Locations

You can find Grama Sue's Rainbow Eggs at:

The Hy Vee on Agency in Burlington, IA


Markets:

Wednesday - Friday 9am to 1pm at the farm 1/2 mi east of the Nauvoo-Colusa Jr. High then 3/4 mile North on 1050.

Wednesday 3-7 pm at the Painted Corners on HWY 96 in Lomax, IL

Saturday:

7 - 11 am Keokuk Farmer's Market at the mall





Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Resurrection Day!

HE IS RISEN! 



Do you know why eggs are such an important part of Easter and Passover? It's because eggs represent both the tomb and new life. The hard shell reminds us of the cave that Yeshua (Jesus) was buried in. It looks like a cold, hard, lifeless rock. You just wouldn't expect life to come from it. But at this time of year in Israel, new little chickens are hatching out of them all over the place! God brought Yeshua out of the tomb after 3 days and in the process, made new life available to us as well! The tomb. What an unlikely place for life to spring from!

He paid the price for our sin and overcame the death that rules human kind. We have been redeemed! Hallejulah!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue








Saturday, March 30, 2013

6 Days of Creation

Took a couple of weeks off from my 6 Days of Creation posts cause I was on the road, but I'm back now so here's some of what I've been blessed to create this week!

Sunday: Noodles
Monday: Home made crock pot yogurt
Tuesday: Banana chocolate yogurt- mix mashed bananas, yogurt cocoa powder and your favorite natural sweetener! Yum!
Wednesday: Started telling the Easter story to my grandkids. I love to dramatize my stories so the kids will  get it :) They really jump when you grab one of them and pretend to cut their ear off!
Thursday: Made some hoop covers for my raised beds. Hopefully I made them well enough that they won't blow away!
Friday: Started work on a "That Says" game for my grandkids. They know the basic sounds so we are working on more complicated sounds like ch and ck. It's a fun card game that the kids are involved in creating. Just one of the many activities I'll be sharing in the book I am writing, "Almost Unschooling Grama"

That was my week!

What did you create?

God Bless You All!


~Grama Sue

Yes! It is still on the market! I sold mine a few years ago thinking I wouldn't be teaching anymore. The kids loved this game. The grandkids I am teaching are still to young for this, but I'll have to put this on my wish list. Fantastic game!



Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Favorites


Political parties are like churches. You will never agree with everything, but when it comes to politics, I'm libertarian. I believe government ought to be involved in national defense, police and emergency services, judicial services, and roads. The Libertarian party is the party that best expresses my views at the moment.


I do not agree with their stance on abortion. Abortion is the taking of a human life and ought to be prohibited by any government that professes that it's people have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I do agree with them that government ought to be kept out of marriage. Marriage is a personal contract and should not be subject to a government stamp of approval any more than one's religion ought to be subject to government approval. That is not to say that I believe in gay marriage. I do not. But then I don't believe in Scientology either. For the government to officially recognize Scientology or the Baptist Church or any other religion as an acceptable religion and make membership in any such organization legally binding is wrong. Same thing with marriage. It is a matter of personal morals and choice. If I had my druthers, adultery and sex outside of heterosexual marriage would be illegal too, but if we aren't, as a nation, going to hold to Biblical standards when it comes to sexual morals, well, we need to be consistent.

That being said, my Friday Favorite this week is The Libertarian Party. Check them out.


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Chickens Starting to Lay!

This is the second egg we've had from the new chicks we bought last fall! This is a really big egg for a new layer! Hope the rest get busy soon! We have them all shut up in their hen house right now. We will keep them shut up until they start to lay pretty well. Then we will let them out on pasture just to make sure they know where to lay their eggs. 



Hopefully we'll be able to get back to supplying some of our stores pretty  quick. I doubt that we will be able to supply all of them right away. The old chickens in our other shed will need to be replaced before we will be able to get back into full production. We are hoping to be able to order some new chicks early in May.


