Gracie the Miracle

Some of the flock my son raised for me because I think they are so cute.

A few years back my son, Patrick, bought a bunch of silky chickens. These little cutie pies look like they are lounging in soft fluffy pajamas all day long.

They have sweet dispositions. The hens are wonderful moms. They will get in the mood for a family and be such good setters that they will sit on anything that looks remotely like an egg. For instance, a golf ball looks like a potential baby to a broody mamma silky at times.

These beauties were out scratching on a hillside one morning when I was in my back yard. All of my chickens are completely free range. This makes their eggs a wonderful golden orange color. The taste is magnificent or at least as magnificent as an egg has the potential to be… if I am being totally honest.

Anyway, I looked out to enjoy the beauty of my little darlings scratching for tiny little delicacies in the earth. Horror of horrors, I saw a red fox pounce upon one of my beautiful, innocent little birds. I screamed and yelled at the fox, hoping he would become frightened and drop my fluffy beauty. But no, he started sauntering off at a leisurely pace with a mouth full of fluff.

I called my son. “Get your gun! A fox has a Silky and he’s running away!”

My son comes bounding out of the back door with a shot gun slung over his shoulder. I quickly point out the direction the fox headed.

“He went up the hill and under the gate. I think it’s too late.” I cried with distress.

If I had to guess, from my back yard to where the gate at the top of the hill was is about 1/8 mile hike.

My son didn’t delay. He jumped the fence and took off running up the hill. Barefoot as usual, it didn’t even seem to faze him.

I pulled up the rear. My running days look more like fast walking. I did my best to keep up, but when I got to the top of the hill, breathless I might add, I couldn’t see Patrick nor the fox nor my beautiful little Silky girl.

I went through the gate. Off to my left was a dense thicket of briers and small trees. I could hear rustling in the briers.

“Patrick, is that you?”

More rustling, no answer. I was seriously concerned that the fox might come right back out where I was with no weapon to pound the thieving devil.

Obviously something is about to emerge from the woods there. I back away scanning for any sight.

“Dear God, pleases protect Patrick. Dear God please protect me. Dear God, I know it’s pretty useless to ask, but please protect my little bird.”

Would you believe that beautiful little girl popped out of the woods? If I had not been there, I would never have believed it myself!

She was dazed and bleeding. It wasn’t hard to catch her at all.

“Patrick! The Silky is here. I have her! She’s alive!” No answer back.

“Dear God, please help me know what to do. If it is good, please help me know how to help my Silky. And, please protect Patrick and bring him back safely.”

Patrick pushed his way out of the woods. His brows knitted together.

“Fox got away. At least he’s going to be hungry tonight.”

We walked back to the house examining the little Silky along the way. She is hurt really badly.

“Should I just put her out of her misery?”

“No, I don’t want to do that. She escaped and didn’t make a sound through out the whole ordeal. Let’s put her in a cage and see how she is tomorrow morning.”

I wish I had gotten my son to hold her so I could have gotten better pictures of her wounds. This is a partial picture. She was torn up pretty bad.

I put fresh water and special food in the cage with her. I knew this was a pretty useless endeavor. Chickens don’t recover from wounds that are that bad.

“Dear God, please help me know what to do. In Jesus name amen.”

The thought came to me that I should put some lavender essential oil on her. At least it might be soothing for her in her last hours.

I went to the kitchen and poured some olive oil into a small glass. I dropped a few drops of lavender essential oil into the olive oil. I took this concoction out to the cage and poured it on my Silky. She hadn’t moved from the place I left her. That was a bad sign. I knew there wasn’t much hope for the little girl.

I was sad for her. I was a bit angry a the fox. I prayed again, only this time more sensibly.

“Dear God, I think I am being selfish asking you to let my Silky live. Please take her life quickly. I hate to see her suffering. I know she has to be in a lot of pain. Perhaps she is even in shock since she has not let out a sound through out the whole ordeal.”

The next morning I walked out to the cage where I had left my beautiful battered and bruised little cutie pie. To be honest, I almost didn’t want to even go. I knew she was most likely dead.

I couldn’t believe it. That little cutie pie was alive! And, she had moved a little from where I had placed her the day before. That was a good sign.

I don’t name all of my chickens, but this little girl was special! She was given a 2nd chance. She needed a name. But maybe it was too soon. Maybe she still wouldn’t make it. After all, she still had a big gaping open wound. How could she possibly survive that? Did the lavender help?

I went inside and fixed another lavender olive oil cocktail. I caught her, but it wasn’t as easy as the day before. That was a good sign. One thing that kept causing me to be puzzled was that she never squawked even when I caught her. That was really unusual.

I poured the lavender cocktail on her a few times during the day.

“Wow, Lord, thank you for helping my Silky. If it is good, please let her live and please help me know what to do. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”

Gracie fully recovered. She had scars, but she continued to lay eggs. That is a miracle!

One thing I know for sure… You never know what is going to happen until it’s over.

The next day when I went out to her cage, she had laid an egg. She also had no interest in letting me catch her. That is normal chicken behavior. Her cage is rather large for me to pin her down. I was afraid I would do more harm than good if I caught her to pour more cocktail upon her. So, I just left her alone.

Now I knew what her name had to be. Gracie. Her second chance at life was pure grace from God. Isn’t she just gorgeous? Scarred perhaps, but her fluffy pajamas covered it up pretty good from one side. The scarring was there, but unless you knew to look for it, it wasn’t too noticeable.

Thanks for coming to visit my blog,

Janie

Demon Gnats & Sticky Traps

Help! The biting black buffalo gnats are driving me crazy! If you are reading this, then I probably have no need to explain the horrible little monster bugs that have invaded your space. Suffice it to say that the biting black gnats are a pest that will drive you indoors, crazy or both. They are exceedingly harmful to pets and livestock. Baby birds are particularly vulnerable. What works to stem the tide of tiny, blood thirsty, demonic, black buffalo gnats?

Vanilla

What to do? Vanilla flavoring works pretty good. The higher the quality of vanilla, the better. McCormick is the old reliable for me. I put vanilla extract in a spray bottle and spray myself before I go out and repeat as needed when I am out. The little glass bottles are my favorite because I can slip them into my pocket without crushing the bottle.

I imagine if you sniffed me, you would think I smelled like a cookie. The good news is, black gnats don’t like vanilla cookies. The bad news is that it doesn’t last very long and bees seem to find me more attractive when I wear it. Thankfully the bees weren’t angry. They flew off after discovering no flowers. For animals, though, length of time working is a problem.

I have put vanilla extract in their water containers. I am not sure how much good that does. For sure, it was not enough that I could stop trying to help my birds. My chickens have shown the most distress from the gnats. They hide in dark places to avoid gnats.

Yellow Sticky Traps

I bought yellow sticky traps from Amazon in an effort to help my eggplants with their bug problem. I try to stay away from poisons. Those yellow sticky traps work pretty good, not perfect. I will continue to buy them because they for sure trapped a lot of bugs! Since I saw good trapping with my eggplants, I decided to put near where my chickens hang out (they are completely free range).

The yellow sticky traps showed the first signs of real help with gnats.

After a day, the sticky trap was covered. The cool part? I could see a small difference in the number of gnats bothering me. Since the drop in gnats could have been because of a temperature or humidity difference, I was hopeful, but not positive. I ordered more yellow sticky traps, this time from eBay, hoping to save a few bucks. Seventeen days later, no traps and tracking says they are at my post office. I called the post office, no traps there. Of course, I have requested to cancel the order. Would you believe I was offered half my $ back on an order never received? I won’t be buying there again! The links I provide will be from Amazon for sticky traps. Maybe it will cost a dollar or two more, but you get something in return.

Tanglefoot® Tangle-Trap® Sticky Coatings

When I showed the trap to my son, he decided to order sticky trap glue.

After the results from the first can of Tanglefoot Tangle-Trap, we decided to buy two more cans.

The Tanglefoot Tangle-Trap Sticky Coating is the best I have found so far. When put upon the places where gnats swarm, you catch a significant number of gnats. There is a noticeable decline in the number of pests bugging you outdoors!

Roof from a quail cage. Everywhere the coating was, the gnats were trapped. Looks like millions. Happinesses.
This is the applicator from the can of Tanglefoot coating. We left it out overnight. Just look! All those little demon gnats can’t bite me anymore!
Door to quail cage. You can see extra screens we added to try to keep gnats out. Those little blood thirsty beasts will find any crack or crevice to enter in! We trapped a bunch of them. Don’t get this stuff on your clothes. It’s not easy to get off. I can only imagine the damage it could cause a washing machine. After trying multiple ways to remove it from my hands, I found lemon essential oil + vegetable oil and paper towels the best option. Next time I will be wearing disposable gloves.

DIY Sticky Glue Dud

So, ever the DIY person, I looked up how to make my own sticky glue. The internet had a recipe for making it out of corn syrup. I had some really old corn syrup, so why not try it? The good news is, it washes off really easy. The bad news? It’s a dud. I am not going to post the recipe because it didn’t work well. When I went by the recipe, it was so thin that it wouldn’t stay anywhere I put it. I cooked it more and it was thick enough, but the bugs were not as attracted to it. I only caught a few. The worst part? The next day it was almost totally gone. The Tangle Foot Glue was still there and still working. My homemade stuff was wasted time, except to be able to tell others to not waste their time.

Fans are Good

I put a fan in my hen house near the nest boxes. This helps some, but the sticky glue is a must. I will keep doing both.

Thanks for Reading

I hope this helps. You can find the products I talk about by clicking on the blue words in this article. That way I get a small commission as an affiliate and it doesn’t cost you any extra. It helps me be encouraged to continue sharing what I find. I appreciate you clicking, even if you don’t buy the products. I like telling people what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t click on the corn syrup unless you are planning to make candy with it 😉

My 57 Year Old Face

I found a product combination that I love. I started using this about 6 years ago. The photo is of my face with no makeup, untouched. Just my phone camera.

I have been using Jason vitamin e oil, 5,000 IU along with 7 drops of Frankincense oil and 7 drops of Lavender oil as my eye makeup remover. My only regret is that I didn’t start doing this sooner.

If you use my link to buy the Jason vitamin e oil, by clicking here, I receive a small commission because I am an affiliate. This doesn’t cost you anything extra, it just helps me support myself and my life of trying to help ladies with a few secrets of the universe. I have been recommending these products for years, I only recently became an affiliate, probably should have started that sooner too!

Once Upon A Time Stories Became A Way to Teach

Would you rather have a book with seven points to success, or would you rather have a story showing you how someone used seven ways to succeed?

Which would be more memorable when you needed those skills?

Many would argue that the story sticks with people longer.

This story of Moe and Jan starting a business and seeking God for help in it teaches about the network marketing business model while at the same time giving the reader nuggets of truth to improve their spiritual IQ.

Here is a little bit from Chapter 4:

She could smell fresh coffee being brewed as she approached the break room. Even though she was turned away, Jan recognized Kim’s long blond hair. “Hey Kim. How’s it going today?” Kim whirled around clearly startled and barely above a whisper said, “Fine, I am doing just fine. Thank you.”

Jan felt her heart sink. Clearly, she had damaged Kim with her rudeness the other day… so, what to do about it now?

#1. Confess. Got it done.

#2. Ask for help. “Dear God, please help me undo the damage I have caused Kim. Please give me good words.”

#3. Thank Him for the answer before you even see it. Done.

“Kim, I have some of the most delicious bread you will ever taste. I would love to know what you think of it. I want to know if it is really that good, or am I just bread deprived? Please, would you join me?”

Kim looked like a cautious kitten, wanting to take part in the play, but afraid to leave her corner.

Jan said “Look, the truth is, I acted like a schmuck. I’m truly sorry for hurting your feelings. I have no excuse, but I want to make things better. I know you want to be good at your job. If I had been a worthwhile employee, I would have helped you. Please, would you give me another chance?”

At the end of Chapter 4 these lessons are listed to help the reader glean from the chapter:

#Confessing sins to God helps you have better words for others.

#Be kind, it pays off in the long run and you won’t have to apologize so much.

#Do the humble thing when you hurt someone. Apologize. It will make you feel better.

If a story to teach interests you, or to read more, check it out by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

Janie

From Chapter 3, What’s Bothering You?

Then she remembered enjoying Sam’s flirting. They really never sinned, but… Sam was married… um, maybe there was something to confess? She wasn’t really sure, so she just laid out her thoughts about Sam to God anyway. She felt peaceful.

Jan remembered being rude to the new girl in the office. It had been such a busy day, and the new girl kept asking her stupid things. She confessed that to God. Then she remembered enjoying Sam’s flirting. They really never sinned, but… Sam was married… um, maybe there was something to confess? She wasn’t really sure, so she just laid out her thoughts about Sam to God anyway. She felt peaceful.

The prayer requests people brought up were all so serious. Someone’s sister had cancer, another family had a baby too early and the little guy was fighting for life at the hospital. Jan didn’t want to add “My idiot friend can’t figure out how to sell some of the best products in the world.” to the list. Somehow, it just didn’t seem okay. Then Tony looked directly at her, “Jan, is something troubling you?

.~.~.~.

Stories are the most fun way to learn.

If a story to teach interests you, or to read more, check it out by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

Janie

Stories to Teach, Stories to Sell

From Chapter 2:

Then Melissa’s face went back to stern concentration. “Yep, I have great advice. Don’t do it, unless you have tons of money to support yourself until things go well. Thankfully Tom is supportive. But we are in at over $50,000 now. He is starting to get a bit testy. I hate it when he isn’t happy with what I am doing. My idea was great, at first. He was all in. The first few months everything was looking so promising. The next five or six were okay. But, in December when you would think people would want herbs for health boosting more than ever, you know, stay healthy for the holidays, and herbs for cooking… nope.”

Melissa was really getting worked up. “No, they preferred to spend all their money on a stupid robot that sucks up dirt or a smart phone for their dumb kid!”

Melissa’s anger gave way to a deflated sigh, “My Christmas was the pits. And to top it all off, I got to spend all my time up here in this stupid store while Tom was at home with the kids doing all of the fun Christmas things. He wrapped most of the presents. They decorated the tree. It was awful. And, it was my entire fault for opening this stupid store. Sorry, I am being selfish and emotional…So how was yours?”

Stories are the most fun way to learn.

If a story to teach interests you, or to read more, check it out by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

Janie

Painlessly Gaining Generous Wisdom

“If only it were that easy, Jan. People look at me like I’m selling molded grits from Mars

For a look inside, click here on the Kindle version.

Here is a little from the Chapter 1:

“Ha-ha, Moe, you’re a real trip. I knew you would be excited. Your products are great. The sinus stuff worked like a charm too, and the cold I caught last week from my niece was over in three days. Surely you can make the business work without all of these crazy books. Just go sell the stuff.”

“If only it were that easy, Jan. People look at me like I’m selling molded grits from Mars. I just don’t get it. My products really and truly are better than anything I have ever seen. And yet, people who used to be my friends, not only won’t try them, sometimes they even avoid me now… I think I’m getting depressed.” Moe sat back down with a frown. Then, after a few thoughtful moments, she seemed to get a twinkle in her eye, “Thankfully I have this cool bottle of make-everyone-happy stuff, I think I’ll take a swig of it now.”

Jan tried to keep a straight face. Moe had turned into this crazy person trying to sell stuff with no clue how to do it. It was easy to tell she believed in what she was selling. The products did work. Jan thought maybe there was a way to help Moe with some traditional selling techniques using a little more common-sense instead of all that crazy stuff she had been trying.

Would you like to read more pages for free?

Check it out by clicking here.

Thanks for reading,

Janie

Stretch Yourself Quotes

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” by Neale Donald Walsch. ~ Stretching beyond what you are now is exhilarating, certainly worth the effort. Who has ever found average exhilarating?

“The big challenge is to become all that you have the possibility of becomingYou cannot believe what it does to the human spirit to maximize your human potential and stretch yourself to the limit.” by Jim Rohn. ~ It seems sad that so many people never stretch into their greatest possibility…. I don’t want that to be me.

“A good goal is like strenuous exercise- it makes you stretch.” by Mary Kay Ash. ~ If you don’t write down some goals, you are cheating yourself. Do it now.

“The strongest steel is forged by the fires of hell. It is pounded and struck repeatedly before it’s plunged back into the molten fire. The fire gives it power and flexibility, and the blows give it strength.” by Sherrilyn Kenyon. ~ Don’t think it is going to be easy, any amateur can do easy. Stretching is not about easy, it is about getting stronger and better.

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” by Seth Godin ~ Don’t let fear hold you back. Rather, let fear be a possible signal for direction. I don’t mean torture yourself, but knowing you don’t know how can be scary…. but we all have to learn. Don’t let fear hold you back. (That is worth repeating.)

“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.” by Henry Ford ~ The reward of surprising yourself with what you can do is beyond your present comprehension…. that is until you do it.

1 Corinthians 2:9 it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Life is good, get ready to roar.

How to reduce Income Tax

Want to see what I found to start lowering my income taxes? I have been doing this for less than a month. Check out this photo:

This is a super cool easy to use app. I only started it Aug 16 and look at the totals already.

Is that cool or what? The app helps me to remember to write everything down. It reminds me to classify trips and things I spent $ on.

I suppose the most valuable part is that it causes me to connect with people because I want that mileage deduction! So, I am constantly thinking, “Who should I tell about my business?” everywhere I go.

Everyone wants to pay as little taxes as they legally can. This Taxbot App helps me do that! Certainly worth the $100 per year I paid for it.

This is a little bit of Taxbot’s info on how it works. This link is to Taxbot Webinar. The credentials on the man who developed the app are quite impressive.

If you have been hearing about Taxbot and just want to sign up, click on this Taxbot App.

You get to try it for 14 days free. That way you can know if you like it, love it or leave it.

I get a reward if you sign up using my links, but, I would recommend it even if I didn’t get the reward. Especially to people I like.

This is a tax “game changer” for me. I can have more confidence that I am not missing anything I can deduct. I even found out some new cool things about deductions on the webinar.

Thanks for reading!

Are Business Cards Dead? What about Digital Business Cards?

The absurdity of the card pictured above is a bit exaggerated, but I am trying to make a point.

Upon observation that most business cards are simply discarded within hours, sometimes minutes of receiving, I started to reconsider business cards. Perhaps business cards are dead or dying quickly?

A friend who has a very successful plumbing company said he ditched the business cards long ago. People just don’t keep up with them. Now he uses a digital business card.

It is just too easy to google and find all the info a person might need at their fingertips. Literally, right on their phone using their fingertips..

But what about the great connection you meet at a party, or at yoga class, or while waiting for your table at a restaurant?

Get into the real world. The digital world. Create your own digital card using Paint or even Excel. Almost any sort of program that can produce words will do. Create a card that is short sweet and to the point.

When you offer someone a digital card, this is the magic moment when you can capture their information in your phone. Add notes to self on when and why to follow up. Most people who are really interested in what you do will appreciate the contact and be happy to connect. Those who don’t most likely would never have contacted you via the old fashioned business card any way.

Simple, fast, flawless.

There are still some instances where business cards are important to hand out.

Like when you want to impress your mom’s friends because your mom likes it. Keeping Moms happy is very important… we all know that we get what we give…

Or when you really hope not to hear from someone you connected with… and you hope they lose the business card.

Maybe even for one of those “games” they play at ladies social events where you get points for all of the things you have in your purse.

And yes, there may even be a few people, a very few people, who really just want your business card. They want to connect on their terms when they so choose. Maybe they are thinking that when you become really rich and famous the card will be worth lottttttsss of cash….

But really, for business, it is up to you to do the pursuing. You are the professional. You do the thinking. You are the one who benefits from the connection, so, it is up to you to make sure you are connected.

While traditional business cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past, digital business cards are being developed into very useful business tools.

I suppose, maybe, if you can cram enough info on the old traditional card, perhaps you can use it as a selling tool? You know like a brochure that can fit into a wallet? You will still need to do some fast talking to get the person interested enough to hang on to the card.

So, Traditional Business Card or Digital Business Card?

I still recommend that you get a few of the old traditional cards. Put something on it worth keeping.

Discount code? Everyone loves a better deal.

Really funny joke? We all need to laugh.

Bible Verse for life circumstances? Everyone is facing some sort of silent battle.

With any business decision, think about how it can help the customer.

Philippians 2:4 “do not merely look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.