Gigi Blog » The life and loveliness of Gigi's World

Gigi Blog bio picture
  • Welcome to the Gigi Blog!

    Blessed to be a mother to half a dozen girls & one boy. Wife of an undertaker.
    Photographer. Homeschooler. Daughter of the King. Chicken and goat raiser.
    Lover of Jesus and all things pink and vintage. ♥

Spring, Spring, Spring!

“When the barnyard is busy
in a regular tizzy, 
then the obvious reason
is because of the season …
spring, spring, spring!”
-Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

{flowers from a dear friend}

It’s definitely spring around our home lately…
(or as the girls have named our little spot – Rainbow Ridge).
The weather may not be that warm most days, but that has not discouraged the entrance of Mistress Spring.

From seedlings in the kitchen, to three levels of new new seedlings in the living room…

… to 50 chicks warming by the cozy fire  in the back room {trying to avoid using the heat lamp to save electricity and using the natural wood fire to warm them instead}…

… to newly purchased 3-week-young Polish chickens in the kitchen beside the cookstove {Lacey’s new babies}

…to {hopefully!} fertile eggs in the incubator in the dining room …. to a mamma duck sitting on her nest in the barnyard… our house is in overload spring mode!

To welcome spring, one must clean their windows, most definitely. Although they may look dirty already, we have already cleaned and scrubbed the windows (this house has a lot of windows!) with vinegar and newspaper. This is by far the cheapest, most effective way to clean windows, ladies. Do not be fooled into thinking fancy products will do the job. All you need is newspaper and vinegar spray.

Oh yes … and kittens!! We have kittens … adorable, fluffy kittens!

With spring here, hopefully, the vegetable garden will be started soon.

                         And, with lovely timing, school is nearing the end (the official school work, that is).

Spring is a beautiful season. A busy, busy season but a good one indeed. What are your spring plans?

P.S. Dandelions are starting to pop up! Take time to harvest them while you can for some wonderful herbal recipes!

April 28, 2016 - 8:12 pm

Brenda (Gigi's Mom) - I love Spring too! And you are definitely right … you have real Spring at your house!! Lovely pictures too. xoxo

April 28, 2016 - 5:52 pm

Sarah - Oh, this post really brings a smile to my face! I love spring. : ) We just bought seven little Isa Brown chicks, but the photo of your daughter with the golden Polish chickens brought back memories. My sisters and I had golden and silver Polish chickens when we were about your daughter’s age. And your kittens! Oh my, so adorable!

{Quick} Mixes For the Pantry

 ”Ma had cooked an especially good supper because they had company.
There was stewed jack rabbit with white-flour dumplings and plenty of gravy.
There was a steaming-hot, thick cornbread flavored with bacon fat.
There was molasses to eat on the cornbread…”
-Little House on the Prairie

 

One thing I love to see lined up in my pantry are pre-made {homemade} mixes. If you frequent this blog, you will know that already as I have shared a few recipes for mixes over the past years.  They just make creating a quick, healthy meal so much simpler.

 

Here is one that was added to the pantry this week …

 

Country Soup Mix :

Country Soup Mix in a Jar
1/2 cup barley
1/2 cup dried split peas
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1/2 cup dry lentils
2 tablespoons dried minced onion
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons celery salt
2 tablespoons homemade dried chicken stock
1 cup uncooked macaroni

Layer ingredients in a jar.

To prepare:
1 Jar Country Soup Mix
3 quarts of water
2 sliced carrots
1 cup of shredded cabbage (optional)
2 cups diced tomatoes

Combine all in soup pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer an hour or so, until veggies are tender.

{Recipe adapted from here.}

 

 

To go with your simmering soup … why not some old fashioned cornbread biscuits?

Cornbread Mix:

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup shortening
4 cups yellow cornmeal
Blend all ingredients together and store in a glass jar.

To use the mix, combine 2 1/2 cups of cornbread mix with 1 lightly beaten egg and 1 1/4 cups milk. Mix until just blended. Pour into greased muffin pan and bake at 425F for about 15 minutes {longer if baked in a square dish}.

 

 

 

 

 

The dainty labels, which I think appreciate when looking through the pantry, can be found here.

 

April 26, 2016 - 12:29 pm

kimberly - I love reading your blog and the homemade natural recipes are so wonderful. thank you.

April 26, 2016 - 11:41 am

admin - Janet, soooo good to hear from you! How is life and business? Thank you for leaving a comment. So nice to “hear” from you again. :)

April 26, 2016 - 10:23 am

Janet - Hi Gillian – I recently refound your blog. Am enjoying your posts and seeing how your family has grown. It is hard to believe Lacey and Cole are 12! Glad you are doing well.

{Four}

Leia Hyacinth Anne,
today you turn four years old! We hope you feel loved and and adored
and know you are a beautiful part of our big, crazy family!
Life would certainly be boring without you in the middle …:)
and we would not have such fun tales to tell if you did not add to our silly, chaos of our life.
You are a blessing, a whirlwind of love and giggles and we love, love, love, love you.
We thank God for giving you to us!