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue




Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Beautiful Patchwork Green House

Writer's block  today so I thought I'd share a beautiful greenhouse that I ran across. I long to do this type of thing, but lack the skill. I could probably learn, but I'd need someone to teach me basic construction and Grampa Tom knows just enough about construction to make us a dangerous duo!

A Patchwork Greenhouse

Enjoy!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Crock Pot Yogurt

I used to make my own yogurt all the time. My gas oven has a pilot light and for years it was just the right temp to make yogurt inside. All I had to do was heat up the milk, bring it down to 110 degrees, stir in a little of my old batch, stick it in the oven and voila! Yummy yogurt in the morning. Then a few years ago for some reason the inside temp fell by a couple of degrees and all I could get out of it was sour milk.

Anyway, I've been reading lately about making yogurt in a crock pot, so I decided to try it. First I heated up my milk to 165 degrees. Then I took the top off and stirred it until the temp came down to 110. I got tired of stirring so I cheated and threw in a few ice cubes. Then I folded in some yogurt that I bought from the store,  put the lid back on, took the actual crock part out  of the crock pot and wrapped it in towels. Then I stuck the whole thing in the oven.

I used to put a sign on the oven saying YOGURT INSIDE!!!!! but since I rarely use the oven to cook for just Grampa Tom and I and had no plans to use it the next day, I lived dangerously and skipped the sign.

The next morning I had wonderful yogurt. I decided I wanted to make it into Greek yogurt so I  lined a colander with a flour towel and set it in a big pan so I could drain off the whey. I set this in my refrigerator until the next morning. It made the most awesome, almost cheese like Greek yogurt!


I also had 2 quarts of whey. Not sure what I will use it for. I'm thinking I will try using some of it as a base for a meat marinade. I understand it is pretty good plant food too. If I was still making bread, I'd use it as the liquid, but I've sworn off bread for a while. You can dry the stuff, but I don't want to spend all that money cooking it down so I'm going to just freeze it until I want to use it. 


I decided to try my hand at frozen yogurt. I've been seeing some sites about how to make ice cream without an ice cream freezer. Basically you put your ingredients in a bowl and use a mixer to mix in a bunch of air, then put it in a deep freeze to freeze it quickly. I used my Greek yogurt, an egg, some blueberries and a little bit of stevia. Don't know how it will turn out, but I thought it would be fun.


The grandkids ought to be here tomorrow afternoon. I'll use them as guinea pigs and let you know!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue






Monday, March 25, 2013

Noodle Tower


Made a mountain of noodles last night.  I have theory that most games have their roots in skills that are needed on the farm. I'm pretty sure Jenga is based on balancing trays of noodles and then unstacking them without toppling the whole thing :) It's a delicate skill!

Usually at this time of the year, I make noodles once a week or so to stock up for the markets, but this year we have been so short on eggs that I haven't been able to. While we were gone, I got a call from a sweet lady in Burlington. She wanted 5 bags, so I told her I'd make her some when I got back. This tower made just over 6 bags. YES! I've got one bag to take to the markets, that is unless someone decides they need it before then.




God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue



Sunday, March 24, 2013

What's In a Name Bible

Have you checked out my Bible translation project ? I'm translating the names in the Bible from the Hebrew and Greek into English and putting them into the text.

Finding some really interesting things! This week's gem is in Exodus 15. The Egyptians caught up with the Israelites at a place called "Where Sedge Grows" Sedge is a family of grass like plants. Papyrus (the basis of Egyptian paper) is in this family. It seems prophetic. The story of the crossing of the Red Sea has been published worldwide for centuries!

Check it out for yourself! 

To start at Genesis 1 go to: 

http://whatsinanamebible.blogspot.com/2010/07/genesis-1.html

to keep reading, scroll past the comments and click on "Newer Post" at the bottom left hand of the scratch that :) a comment and then click on the "Newer Post" link! I'm just kidding, but seriously, if you see something neat that you'd like to share, please do so!

