Jan 30 2012

Morna, CEO/Founder
The International Association of Professional Quilters

In every creative person’s life there comes a point where one turns a corner. Creating starts out small as a new skill is learned or technique attempted. Quickly, though, as expertise and satisfaction grow, the sewer, crafter, painter or other artist begins to enjoy creating an abundance of wares. And therein lies the problem.  A business is the natural answer, but one that requires developing a new set of skills. Successful artisans don’t always have what they need, experience-wise, to create cash flow while maintaining stock, taking care of financing and taxes as well as government regulations and oversight.

New business owners are often disappointed when realizing they don’t get to do their artwork as much as before opening their business. Soon, administrative duties may seem to require more time than creative planning and fulfillment. Pushing papers and following regulations become overwhelming without a dependable plan for organization. So, what DOES one do to keep up with it all?

These WACs from WWII are discovering how much it takes
for administration. There’s lots to do!

I know a quilter who just might have the answer. But! She’s not just any quilter. Morna McEver Golletz is a quilter who’s also a journalist. It was only natural, therefore, that she become the Editor of The Professional Quilter magazine and she has successfully managed this publication, steadily increasing its subscriptions for many years.

Then Morna founded the International Association of Professional Quilters, connecting quilt related business owners from all over the world. With her business savvy and enthusiastic outlook, she is a gifted in mentoring new and prospective business owners. That’s is why I am writing about Morna today. Morna has broadened her business advice to include all those who create and want to sell their creations. She is having a big gathering, the Creatives Arts Business Summit, March 29-31, 2012, near Dulles airport in Washington, DC that I introduced to BlogHer before the holidays and there is still time to sign up to be included.

Even better perhaps, if you don’t have the time to travel, are her mentoring videos that are currently being promoted. She can tell you all about it, so click “play” and let me introduce you to Morna:

Morna is ready and happy to share her years of experience.
She asks you not remind her how many years it has been.

Morna’s videos offer her years of business experience in an easy to digest form. And, the best thing is that you get to try them out and see if they work for you.  She is offering the first videos in the series for FREE!

Go here to learn more:

In this free training program, you’ll discover: 

1) The key to creating structure in your business

2) What the right planning strategies are for you

3) What key resources you should have in order to leverage the Internet for your business

4) How to set a clear line of demarcation between business and hobby and to make sure you are on the business side of it

5) And a lot more!

Join Morna for this free 4-part training program and begin taking your business to the next level. The training program is three videos followed by a live call on February 6 at 4 pm eastern.

 Click here to register and you’ll get the first video immediately.

See what you think of Morna’s approach. In business,
I’ve found, there is always more to learn!

NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Jan 29 2012

Depending upon the viewpoint of the recipient, a surprise
party can be a delight or a floodgate of suffocating attention.

Do you like surprise birthday parties? It does put the special person on the spot. I’m not sure that I like them thrown for me, but what fun it is to plan good times for someone else and have everyone in on the secret. I suppose the ends justify the means as only a group of people with the best of intentions would go to all of the trouble of creating such a festive get together.

Just look at the fun a group giving a surprise birthday party can have. Here is an early 1931 cartoon of Mickey and Minnie Mouse with all of their friends springing a surprise birthday party for Mickey and what a party it is. If you grew up in the 1950s like I did watching cartoons on Saturday morning, then you will recognize some of these early Disney characters from when these cartoons, originally played as previews for movies in movie theaters, were shown on TV. Share some old time memories by clicking on the play button below:

Mickey and Minnie thrilled Depression Era children at movie theaters.

Birthdays are such a momentous day of the year for children and when we are children, there are lots of relatives to celebrate each passing year. We know that such rewards and attention will surely be there our whole lives as we bask in the adoration of everyone we know. But, as the years speed by and the glorious attentions of our elders are replaced by photographs and memories, birthday celebrations can thin out quite a bit. Many of us must look forward to planning our own self celebrations, gathering happiness up around our shoulders like a wool shawl on a cool summer evening, thus marking our own yearly passages.

Looking into the sun gives this birthday girl an expression of
entitled impatience while being feted by her twenty two guests.

