Saturday, February 28, 2009

Products Made in America

I have been slowly collecting a list of American made products with stock that comes from the USA/Canada too. I like to buy excellent quality that will last a life time, buying from a small family or very small company and of course, would prefer to buy American Made. If you supply or offer product(s) that are Made in American with resources found in America, please contact me and I will be happy to add you to the list.

Swallow Lane Farm~
These folks have been around a long time. Even bought Jacob ewes from them awhile back. Not only do they raise their own sheep in WA, they also make their own yarn to make into blankets, Very nice blankets.

Fiber Mill~
I used these folks for a number of years while I was raising sheep, to clean and make my sheep's wool into Roving, that way I could just get on with the job of spinning. They also sell yarn from their own sheep.

Looking for a beautiful woven Bedspread......

Storage and baskets~
Need to store things,, check out these stylish baskets.

This one is from my old stompping grounds. Went to see their place when I lived in NH. Very nice quality.

Seems like if one thing in the house dies...they all do. So during my search for a round laundry basket made in the usa.. I ran across this web site... in WA no less.
Dunbar Gardens~ Makes all kinds of usefull baskets.

Cookie sheets and baking pans
Made in the USA...

American Made clothes....
The Men of the house have a couple of American made Carhartt Jackets and pants...and all I can say is...they are well made and hold up very well!

Flash lights

Soap and Shampoo
Janson's soap and shampoos are made in the USA. I use both. Jasons makes the only shampoo my body doesn't react too. Dr. Bronner's soap is made in USA.

These folks make a nice Lobster boat, along with other models.

Here is a good write up on how to buy good quality tools.

Made in the USA

Have one tool from these folks.. is made in the USA but not sure where they get their stock from.

If you would like some furniture that is American made, every part made out of real wood, grown in the US, family made.. look no farther than..
I have 4 of their pieces of large furniture and can say with great confidence that the quality and workmanship is out standing. Have had them for 8 years now..if I remember correctly. Just bought the Pine as that is what we could afford.

Food gift baskets with everything made in Oregon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine Day ~ to the coast we went~

With the BDay money Mom sent, Thanks Mom & Dad!, DH and I decided to take a drive to the SW coast of WA and look at a light house. The one above is the first one we went too. Sky was a combo of sun and clouds but no rain at that point. Snapped a few nice photos and then the rain started.
So we had a very nice picnic.. in the Van, while it was pouring rain out. But that is the Coastal NW for you.
Second Light house and the one still in use by the Coast Guard was only about 20 mintues away from the first one. By then the weather was getting a little more interesting but I managed to get some more photos.

DH loves the Ocean and hearing the power of the waves against the shore. Took this picture with the second Light House behind him. Then the skys opened up, so I could not get a photo of DS and I.

Even at low tide, you can see the power of the surf against the rocks.

Shafts of bright light cutting through the dark clouds, if you look closely you can see the rain. Pretty impressive day.

On the way home we saw a very large herd of Elk. Bulls were on one side and the Cows on the other. Makes me wish I had a better camera and telephoto lense.
It was a great day out and very nice to have a break!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hand made Hamburger Buns

Hamburger dough after 4th rise and being shaped in the round shapes.
Shaped and ready to rise for the last time.

Finished Hamburger Bun.


DH and I went for a short walk yesterday

This is the sunrise we had the other morning. The photo is untouched and looks exactly as the light was that morning.
Stunning to say the least. Yes.. we have snow again...and more to come. . .
Normally I take one of the horses or donkey with DH & I when we go for a short walk on the country road. This day however I already let the horses out in the main pasture, so we went on our own. Needless to say the horses weren't impress being left behind... so they had to gallop over to say Hi!

Took some different views of the Farm. Hay fields toward the night pasture and house.

DH ditch he dug to keep the swampy area drained, looking out to our small woodlands to the right.

It was an incredible day for taking photos.. the sky was brilliant blue, just enough clouds to make it interesting. This is the hay field looking towards the point and our woodlands on both sides.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Ha!! Got you to look. VBG .... My DS found the red laser light cat toy he had given Heidi as one of her Yule gifts many years ago. He decided to dig said toy out, for Sadie and Mia.