Someday, I hope I can figure out how to put the entire book of Genesis in an e-book format. I'd like to offer it that way and in hard copy format. Someday!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue



Saturday, March 23, 2013

Salad Garden Sprouting

Looky! Looky! The salad garden I planted in January is starting to sprout! Of course, when I opened it just a little to take a peek, I got all excited and ran for a camera. By the time I got back, a silly chicken had found that itty, bitty little opening and was munching on it! Grrrrr....



Then this morning I woke up with a cool idea. Why not combine a keyhole garden with a rocket fired mass stove? If you covered it with a hoop type dome during the winter, you could grow food all winter!

Now to convince Grampa Tom ...


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Favorites

Grampa Tom is a cable new addict. Drives me a little nuts sometimes - all that bad news - fortunately there are some news organizations out there dedicated to spreading good news. Breaking Christian News is one of those! While it's not 100% good news all the time, the vast majority of the stories they cover are good news that will bring a smile to your face. Check them out!

http://www.breakingchristiannews.com/index.php


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Passive Solar Mobile Home Plans

Have you checked out my floor plan blog lately? I have a couple of new plans posted. Some friends of ours have taken an old trailer, gutted it, added another room and come up with a lovely inexpensive home. So, I've been playing with the dimensions of my mobile home and have come up with some ideas to remodel it and add on to it.  I've got one more for a 72 x 16 trailer coming up. I really like this idea so I might have to work on some for other sizes of trailers :)

Check them out!
http://gramasuesfloorplans.blogspot.com/2013/03/red-neck-heaven.html

http://gramasuesfloorplans.blogspot.com/2013/03/trailer-gold.html


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Herb Garden Update

Ugh! 19 degrees last night, 15 degrees tonight - I may have wasted a whole bunch of seeds! It needs to warm up some!


My little plants aren't getting enough light!



They are getting really leggy where I have them. I so need a heated greenhouse!





But my holy basil in the south facing window is doing great :) 

Oh well, that's farming. You win some, you loose some.

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue




Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Our customers are the Best!

Today we got a call from a man who was trying to find us so he could buy some eggs. He was from clear over by Macomb.  He and his wife have bought our eggs at the Macomb Hy-Vee for a long time, but we haven't had enough eggs to supply that store this winter.  His wife has been having some severe health struggles and says that nothing tastes right. He came all this way just to buy her some of our eggs. He even took our picture. What a sweetheart!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

If you can't get our eggs, flowers might do :)




Monday, March 18, 2013

Holy Basil

Holy Basil is one of those herbs that really interests me, but I've never used. In India it is one of those "good for just about everything herbs". Here's just some of the list: Stress reliever, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, liver support, radiation protection, anti-aging, good for asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, skin problems like eczema ... 


I threw a bunch of seeds in this pot a month or so ago. They seem to be doing OK under the sun lamp. I'm hoping they will separate and transplant well. I am going to keep some in this pot just in case they don't make it. 

If you are interested in this herb, I plan to bring as much of it as I can to the markets this year!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue







Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Truth About Eggs

A question we are asked quite frequently is, "Are eggs really bad when they go past the date on the package?" The short answer is "Probably not." Read on for the long answer.


Chickens normally lay an egg about every other day. They will sit on 6-12 eggs at a time for 21 days to hatch them. If a hen were to sit on the eggs from the day they are laid until they hatch it would take 10 to 14 days to hatch them all out and the older chicks would starve to death before momma could get off the nest long enough for the babies to get food. So God designed eggs to last a long, long time. He also put a special coating on them to keep them fresh. Hens will lay in the same spot for several days until they've got enough eggs to make it worthwhile for them to sit on them.

Because of this, if you don't wash eggs, you can actually keep them at room temperature for at least 10 days and they will still be good. 

In this country, we are overly concerned about sanitation so eggs are washed and then put in refrigerators.  Even then, if properly stored, they can last up to 6 months in "A" quality condition.  

Chickens don't lay consistently. During the spring, they might lay one egg every day, but during heat waves and during colder winter months, they might lay an egg every 3-7 days. Many will quit laying altogether for that time period. 