But, celebrating birthdays together is something we might choose to do for all of our adult friends as we parent each other through the rest of our lives. Making a fuss, sending cards and planning celebratory events increases fellowship and takes each birthday person back to the days when they were a child at birthday parties and there were less then ten candles on the cake. Now, there are even adult birthday party planning sites on the Internet with party supply packages to ease making arrangements.

So, with all the work done, sit up straight, make a wish and blow out all the candles at once!

Sue shows us how to get excited about Surprise Birthday Parties.

If you decide to plan a party, this book has rave reviews. Hover your mouse over the link to preview:

Real Simple: Celebrations

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Jan 28 2012

Crab au Gratin will make you feel like a Marylander. Welcome!

One of the neatest things I ever did was get a job as a waitress. But, not just as any waitress, although I have been just any waitress since then, for I was a “Phillips Girl.” In Maryland, when kids graduate from high school, they all head to Ocean City to celebrate. And so did I. I was eighteen and I loved it at the beach, so I decided to go to Phillips Crab House and get a job. It was a job that would change my life, for many reasons, talking about The Repercussions of Unanticipated Acts, as the topic was discussed on BlogHer.com But, I could make fifty posts about all of that, so it will have to wait, because…

A Phillips Crab House postcard from the early 1970s.

The reverse of the Phillips Crab House postcard above.

…I want to tell you about Maryland Crab au Gratin. When I worked at Phillips, it was on the menu and, as you can see from the prices, that was a while back. Phillips Crab au Gratin was on lumps of back fin crab meat, seasoned as only Phillips could. I’ve taken Phillips Crab Imperial, posted on their web site years ago, and added cheese as an au gratin tribute to my favorite Ocean City memories.

A cardboard Phillips Crab House Menu from the early 1970s.

A menu close up showing Crab au Gratin 1970s pricing.


Sunbonnet Smart Heritage Recipes

Crab au Gratin using
Phillips Crab House Crab Imperial Recipe

Crab Imperial
Yield: 6 servings
1 lb Phillips Jumbo Lump Crab Meat
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 egg
1 tsp Phillips Seafood Seasoning
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 oz  Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 tsp melted butter

6 ramekins for baking
Pinch of paprika

Imperial Sauce (Don’t use for the Crab au Gratin.)
3 oz Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 oz half & half
½ tsp Phillips Seafood Seasoning
½ tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce

Combine all Crab Imperial ingredients EXCEPT FOR THE CRAB. Whip until smooth. Add crab and GENTLY toss to avoid breaking the lumps. Divide into ramekins and bake at 400° for 12-15 minutes. Combine ingredients for Imperial Sauce and whip until smooth.  Top each ramekin with Imperial Sauce and a pinch of paprika and broil until golden brown.

For Sunbonnet Smart Crab au Gratin:

1 one quart flat au gratin cookware to be used instead of 6 ramekins
½ lb good sharp cheddar cheese

I make the Crab Imperial from Phillips and use it without the Imperial Sauce. Place the Crab Imperial in a greased one quart flat au gratin cookware and bake at 400° for 15-20minutes.  Remove from oven and add shredded cheddar cheese to cover and sprinkle with paprika and Phillips seafood seasoning, if desired. Put under broiler until cheese is melted and just starting to brown.

I usually double the recipe by getting 2 lbs of Phillips Crab Meat at COSTCO, 1 lb lump and 1 lb backfin. That doubles the recipe to make two 1 quart flat au gratin cookware portions, one to eat and one to wrap well and freeze. I don’t put the cheese on when freezing the second one. I put it on after baking.

Early in the last century a boy, Ivy Flowers, swam across Tar Bay to Hoopers Island, Maryland to see a girl.  During the same period, Captain Augustus Elsworth Phillips, Jr. was the captain of the cargo schooner, McCready. Brice Phillips and Shirley Flowers, the children of these two men from the Chesapeake, would marry and have two sons, Steve and Jeffrey. With the family’s Hoopers Island packing plant as a base, the Phillips would create a worldwide empire based upon their relationship with the crab. This is the story of that family. It is also the story of the Empires of the Crab.