Needless to say,, our cats are now Addicted.... to the "Red Dot"!! Many times a day, they lead us over by any means possible, to where the Red Dot lives, so they can get us to play. Yes, our cats are spoiled but in a good way.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

No added salt Split pea soup

Here is the Split Pea soup ready to be cooked.

This is another all day meal, taking 5 to 8 hours depending on wither your water is hard or soft.
I start with "PA Hudson River Valley Split Pea Soup Mix ".
I change what goes in this soup a little to suit my dietary needs.
Add these things to the basic mix~

1 -1/2 cups of finely copped Organically grown sweet carrots

3/4 cup of finely copped Celery

2 very fresh right off the plant Sage Leaves

I don't use Bay leaves because I dislike the flavor. Also do not add salt or any Ham. Tastes just fine without the ham or added salt in the soup.

Clean peas, then place in thick walled stock pot or slow cooker.
Put the Veggies on top, then the herbs that come with this mix but putting 2 tablespoons of the herb mix off to the side. Then I put in my Sage leaves.
Very carefully pour in salt free water, making sure not to disturb the layers. Cook on low heat and you can stir after a couple of hours.
About 1 hour before the soup is ready, put the 2 Tablespoons of herb mix you set to the side earlier, into the soup.
Cook 5 to 8 hours until done.

Flavor is out standing and this Pea Soups does very well served in a Bread bowl. Wishing now, I too photos of that.

While the He-Men of the house was out working in the Woods, I started another batch of Chili this morning. This time I am measuring out the ingredients so I can post it here. Normally I don't measure a thing because I am so used to making this.
Should be able to post the Chili recipe soon.

Miniature horses

Maggie is such a sweet heart.
Can't loose minis with these color blankets.
Enjoying the day out.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A disease called Meniere's

I have had Meniere's since I was 17 years old, my first Attack was horrible, scary and fast. (today they call it a "Drop Attack"). I had no idea at the time what was going on and did not help everyone thought I was on something. Too bad they did not know me because if they did, they would know I do not drink or do drugs.

(Looking back now that I know much more about Menieres, I was having symptoms well before I was 17 years old.) in my mid 40's and still have it. In both ears/Bilateral, though it is much worse in my right ear. So I have been living with this disease for 28 years now.

Over the years the attacks would come and go but the attacks were livable. Twenty Doc's later and in my mid 20's I was diagnosed with Menieres, By the first specialist Doc that knew what he was doing.

Almost Funny how most Doc's before that one..thought I was on drugs..even though the blood test showed no drugs in my system..or I was some how making it up. I am not one to make things fact.. I will only go to a Doc or the ER if I have no choice. Like breaking my spine and parts of my hips a couple of years ago....

In my 30's was having some trouble was tested again by a specialist that knew what Menieres is.. lets just say I am not going through that testing again.. I know what I have. But it was now confirmed twice by two different specialists that I did indeed have Menieres.

They put me on what was then a low salt Diet. Now they call it a Medium salt diet. Attacks continued off and on.

Last year.. the attack was so severe I landed in the ER. Given Meclizine and told to see my Normal Doc. She told me to go to 1000mg or less salt in my diet. Use the Meclizine as needed. As you all know...that means making all your food because store bought stuff just has too much salt...including organic frozen Veggies.
Can now only sleep on my left and while this attack as lessen, it hasn't really gone away, like it has in the past. Right ear is now deaf in the low to mid tones...what high tone that is left, sounds like Darth Vader underwater with a gender issue. Funny.....almost. Can tell you that last major attack, very violent...has shaken me more than I would like to admit. If it is this bad now.... I don't even want to think about the next time. I can't have the surgery or other options because I have Menieres in both ears. Only diet and Meclizine is making life far.

If you want to find out what it is like to live with Menieres..this is a great forum and below that are some links.

Here is a moving letter written by someone with Menieres

Before you Judge me ~~~~ For those that have menieres.