Big egg companies take advantage of the longevity of egg quality by stock piling eggs when they are plentiful and then selling them on a first laid, first out basis. The typical egg found in the supermarket store is one to five months old when it gets on the store shelf. 

To find out if an egg is good enough to sell, egg producers "candle" the eggs. When you shine a bright light through an egg, you can "see" what's inside it. Try this yourself. Take an egg and a flash light to a dark room. Put the flash light right up to the egg. The egg shell will appear translucent. In this way you can see if an egg has cracks in it and check it for freshness. The Colorado Department of  Agriculture has a good picture of how to "grade" for freshness. It's about half way down the page. Click here to see it. Most of the time you can see if it has blood spots or other abnormalities as well. 

The day the eggs are packed into the carton, the eggs are candled. The "sell by" date is 30 days from then, not 30 days from the day that the egg was laid. It may be up to 6 months old. If it is in "A" quality condition, it should be good for at least 30 days if it is kept refrigerated between 33 and 45 degrees. If the egg had been laid recently when you buy it from the store, it might actually still be good 5 or 6 months from then.

If your eggs are past their sell by date, you can easily tell if they are good or not by putting them in a bowl of cold water. A good egg will sink to the bottom, an old egg will float on the top. One that sinks, but not all the way to the bottom will probably still be usable for baking, but use your common sense. If it smells when you crack it open, or it looks funny, throw it out. Better safe than sorry!

We don't have the refrigeration necessary to hold eggs for long periods of time, so our eggs are usually less than a week old when we candle them. We have held them for longer on occasion, but a month has been the maximum. This is the reason you can't always find them in the stores. We run out when the hens aren't laying as much.  

Hope this helps!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue




Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lemon Grass

I'm out on the road today. Haven't done much creative this week. Just sitting in the pick up truck enjoying God's creation! Thought I'd show you my lemon grass. I use this stuff in my tea all the time. It's a tropical type plant so I have to dig it up and bring it in every year. That's OK though, it grows better indoors than my lemon balm. I use it for tea all winter long.


Lemon grass is used a lot in Asian cooking. Like most herbs, it has all kinds of health benefits. It is loaded with anti-oxidants so it's good for colds and chronic diseases that involve inflammation. A while back, the big news channels were reporting that in Israel, it is used in cancer treatments. Apparently people who drink lots of lemon grass tea along with the conventional treatments like chemo and radiation experience greater tumor reductions than those who use the conventional treatments alone. 

I have several little pots started from seed too. I have a hard time selling the cut grass, but maybe people would be interested in the plants. We'll see.

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

Today's favorite is The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund. Here's their description of themselves:


Defending the rights and broadening the freedoms of family farms, artisan producers and food buying clubs to protect and expand consumer access to raw milk and nutrient-dense foods.
Mission
The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is a 501 (c) (4) non-profit organization made up of farmers and consumers joining together and pooling resources to:

Protect the constitutional right of the nation’s family farms to provide processed and unprocessed farm foods directly to consumers through any legal means.

Protect the constitutional right of consumers to obtain unprocessed and processed farm foods directly from family farms.

Protect the nation’s family farms from harassment by federal, state, and local government interference with food production and on-farm food processing. 

This is a cause worth supporting! Check them out!





God Bless You All!



~Grama Sue




Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bringing Home Fresh Citrus

We are bringing home as much fresh citrus as we can carry from the trees in my parent's neighborhood in California. These are some of the trees we picked from this morning. 


Ruby Red Grapefruit


White Grapefruit


Tangelos


 Meyer Lemons - these are a hybrid of lemon and orange. Yummy!

I've also got a whole big brown paper bag full of rosemary. We're headed home! Should be there Sunday or Monday! Depends on how many little tourist traps we get lured into!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Aloe

Aloe! Aloe! Aloe! My plants are going crazy! These mommas are so prolific!


I've got several little ones already in cups to sell, but there are so many more.