If you have an interest, hover your
mouse over this link: Empires Of The Crab

Amazon Review:  “This eloquently written book is more than biography, it is an evocative social-study of one family’s travel from a Chesapeake Bay backwater to modernity. Brice and Shirley Phillips were born and raised on a remote island-promontory jutting into the sea on the eastern side of Chesapeake Bay. They grew up in the crab-processing business. While preserving that, they gravitated to the seafood restaurant business, one thing including much hard work led to another, and they prospered. Their son pioneered crab processing in the Phillippines, Malaysia and mainland Asia, and the Phillips enterprise is now respected globally.”

NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Jan 26 2012

May Your Hearts Beat in Sweet Unison

There is a saying that “Youth is wasted on the young.” Reading recently on BlogHer, it occurs to me that perhaps, rhetorically speaking, marriage is wasted on the young. When I read how many problems young married couples have, it seems like the lofty goals anticipated for marriage don’t always lead to the happy homes intended. People grow and change, sometimes growing together, sometimes growing apart. The levels of maturity can vary along with all of the skills that it takes to successfully navigate through family finances, illnesses and life and death transitions.

So, although the natural order of things is to marry when young and start families, it would seem that marrying later in life would not only be better targeted for success, but would result in more satisfying unions built on a mature realization of what life is all about. In other words, I wouldn’t really say it is wasted on the young, but rather, that marriages occurring later in life should be celebrated with more fanfare, not less. In other words, when it comes to marriage later in life, both the bride and groom go into it fully informed. They have arrived!

But, see how older brides are treated. Google “older bride” and take a gander. One web site made it clear that older brides, instead of just planning for a lovely celebration, must also defeat their possible constipation along with that of their groom. What!?!? Having enough probiotics for the digestion is for everyone, not just older wedding parties. I can’t imagine confusing late in life nuptials with late in life dietary habits. Don’t young people have constitutional issues? Do we interrupt the ambiance of The Magic Room to inquire of the bride and her father if they are eliminating regularly to avoid bloating on the wedding day?

Portlandia’s Spyke and Iris plan their Cool Wedding

What other advice can we gather for older brides from bridal web sites? Well, first and foremost, older brides are told to be tasteful. Never mind that some young brides overestimate the tensile strength of satin to conceal one Big Mac too many and others bag “blushing” while wearing outfits more suited to pole dancing. Bridal sites somehow feel age relieves one of common sense. Why does an older bride have to be told she needs to be tasteful? While young brides are promoted as princesses with every detail to their whim and fancy, older brides are begged not to offend.

The older bride is far less inclined to wear something tasteless, by her very nature. “An older bride in a young and sexy dress will not look right,” one bridal site intones. Many young brides, however, do not “look right” in young and sexy dresses. And since when has it become fashionable to tout your sexual allure on your wedding day anyway? What happened to being demure with a veil to seclude the bridal blush? When did bumping and grinding down the aisle get established so guests can sample what the groom will soon cherish as his own?

And just what do these nagging bridal sites think older brides are going to choose? The G-string Wedding Dress shown recently by Kavia Gauche at Berlin Fashion Week? Oh pa-leeze!

May Your Lives Be One Glorious Sunset

All in all, older brides need to be choosier in selecting their bridal sites for advice. While many “lesser sites” may point to giving away bottles of Milk of Magnesia as table favors, Martha Stewart reigns supreme in the older bride arena as well as in all others. On her web site, Martha receives an e-mail from a 60 year old bride inquiring what would be “right” or politically correct for a bride of her age having her second wedding. Martha answers that except for a veil, the rules of etiquette are the same and TIMELESS for a bride of any age. There you go. Taste is taste and class is class no matter the age of the bride and groom.


NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Jan 25 2012

The Washington Post newspaper, Style Section, January 2012

I am the last one who should be writing this article.  Honestly, I don’t know how it’s happening. I am the one, for instance, who never watched TV’s Seinfeld until it’s third season. It’s a tradition. I am never on top of any fad or prevailing fancy. I am always after the fact, getting into a social phenomenon after the public’s tide of interest has crested. It regularly seems when I finally wake up and get on board, looking around to say, “Hey, everybody, I get it,” nobody’s there. They have all moved on to the next great allure and I have no idea where they are or what that might be.