Happy 4th birthday, little one! xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Herbal Remedies {for Babies & Adults alike}

Little Lazarus had a fever a few days ago … it was his first (thankfully) and it was not severe, but enough to make him unhappy. Poor thing … I don’t think it was teething but perhaps it could have been. I have never had a baby teeth this early so I have my doubts – but in any case, he did have a fever.

The two herbal remedies I decided to use with him are one of my favorites in the herbal pantry: rosehip syrup and a chamomile tincture.

“{For teething}, I also offer Rosehip Syrup.
My Grandmother always had this handy for when a friend or relative had a teething infant.
Rosehips are loaded with Vitamin C which also boosts immunity and helps the body overall while it is preparing for new teeth. A child’s immune system could be lowered due to the effects of teething and it is important to not forget the immune system.”

-Sharon Hubbs-Kreft, Herbalist

Making rosehip syrup is just the same as making elderberry syrup

To refresh our memory in making the syrup, here are the directions from Rosemary Gladstar’s book:

1. Add 2 oz. of rosehips to 1 quart of water. Over low heat, simmer the liquid down to one pint. This will give you a very concentrated, thick tea. 2. Strain the herbs from the liquid.  Compost the herbs (or feed them to your hens!) and pour the liquid back into the pot.
3. To each pint of liquid, add one cup of honey (or any other natural sweetener).
4. Warm up the new mixture of honey/sweetnerer and rosehip tea. Only warm it long enough to be mixed well.
5. Remove from heat and bottle your syrup. It will keep for months, if refrigerated.

Rosehips will help calm your baby, plus they are loaded with Vitamin C – key for building the body’s immune system and helping the body fight to stay healthy.  I only needed to give Lazarus a few drops and but it seemed to help him rather quickly (within the hour or so). You can use the rosehip syrup as a simple way to increase your Vitamin C intake – you can use it creatively – try drizzling over yogurt or adding it to your tea. This morning, my oatmeal was much tastier with a simple spoonful addition of the Rosehip syrup.

The second remedy is one of my favorites – chamomile tincture.

 

Chamomile is soothing and can calm an upset baby, help bring on sleep and ease stomach pains.  The tincture is not just for babies, however. It will help with migraines, relax frazzled nerves, ease PMS symptoms, IBS, ulcers, skin irritations and will boost your immune system overall. What a great tincture to have on hand!

A tincture is simply a liquid extract made from herbs and taken by the mouth. Tinctures are incredibly handy when you or someone in your family falls ills. They require about six weeks to create so it is best to think ahead and prepare the tinctures you believe would be most used in your home.

Tinctures are very simple to make. All you need is your herb of choice – in this case,  chamomile -  100 proof vodka, a mason jar and boiling hot water.

Fill your jar with your halfway with herbs and pour hot water to cover the herbs. Fill the rest of the jar with vodka until the herbs are completely covered. Cap, label and allow it to sit in a dark location for 4-6 weeks. The alcohol draws out all the vitamins and health benefits from the herb. The tincture will last indefinitely but  it is wise to date your tinctures on the labels so you have an idea of when it was created.

Only two to three drops is needed to help soothe a fussy, feverish baby …

If you are concerned about the alcohol used to extract the herbal properties, rest assured, it is safe. I have read there is actually the same amount of alcohol in a tincture dosage than a ripe banana.

{If still unsure regarding the use of alcohol, simply pour boiling water over your tincture dosage and drink when cooled. The alcohol will have mostly evaporated and very little will be left in the solution.}

Here is my chamomile tincture I made last season (on the left) – and a new tincture in the making. You will only need 2-3 drops for a young baby under six months, whereas an adult dosage would be two droppersfull {please. use your own responsible judgement}.

If you have purchased tinctures or thought of using them for your health, may I encourage you to make some of your own at home.
They are easy to make, simple and incredibly effective.

Turning {Two}

“Turning two must be easy to do,
I just blinked my eyes, and it happened to you.

Seems like the days just go speeding right by,
Why you’ll probably turn three in the wink of an eye.

So let’s take time to celebrate your birthday today,
And cherish this moment before it slips fast away.”

Our little girl, Lavender, turned two yesterday …
we had a small {lavender} cake, some special gifts from her sister and a day outside in the glorious spring weather.
She finished the day with a natural, rustic setting for before-bed washing up …
happy as a lark …

Lavender Kate Delight has blessed us beyond words with just the two years she has been with us.
What joy she has brought to our home with her chubby smile, bouncing piggy tails and dear, sweet love for her bigger sisters. 

Happy birthday, dearest Lavender!

April 18, 2016 - 4:50 pm

Lauren - Oh my, Lavender is two already!!! It feels like yesterday I held that sweet small bundle! Happy birthday, sweet little girl!

April 18, 2016 - 9:34 am

Our Home of Many Blessings - Happy Birthday Sweet Lavender!!