Last fall, I went to a lot of yard sales looking for interesting containers to put them in. I found a bunch of blue and green antique canning jars. Pretty soon, I'll get them out, pull a bunch of the babies that are in the pots and put them in my antique canning jars. I don't have the room to spread them out yet.


Every home needs an aloe plant somewhere near the kitchen. If you get a burn, just pull a leaf off the bottom of the plant, slit it open and rub it on the burn. It really helps!

At the markets, a lot of people tell me they can't keep an aloe alive. They are a little finicky. I've found that if I water just a little bit every few days they do fine. Don't really soak them and let them get just a little bit dry before you water them again, but don't leave them for long periods of time without water. 


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue





Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rosemary

This is one of the rosemary plants I have growing in my house this winter. It is getting rather rough looking like all my sun loving herbs do at this time of the year. Yes that is straw you are seeing in the foreground. Last summer when it was so hot and dry, I put some straw around it so it wouldn't dry out so fast. It was so tangled in there that I just left it when I brought it in. When I re-pot it this spring. The wide green leaves are from the lemon grass that is sitting beside it.


This plant actually comes from a start from my mom's rosemary hedge. I didn't know that rosemary could grow into a hedge until she moved to her current house in the southern California. Since I happen to be here as I write this, here's a picture!


This is my other rosemary. I got the start of this plant from Farm and Home a few years ago. It was planted in the ground outside last summer. I dug up a little bit of it last fall and brought it in. It has some really nice long branches on it. When I plant the it in the ground I won't separate them right away. I will spread them out as much as possible and bury them under some dirt with just a few leaves above the ground. After a few weeks, each  of them will grow enough roots that I can separate them into lots of different plants


Rosemary is a wonderful smelling herb that is great with meats. I put a little in the crock pot with my roasts and chicken. It's smell has been proven to improve memory and cognitive function too! I need that! Check out the study at the International Journal of Neroscience.


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue






Monday, March 11, 2013

Got the Herb Garden Started!

This year I plan to put in lots of herbs around here. I also want to have lots of herbs to take to the market this spring. There's still snow on the ground, but I thought I'd better get some started. Hopefully in a couple of weeks when these are up and going good, it will be warm enough outside that I can set these in one of the raised beds and cover them with plastic. Then I'll start another batch. I don't have a whole lot of flowers in this batch, but next time I'll concentrate on them a little more. I'm thinking I'll probably do this most of the summer.  




So what do I have here?
Lemon Grass            Marjoram               Cumin
Thyme                      Catnip                    Asparagus
Lemon Balm             Chives                    Spearmint
Fennel                      Oregano                 Sage
Cocks Comb           Yarrow                   Parsley
Basil                         Rosemary

If you want to adopt any of these babies or if you have a special request, let me know!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue






Sunday, March 10, 2013

Off to Cali-forn-i-a!

We're off to Cali-for-ni-a! No, we didn't hit black gold. My folks live out there. They are downsizing and my dad want's to give my construction loving kid his tool collection. My kid lives on the east coast, so the kin folk elected us to go get them and bring them to Nauvoo until he comes to visit again :) It will be fun. Mom and Dad are moving back to Iowa, so who knows when we will have another chance to get to Borrego Springs!

We are hoping to score some citrus for the markets while we are out there. Mom doesn't sound to hopeful about that though. She says the drought took a heavy toll on the citrus trees out there. Wonder if mom's gigantic rosemary hedge will need to be trimmed? That would be cool. Rosemary is one thing that goes pretty fast at the markets.  




In the mean time, this is one of my strays (heart child), Shanda and her daughter. Shanda has called me Mom forever and her daughter is my granddaughter. Shanda will be manning the farm while we are gone. She and her husband will be house sitting for us and taking care of the critters. No, Shanda isn't sick. She is supporting someone she loves who has to keep their hair shaved for medical reasons. At least that's her excuse. I think she just likes her hair short ;)

If you need eggs, give me a call. I'll call Shanda and have her get them together for you!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue






Saturday, March 9, 2013

6 Days of Creation

God created man in His image. Every one of us is creative. I used to think I wasn't very creative because I couldn't draw or sing, but that is just plain wrong. The way I  read it, God spent 6 days creating and then spent the 7th reviewing all that He had made. . So, on Saturday's I post some of the things that I created the previous week.