Why in the world the touting of the off beat series Portlandia would fall on my shoulders is beyond me. Surely EVERYONE in the world has seen it as I’m always the last to know.  But, for some reason, maybe I’ve turned over a new leaf or crawled out of a new rock. Maybe my family just didn’t know any better, because if you’d told me to watch it, I probably wouldn’t have, resisting the urge to be like everyone else, until the moment had peaked.

Maybe when we went to pick a movie from NetFlix and serendipity landed us on the unknown title of Portlandia, we didn’t resist because we hadn’t heard of it at all. There was nothing to fight, so we effortlessly moved to Portland. But, now that I’m ahead of things for once, I look around and nobody’s here. Nobody seems to have heard of Portlandia and I am ahead of the pack.

Fred and Carrie live in LA but find themselves in Portland, Oregon

Big “duh,” but it took me a while to realize Portlandia is a series of skits compiled by two people, Fred and Carrie, who play an agile mix of characters in every trendy, hip and robust scene imaginable. All of today’s pertinent topics are covered and each character they play relates somehow to someone you know, or an acquaintance you’ve met. No one is spared, but their gracious inclusion speaks to their love of humankind while forcing everyone to laugh at themselves and everyone else.

Toni and Candice know the rules and apply them universally.

The Portlandia selection on NetFlix streams Season 1, so there is no waiting and you can enjoy it right away. The only problem is that watching one episode, you will probably want to watch another. Like we did. We stayed up late on Friday night and then started watching again at breakfast Saturday morning. It was heaven and addictive, and as Toni says, “Addiction isn’t funny.” But, of course, Portlandia addresses that current wrinkle in society, watching several years of a series show in one sitting, just watching one more episode each time.

Warning! When you start to stream Portlandia, this will happen.

Well, so…we’re hooked. So much talent and so much fun. Maybe it won’t become “your thing” like it has ours, but I hope that somewhere in this, you were able to crack a smile.  🙂

NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Jan 18 2012

Visiting “The Future” at the New York World’s Fair, 1964-1965,
while in 1960’s clothes.

When I was a kid, we looked to the future through a TV cartoon time warp called “The Jetsons.” Then, while we watched futuristic “programming” on TV, our parents were also being instructed by mass media that the future would bring better living to us all. We were told daily that the progress to take us blindly into the future would be better, much better than anything in the present. It was inferred that we should just trust whomever was bringing this to pass. And so, when the biggest international event of the decade occurred, the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York City, we knew we were on the cusp of a wave that would carry us aloft to glorious destinies. We didn’t know where we were heading, but we knew we were getting there fast, and that it was going to be better, right?

Bell Telephone Pavillion: New York World’s Fair 1964-1965.
“Peace through Understanding” Moving chairs carry the Fairgoer
past animated exhibits tracing the history of communications.
Anyone may try out “picture phones” -phones equipped with TV
devices showing the person on the other end.

Bigger was better. Faster was better. More, stronger, cheaper was better. New and improved? Well, of course THAT was better. The words new and improved must mean something was really NEW and IMPROVED. It therefore must be better. The box said so, just as the TV had. Who could argue that the product wasn’t actually new and improved? And since the new and improved product was now and the old has-been product was then, this product in the present HAD to be better…but nothing compared to what it would be in the future!

The New York World’s Fair 1964-1965

And so, whirling in this vortex of progress, spiraling upwards, or so we thought, we became very impressionable to the idea that new was better and old served no purpose. Like modern lemmings, we followed the promises of the TV box that guided us through every day to “improve” our otherwise primitive lives. And so, our societal common sense undermined, we believed like children that modern was good and old fashioned was not only outdated, but bad. For example, I can remember visiting my mother’s family home where her cousin had “modernized” and replaced “all of those silly old, dark, heavy walnut doors and matching woodwork” hoping to bring a Federal Period house into the 20th century.

And here are people in 1965, trying their best to be
“Futuristic” with a lamp pole, sunburst wall clock and
“modern art” man-made fiber curtains.

And as fast was better, convenience overcame tried and true. I can remember my mother laughing, as she opened a loaf of spongy white Wonderbread, that Mrs. So-and-so made bread for her family every week. Nobody we knew had ever made bread. And then we went through all of elementary school, junior and senior high school with the same group of kids year, in and year out. We knew everything about everybody. Trust me, no one baked bread, no one, except Mrs. So-and-so. Buying convenience foods, opening cans, heating up frozen food, using cake mixes: no one we knew had mothers that did anything much more than that. On occasion, cookies might be made from scratch, but NEVER a cake.

Convenience and taste, not nutrition, were the selling points.
H-m-m-m. Wonder what chemicals were used to replicate the eggs?

According to the Joy of Baking:  “Eggs play a major role in cake
baking. Eggs add aeration to the batter, provide structure to
the cake, help bind the ingredients together, keep the cake moist
and add flavor and tenderness.”

Eggs sound important to a cake! What did they use instead?

The modern housewife was told by mass media advertising that convenience was the way of the future and the less done the better. It was the futuristic way to do things for those in the know. The whole concept of eating to nurture the body while promoting wellness was not considered. Nutritional content was not considered. The only things that seemed important were taste and convenience. And if that taste were stimulated by a chemical cocktail, no one seemed to mind or notice.

This hash commercial is odd for a number of reasons. You’ll see
that as long as women were invisible and could open a can of
hash, things were fine.

But, how did the woman and the hash feel about it?
And how nutritious was that dinner of canned hash and eggs?

Little by little, convenience foods became fast foods. It wasn’t that long before men, women and families began eating out more and more. In addition, as people ate out more often, cost became a concern and restaurants offering good “home cooking” were expensive compared to McDonald’s “four course meal with change from a dollar.” We were detached from the concept that what we ate physically became our bodies and minds. In fact, I can’t remember chemical additives or preservatives ever being commonly discussed. Maybe there was mention of nitrates and nitrites in hot dogs once in a while, but overall we ate without self awareness.

Now I understand that nutrient dense food is not only medicine, but provides the foundations for living. That’s why “The Jetson’s” putting a pill in a wall unit that looks prognostic of microwave ovens, closing the door and pushing a button to conveniently produce a plate full of food seems out of date. The concept is old fashioned, from when that was considered “modern” and is comically passe. People now know wholesome, unadulterated slow foodstuffs are truly the building blocks of life. Therefore, any quaint desire for convenience, at the expense of nutrition and wellness, has thankfully gone the way of the TV dinner.


Where do great meals begin?

Come to the Table brings you straight to the source of wonderful flavors, beauty, abundance, and pride of place—the small farms of California and the people who tend them season after season.
Alice Waters, the celebrated chef and food activist, introduces a remarkable group of resilient fresh-food artisans who are committed to keeping our food supply delicious, diverse, and safe—for humans and the planet. Meet the folks down on the farm and learn firsthand about the back-to-the-future small-farm economy that’s gaining strength across America. Discover new tastes and memorable traditions. Explore local flavors, wit, and wisdom along with the universal values of a food system that is “good, clean, and fair.” Recreate a range of sumptuous yet simple meals with the farmers’ own family recipes—including breakfast crostata and fresh-fruit jams, stuffed artichokes and black-eyed peas, chile relleno casseroles, pulled pork, and cheesecake.Sustainable food is real food.
Come to the table, and help yourself!

If you have an interest in this book, hover your mouse over:

Slow Food Nation’s Come to the Table: The Slow Food Way of Living

NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Jan 16 2012

There she is!….

….Miss Blog-Her Dot Com!

There she is!…

….Featured in FOOD!

(sung to the tune of There She Is, Miss America!)

Talking and telling is what I do best...

Oh Happy Day! What FUN!

What FUN to wake up and see one of my posts is featured on BlogHer!