Author now known... Thank you   Tina McDonald!  Your letter has helped many, many Meniere's suffers.

Life with Meniere's Disease : Before you judge me on one of my good days, you need to understand what one of my bad days is like.Tinnitus - imagine having a headache caused by a fire alarm ringing or a bee buzzing in your ear continually for a long period of time. You can't hear anything but that fire alarm or bee - It drowns everything else out.Vertigo - Now imagine yourself as really drunk or with the flu at the same time as the fire alarm is going off. Now imagine that with these two things, you'd be dumb enough to get on one of the super roller coasters that does loop-de-loops or the amusement park rides that spin in two different directions at the same time. I'm not that dumb, but unfortunately I have no choice in feeling these sensations.During one of these vertigo attacks that can last from several minutes to several hours if not days. I can't keep food or water down, I can't walk, and in order to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, I have to crawl like a baby on my hands and knees. The movement makes me so ill, if I'm able to crawl back to bed, I'm covered in sweat from exhaustion. Otherwise, I keep a pillow and a blanket at the bottom of a linen closet in the bathroom so that I can pass out lying across the bathroom floor. I end up sleeping for days after one of these attacks, only getting out of bed to go to the bathroom or to get something to drink, if I think I can keep it down. I have to call my family to see what day it is when I wake up. That is, if I can hear.You see, this disease while playing havoc with your balance and equilibrium, also reeks havoc with your hearing. It wouldn't be so bad if the hearing loss was constant and predictable. But no, one day I can hear conversation fairly OK, and the next I can be virtually deaf, then the next day I can hear again. The hearing loss can fluctuate, but is usually progressive, and many with the disease end up severely hard-of-hearing or deaf.Even on a daily basis, your mind is so confused by the signals its getting from your ears that your balance sucks. You run into things constantly because you can't balance well enough to avoid walking into things, or your mind is telling you the object is a couple of inches from where it really is. I don't know whether to laugh or cry when someone teases me about being such a klutz. I could make the Keystone Cops look graceful.I also have days that my coordination just doesn't seem to be together. I'm carrying something, and all of the sudden I drop it because my brain seems confused as to whether my hand is really attached to my body. I sometimes miss a step and fall because of the feeling that my legs are not quite part of me and I have to focus on them to realize they are there. Apparently this happens because the part of your brain that recognizes parts of your body as belonging to you is the parietal brain lobe and it sits right above your ear, so if the nerves around your ear are inflamed, it can press on this part of the brain, or send the wrong signals to it (I'm not quite sure which), and you can lose coordination.Ironically, the few high frequencies I don't seem to have a hearing loss in can sound extremely loud, unbearably so. When a baby cries, an alarm goes off, or a microphone gives off feedback, I'd be willing to climb up a wall to get away if I thought I could make it. This symptom is called recruitment.The disease also plays tricks on your vision. For some strange reason, the nerve that goes from your inner ear to your brain also controls some of your eye movement. Your eyes can twitch or bounce constantly, making focusing on objects, much less print, extremely difficult at times. Your eyes tend not to be able to "track" movement at the same speed, giving you double vision, and a bad headache.You can get confused easily and your memory and concentration aren't reliable. It's what some people with the disease refer to as "brain fog". Many of them originally were afraid that they may have a brain tumor or Alzheimer's because it can sometimes gets so bad. Finally they find either a doctor whose very knowledgeable regarding the symptoms, or they happen to ask someone else with the disease, and find that this too is a symptom of this blasted disease.Now try to imagine living with this disease never knowing when one of these periods of tinnitus, vertigo, hearing loss, double vision, lack of coordination, recruitment, disequilibrium, or "brain fog" is going to hit, or how bad it will be. At least with being drunk or riding an amusement park ride, you know what's causing it, and you can make the choice not to do it again. With this disease, there's very little warning if any for these attacks, you don't know what's causing it, and there's no cure - only devices, surgeries, and some medications that can somewhat help alleviate the symptoms. And some of the surgeries are so radical, you think they came from a horror movie about a mad doctor. My ENT surgeon won't even perform any more surgery on my left side, since I have the disease in both ears. He's concerned about what would happen if my right side became worse than what my left side is now.Understandably, anxiety and depression seem to go hand-in-hand with Meniere's for many sufferers. We often ask how much worse can this disease get? For some strange reason, doctors aren't very willing to give out worst case scenarios.Now decide if you think I'd be able to do the same things you do on as punctual and regular of a schedule. For me, there's no way. I'm being up front about my limitations. I try the best I can at living up to my full potential. Could if you were in my shoes? They think now that Van Gogh suffered from this disease, and he cut off his own ear trying to escape it.Yet on my not-so-bad days I may look like a totally healthy, able-bodied person. You ask me "why can't you bend down - pick it up - lift it - drive - get a job - walk without a cane" Its because I know these things can either bring on an attack - I couldn't do them on a regular schedule because of the symptoms - or if I did do them, I could put myself and others in jeopardy if I should have an attack. You have to realize that with my friendship, love, dedication, and loyalty comes the fact that I can't decide when I'm going to have a bad day, and the more stress I'm under, the more likely I will have a bad day.

So, please don't judge me unless you've been in my shoes."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

This and That....again....

I really wished I could of gotten a photo of Mia and Dyfra trying to touch noses through the glass but I ended up with the 2nd best photo. Dyfra walked up the steps to see Mia,, who was at the time standing on her back legs with her front paws and nose pressed to the window, so she could see what that giant white creature was.
Of course you can see how thrilled DS was about Dyfra blocking the door. LOL
When I came back from my ride yesterday, this is where I found Mia waiting. She knows where I put the halters and I guess she figured that was the best place to lay down, to make sure I paid attention to her when I got back in. Smart kitten!
Today... We are all working in the bigger woods on the property.
I worked on getting one of the smaller paths cleared so I can check the fence line, when riding Dyfra. However 90% of my riding paths are so blocked with trees...might take all winter to get them cleared again. At least at the rate and speed I can work.
DH & DS are doing all the big work, clearing more of that large tree along with a couple of smaller ones. Beautiful sunny day today, to do such chores. Can you believe it is 64* at noon!! And its only early Feb!

Sign Language ~

I found this site because I basically can't hear any thing out of my right side. And I don't hear normally with my good side in crowds or any kind of back ground noise. Thought it would be a good idea to learn some sign langauge but I have a hard time learning from drawing of hands in a book. This site is 100% better than that....easy to boot!
Easy signs for "I have a question", "Thank you", "excuse or pardon me".... am learning some things out of their General
So if you know of anyone hearing impaired or having a hard time hearing in crowds...this is something wonderful to learn.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Now I know why handmade rolls and buns are treats~

Few days ago I decided to try my hand at making hamburger buns. Started at 9am in the morning and was finally finished and the hamburger buns out of the oven by 5:30 pm! Can now see why folks only made them on special occasions. But.. my OH my ,,, this recipe has such a good flavor and the added salt!
Took a photo of one of the hamburger buns, however, I decided to use one for a Tuna salad sandwich. Yum!!!

The Cats~

All the Cats are doing well. In the above photo, can see Mia and Sadie playing.
Nari ended up with a one way ticket to the large shed, as her Territorial aggression and pray drive got the best of her one to many times. IE drawing blood in the other cats. We tried all the tried and true methods to get her to tone it down,,just did not work. Vet said, some cats just get like that and they are better off without other cats around. Now she is an outside only cat and loving it!
She has the largest airline approved animal carrier in the large shed, which has her post, bed, outdoor heating pad, food, water, litterbox and she is shut in at night so nothing can harm her. But during the day,, she loves to hunt mice and birds. The change in her is wonderful.. she is now happy, friendly and just over all doing better being able to hunt any time she wants. Another plus is she can't harm the other indoor cats any more.

A photo capture of Mia I took earlier today. She has some strange eyes.

Mia's 2nd favorite thing to do, take naps on me. VBG