Here goes:


Sunday – I helped create a very successful 60th anniversary party for my favorite mother and father in-law! Lots of good people and lots of fun!

Monday - We have some friends who bought an old trailer and gutted it. The result is a beautiful home that didn't cost to much. We have had our mobile home for 15 years now and it is needing some work. I took some time to dream about moving it to a hillside location and remodeling it. I'll be posting them soon on my Floor Plan Play Land blog.

Tuesday – My store room tends to become a piled up mess very quickly. I needed some room to start plants in there so I spent a good deal of time creating a path through the mess. Who says I can't do miracles?

Wednesday – I worked on lots of blog posts. We are headed to California so I wanted to get ahead a bit.

Thursday – Planted maybe a thousand little herb seeds. That works out to maybe 250 actual plants once they come up. I put 3 -5 seeds in each little cup. When they come up, I'll pick the strongest and thin the rest.

Friday – More blog posts. Next week I'll be on the road a lot. Don't know what I can create sitting in a pick up truck. I may have to skip the 6 Days of Creation post.


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Favorites

The title Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers speaks to my heart. I've always been rather weird and unsocialized, even when I went to public school. When I started homeschooling my own kids, I became even more so. My children were called weird and unsocialized because they were family oriented instead of peer oriented. They had the courage to stand up against things they didn't believe in and were more mature than their peers. In fact, studies of adults who were homeschooled show just how weird they are. They are much more likely to: be business owners, involved in volunteer activities and serve in local government positions than adults that were educated in regular schools. They also have more self-esteem, are happier and just generally more content with their lives. I'm glad my kids weren't socialized by their peers! The label is true and I am proud of it!

The writer of this blog is a woman after my own heart. Her homeschooling style is very similar to mine and she always has lots of good ideas on her blog and FaceBook page. You can connect with Kris's blog by going to http://www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/  From there you can link with her in a variety of ways. Check her out!


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gourd Birdhouse

Last fall, one of my good friends Lou Weigand, had a truck full of birdhouse gourds. I thought I'd like to take a stab at making them so I bought one. Isn't it pretty?


Here's how I did it. First I started with this dried gourd.


Then I made a circle on a piece of paper.


and cut it out.


Then I put the piece of paper on the gourd and drew a circle with it. Grampa Tom thinks I should have used a smaller circle and he's probably right. I am spacially challenged you know. I'll change that next time.


 Then I got out my handy dandy dremmel tool and cut into the gourd around the circle.


It didn't go quite all the way through, but it made a nice groove for me to finish the job with a box cutter.


The one thing I like about the size of this whole is that it was easy to pull the seeds and fiber out. I will probably need some sort of a bent hanger tool to remove them from a smaller hole.




Then once again, I got my handy dandy dremmel  tool out and made some holes in the bottom so it would drain.

and a couple at the top for the wire to hang it with to go through.


I'm way to cheap to buy ink cartridges for my printer. Many years ago, I got into refillable cartridges because it's a much more economical way to buy ink and the more ink you buy at time, the less you pay for it, so I got several big bottles of ink. But I just don't use the colored inks fast enough. They got thick and were gumming up my printer. I just hated to throw it away so I've kept it thinking it would be a good paint.


The first coat went on and dried really well.


But the second coat was still sticky and wet even after 24 hours.



and even after sitting a couple of days on top of the corn stove. So I finally rinsed it off and put some acrylic spray on it. I really like how it turned out!


I need to call Lou and see if he's got any left. I'm going to grow some of these this year, but they take a year to dry and I'd like to have some painted ones to take to the markets this year.


God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue