Mother Earth, Cajun Prairie, keep it clean!

Eunice Louisiana, St. Landry Parish, is known as the “Prairie Cajun Capital of Louisiana,” but of late the parish has become a dumping ground of household items. En route to Eunice from the west, your eyes are blinded with this atrocity on the side of U.S. Hwy 190; which is immediately after signage alerting all travelers that we are entering the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, “America’s foreign country!”

Dumped Debris
Couches, chairs, trash cans, mattresses, t.v.’s, you name it, it’s in this pile

Thousands have been affected by the recent flooding  experienced in south Louisiana, but there is no excuse for someone to dump their household trash on the side of the road. FEMA is here, the Red Cross is here, and countless other organizations are here to help those in need. Our state’s Congressmen and Senators’ have been posting on their websites how to get help, the local news media such as http://www.katc.com/story/32754955/where-to-go-how-to-get-help has a wealth of information on how to get assistance.

Congressman Charles Boustany, M.D. of our 3rd District has many helpful links on his website, https://boustany.house.gov/2016-disaster-recovery1/2016-flood-recovery/ and Congressman Ralph Abraham, M.D. of the 5th district has posted much information and links on how to reach various organizations SUCH AS DEBRIS REMOVAL. I’ve taken this from his website which links directly to FEMA.

Recovery managers provide this diagram to assist survivors in their cleanup effort. Published with permission of the Tuscaloosa News.
Recovery managers provide this diagram to assist survivors in their cleanup effort. Published with permission of the Tuscaloosa News.

And if you aren’t certain on who to connect with, contact your local officials about debris cleanup at http://gohsep.la.gov/about/parishpa but please, don’t dirty our Cajun Prairie!

“Close your eyes, and tap your heels three times, and think to yourself …”

 

9ad1eb2646985688dc26d7499e1086d9Your house is clean!

People have asked me many times over the years, “How do you keep your house so clean?” This question dates as far back as when my twins were four and the youngest was a newborn baby. Recently, a friend asked that same rhetorical question.

How do I do it? I really don’t know, but I have a few tips to help you.

  • Pick up whatever mess you make, as soon as you are done. Example: Load the dishwasher immediately after meals, or hand, dry and put away immediately. This doesn’t take much time at all.
  • If you have a stainless steel kitchen, get in the habit of wiping everything down after cooking. Again, this doesn’t take five minutes.
  • Fold the laundry as it dries. Don’t leave it to sit and pile up from another load being done.
  • Sweep or vacuum high traffic areas daily. This makes the overall process easier when you sweep and mop entire floors.
  • Make your bed as soon as you get up. This lifts your morning mood to see a clean room! (This is my all time favorite)
  • Take a rag and dust a room daily. This saves you from having to dust the whole house in one day. That is tiring.
  • Windows: none of us like to clean them, but we all like to see out of them. Clearly. When your window is looking dirty, clean it then. Don’t wait until all the windows look bad. Again, tiring. Do it when you recognize it needs done.  If it’s hot outside, clean them in the mornings.
  • Laundry: do a load daily, even if there are only two of you. If you have a HE unit, the loads don’t have to be large loads at all. The same amount of water is being used all the time.
  • Bathrooms: clean those toilets multiple times a week especially if there is a man in the house. Again, this is a fast easy wipe down with Clorox wipes. Nothing to it.  Clean your shower while you take a shower. Easy enough!
  • Shoes: don’t leave them all piled up at the entryway. One of two pairs you often wear are fine, but when you come in from shopping, dinner or whatever, put those shoes you don’t wear as often up immediately.

You get the idea. The most important tip is: pick up, pick up, pick up, immediately because the longer something sits the more it collects.

Life on a Farm

Rural, country living is a rewarding lifestyle, even though city folks may not understand or get it. The hustle and bustle of city life is for some, but for others such as ourselves, this slow, peaceful way of living is fabulous.  We aren’t often in  a hurry (unless it’s harvest time and you are broke down, then you need everything immediately, if not sooner. But we are often busy from daylight till past dusk. We are rewarded with what we’ve sewn: crops, vegetables, children, livestock, and much more.

Today was a slower day and Troy was able to get the garden tilled, and rows made for the fall crop, before he headed off to cut more rice.

It's time to plant the fall garden
It’s time to plant the fall garden. Our Okra is still producing ! Pssst: it looks like a prairie doesn’t it!

I spent the morning and early afternoon planting sweet corn, purple hull peas, green beans, sweet peas, and cabbage so far. And we have four “heatwave” tomato plants we are going to try this fall. In the city, or suburbia, this isn’t always possible.

Nor is it possible to wake up in the morning to sweet sounds of nature, and have a photo op with a Rooster.

Rooster

It is also impossible to have wild Mallard ducks living in your chicken yard because that’s the only life they know.

Ducks
A mallard Hen and her Drake ( the green head is the male, aka Drake

Welcome to our home, our life, and our journey.

Home Made Scrubs are Great!

While I was reading Farmers’ Almanac 2016, I came across an article on how great home made body and facial scrubs can be. In the article, there was a recipe for a facial scrub, so I had to try it. Having the essential oil, Eucalyptus, as it, along with Lavender, was listed to add a drop or two to, I had all the ingredients to make this right then and there. (There are only three ingredients!) Add Eucalyptus for an invigorating feel and lavender for a calming effect.  I went  with the former because it was early in the morning.

2 tsp. Olive Oil, 1 tsp. of sea salt and if you have oils add one or two drops of either mentioned.

This scrub cleansed my face and left me feeling truly awakened and my skin felt alive.

Give it a try at home and let me know what you think.

The RE Market – Bon veiller, cher

The Re-Market store in Jennings Louisiana is a great antique store, with lots of finds. I found wooden duck decoys for our kitchen, and a few old cook books. Try Google’ing Mrs. Simms Fun Cooking Guide and see if you can find a copy. Mine is an original I found at Re-Market, and paid less than $5.00 for it. Check our Bon Veiller Cher blog!

Source: The RE Market – Bon veiller, cher

Storebought Treats, Homemade Treats, and Football by Ree — The Pioneer Woman

In the storebought food realm: These are evil. And they must be destroyed. Have you seen them? Have you tried them? Well, don’t. They’re that good. They’re a cross between a cookie, a cracker, and heaven. Now. On the homemade food realm: These are even more evil, and are making me question everything. I’ve become…

via Storebought Treats, Homemade Treats, and Football by Ree — The Pioneer Woman

It’s (almost) Fall Y’All

Get your scent on!
Get your scent on!

If you haven’t already gotten a diffuser to make the house aromatic, without the smell of burning wicks, then click the link at the top menu bar and order the oils for your fall scent preference, and don’t forget the diffuser. My favorite is the rose petal design because it has three different settings.

I think I’m about to diffuse Falling Leaves!

Freshen up Your Home

Summer is almost over. The bugs are in high gear down here, and the smells that come with standing water for days,  and dirty clothes with grain smells run rampant.  One thing I use to freshen up smelly places (think shoes, boots and kitchen smells) is an essential oil from Young Living called Purification. It honestly purifies the stench. I place a few drops of this essential oil on cotton balls and place in needed areas, such as those smelly tennis shoes or musky scented luggage that is store outside. Even those of you who have mold issues from the flood could freshen up the house with this essential oil. (click the link on the top menu bar to order your essential oil today!)

Another great oil blend is Thieves, by Young Living. I use the spray around the house and as a hand sanitizer. The oil blend itself is also good for removing smells when I use it in my diffuser.  Be sure to review the product flyer below for more useful tips on frehsneing up your home.

Freshen Up
Freshen Up

 

Paleo Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

So paleo is a term used frequently these days in dieting. Well, I’m not dieting, but I do try to limit processed and refined foods in my diet. I often search for paleo recipes when I want to bake. I’ve got one for zucchini bread using almond flour and one for chocolate chip cookies using the same. Flours made from natural fruits and nuts have a higher fiber content, lower carb value and are gluten free since they aren’t derived from wheat.

For this recipe you will use Coconut flour. Wal-Mart sells coconut flour, so don’t deter. You don’t need a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods Market to get coconut flour or almond flour.

Banana Bread Ingredients

Gather the ingredients:

3 ripe bananas smashed, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 c. almond butter (almond butter is also available at most grocers, but you can use peanut butter instead, though I don’t know if it will be paleo then), 2 eggs at room temperature, 1/2 c. coconut flour, 1/2 tsp. of baking powder and baking soda, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips ( I was out of dark  so I used semi-sweet)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray after you line it with parchment paper (or aluminum foil in my case)

Mash your banana’s

Mash banana's

Then add the vanilla and almond butter, mix until creamy and smooth. Add eggs, one at a time mixing on medium speed until each is combined. Then add the flour, baking powder and soda and cinnamon; again, mix only until combined.

Just barely mixed

Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top.

prepared batter

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  You will really like this recipe, and it is so much healthier for you.

Finished

I have adapted this from the http://www.ambitiouskitchen.com website.  Feel free to leave me a comment about this recipe, if you like it or not.

Okra & Tomatoes, Oh MY!

Okra plants can be rather pretty when you look at them from afar, or the top view only, but their beauty is deceived. This plant is the most prickly plant I’ve ever dealt with. After picking okra a few times and itching like crazy (think fiberglass in your skin) I finally smartened up and put on long sleeves and long pants along with rubber gloves. That was a long await life saver from itching.

cropped-Okra-anyone.jpg
The view from above

Okra is a classic southern staple,  and if you don’t grow it, you buy it frozen already. Okra and Tomatoes is a true southerners’ dish in the summertime. Actually anytime. And I for one have found myself making it quite a lot this summer. The trick to cooking okra is not stirring it too much at all, lest you get slimy okra. Continue reading Okra & Tomatoes, Oh MY!