the word green.

I just responded to a thread on a topic totally unrelated to my blog (it was about staffing companies), and my egg avatar popped up alongside my reply. It looked kind of weird. Putting words to my avatar, here’s what I saw:

  A white dish with a deep red-orange ball sitting on the right edge of a large yellow circle.

“What would someone think when they see that photo?” I thought to myself.

It might raise an eyebrow.

My Avatar Explained

It is a picture of an egg that I had brined in a salt solution for about 30 days. The egg was one of my hen’s eggs. Our hens were always free-ranged on pasture, so they got their full supply of grasses, carotenes, and such. So their egg yolks were usually a nice, deep color. When the egg is brined, the egg yolk comes out as a solid ball.

The egg white, as you can see, is no longer white, but a rich yellow color. And that’s the large yellow circle you see.

The image was so lovely that I had to take a picture of it and text it to my sister, who had given me the recipe.


Now for the “ham” part of today’s title. When someone says “green eggs,” you automatically attach “and ham” to it. Everyone knows that.

Thanks, Dr. Seuss, for burning those words permanently in our minds.

Brined Egg Recipe

Well, first, what does one do with a brined egg? Second, I was going to share the recipe here, but I think it’s saved on my other computer.

We’ll continue this conversation another time when I find the recipe. In the meantime, please take my word for it. A brined egg yolk has such a sensory texture to it — nothing at all like how it is when you cook it the usual way. It brings me back years ago to when I was a kid and got to enjoy one of these egg yolks hidden in the Chinese sticky rice dumplings wrapped in giant bamboo leaves.

You may not know what I’m talking about, so here’s a YouTube video of someone making sticky rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.

In conclusion, as my family sometimes accuses me of getting plumb off the subject, let’s try to wrap this up. If you have never experienced a brined egg, I hope some day you will. That’s what you see in my avatar. It’s both lovely to look at and to eat.

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Good Health Shouldn’t Be Complicated

I don’t know where to start so I’ll try to make it simple — the way it should be.

The Western world has turned health into such a complicated, complex, convoluted, money-making monstrosity. And there are LOTS of people making lots of money on it. Some folks’s conversations center around their doctor visits, naturopath visits, herbalist’s recommendations, and so on.

As for me, I don’t pay much attention to any of that because, for one thing, if I tried to follow health-related anything (natural, holistic, or conventional/traditional), I would not get anything else done. Don’t get me wrong, I did go through a phase for a while, so I’ve been there too. But I am at the right place now — a place that is not a phase, but is a permanent mindset, lifestyle, and way of believing.

(Mis)Information Overload

From how many times and how long you should wash your hands, to why you need to get a flu shot, to what foods complement each other and why you should/should not eat them together. . . wow, it is information overload. Some of it may be valid while others not. But I think a lot of it is unnecessary and contributes to confusion and a cluttered filing system in one’s mind.

It’s just too much.

If I had to figure out what foods complement each other so I wouldn’t eat stuff out of order or out of sync, or I had to make sure I got the right number of calories from just the right foods, or I had to eat for my body type, my head would spin. Quite frankly, how many body types did God make anyway? One: human.

Man, you can invent all kinds of markets for gullible people.

You see, God did not make it complicated

He was not trying to confuse us — to make us eat foods in a certain combination according to a certain schedule. It’s humans who have made it complicated. The God of the Bible really is a good God who made it simple to have a healthy life.

Here’s what to do.

  • If God made it for food, eat it. So that excludes poisonous things.
  • Don’t put chemicals on it — directly applied, such as pesticides or herbicides; and indirectly applied, such as chemical color fed to fish to give them a pink flesh.
  • Don’t eat it if its genetic makeup has been messed with. It is now an imposter and not the food God gave us for good health. It could wreak all kinds of havoc on a body, such as allergies. Does the word “peanut” ring any bells?
  • Eat only real foods and eat them in moderation. Don’t be a glutton. This will also help keep your weight in check. It’s the simplest diet plan in the world, and you drive this diet plan with something called discipline. Strike the following words out of your vocabulary: I can’t help myself. Yes, you can. But this diet plan is not popular because nobody’s making money off you.
  • Eat different kinds of stuff (meat, vegetables, fruit, grains, dairy), some cooked, some raw, maybe even some fermented.

After I got over my fanatical research phase in my earlier green years, the above is pretty much what I’ve been following. I am healthy and height-weight proportionate. I don’t have a doctor. (“You don’t have a doctor?!!!” people ask me in shock and fear and with three exclamation marks in their voice.) I don’t have any pharmaceuticals in the house — not even Tylenol or aspirin. “Well, what if . . . ” they ask, wanting to engage me in a conversation centered around fear.

I do not live my life under the “what if” umbrella of fear. I just live, trusting my God, who does not give me a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

What About Allergies and Health Issues?

I am not saying those don’t exist and that some folks have to take special measures, including going to a doctor. But I believe that once they begin to understand what’s going on and make better choices, they can live a normal, healthy life.

I have heard too many miracle stories — and I know that God is a God who heals — to buy into the belief that one cannot be freed from health issues.

To sum it up, when you put your faith in and trust God — the God of the Bible — He will give you wisdom and understanding. It might be baby steps at first, and He may put someone in your life to help you along.

But the first step toward good health is to know that it really is not complicated (refer back to the list above) and that when you ask God for wisdom, He will show you. God keeps His word. He is more trustworthy than any human you will ever meet.

In James 1: 5 – 6, it says,

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraideth not [does not criticize you]; and it shall be given him.But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

If you would like help moving in that direction of faith, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.