In the FOOD section…

What a match made in heaven! There is nothing I like better than food and there is NOTHING I like better than to see something I’ve done in print. I could look at it for hours while savoring each noteworthy detail of my brilliance. And to find a resource like BlogHer.com is nothing sort of a miracle for this author, turned blogger, turned into Featured Food blog-gair…

Oh! Be still my heart…

In the past, commercially available post cards were handy to
show women the proper way to behave and “wear their face.”

As a woman, sometimes little affirmation seems to come from anybody. I’m afraid to say much, though, as it’s yet to be determined whether the lack of affirmation is a result of lack luster performance or truly gender related. But, I do know how it is to work hard and have little affirmation, going maybe days and weeks without so much as an “atta boy.”  Then, to find a welcoming group of accomplished women of all ages and experiences ready, willing and able to write, talk, tell, affirm and get along is a dream come true. And what fun and delight I have experienced since signing up on BlogHer.com in November, 2011, over Thanksgiving weekend.

When women share support for each other,
great things can be accomplished.

I have found BlogHer.com to be the slumber party that never sleeps; the quarterback run to the goal with the crowds in hysterical support that replays without pushing the play button; the Miss America walk down the runway where the roses are always budding, the crown forever sparkly and the body filling out the swimsuit eternally the correct size. BlogHer.com is an author’s dream come true: a receptive reading audience where the reviews are immediate, the rewards unending and the numbers always spiraling upwards….as long as one posts and comments, giving to get.

Women of any age blossom with love and support.

BlogHer.com is a remarkable group of blogging authors, and I am very proud to be represented on these Internet pages. So, thank you, BlogHer.com, for this recognition and for being there. Whether it is first thing in the morning when I wake to face the day or late at night when I just can’t sleep, BlogHer is always there. It is my pleasure to be there for BlogHer as well. I am delighted to be featured on the FOOD page and, BlogHer,  I thank you!

NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Jan 10 2012

Welcome to the second installment of going Up to the Amish for Raw Milk. But, before we get back to traveling to visit the farmers who produce our food, you have GOT to look at this segment from Portlandia, the show that is my new favorite and getting plenty of coverage in the newspaper. Watch the following video to pick up tips about eating locally, knowing your food’s origins and befriending the farmers that produce it:

Portlandia, my new favorite thing.

Getting to know your farmer, is the trendy and right thing to do.  Know your food and from whence it comes. It’s worked for us. We’ve been eating locally and organically since 2008.  We have become well, never felt better and save money. Can’t beat it! Why? Your food is cheaper because you save money on transportation costs and you eat less of it because each bite is nutrient dense, not empty calories.  You can see how your food is prepared, before you decide to incorporate its nutrients into your body and you can bet it’s fresher than anything you can buy at a mainstream grocery.

This sign, the photo taken in summer, tells of the sale of
raw milk at Your Family Cow in Chambersburg, PA.

What’s the point of visiting farms? So you can see how your food is produced and connect with the farmers, their families and the animals they are raising. It’s very important to have a positive energy about how your animal food is treated, both in life and in its humane death. As Melissa Ford of BlogHer, a woman’s blogging forum and community, mentioned, “Treating animals humanely in life and then not being concerned how they die is like smothering granny with a pillow.” An unpleasant image, but one that really hits home and paints a picture.

Your Family Cow shows lots of blue sky and green grass in
their marketing which mirrors all you see when you visit
the farm: clean cows in green grass with blue sky above them.

So, after visiting Trickling Springs Creamery in the last post, we traveled several miles to Your Family Cow where we usually buy milk, meat, eggs, cheese and baked goods. A generational family farm, Your Family Cow farmed conventionally for years, modernizing as did other farmers in the area as every new innovation was added to the agriculture toolbox. But, eventually the owner, Edwin Shank, says his family saw a diminishing rate of return and they studied organic farming and the cost benefits, turning around their operation when they became completely organic in their orientation. They’ve never looked back, lovingly producing a safe, nutritious product in all of their sale areas.

Why look! It’s Colin the chicken, from the Portlandia
video above. A healthy habitat produces healthy chickens,
kids, adults and customers.

What a happy place sustainable farms are to visit. Rather than feel the animal’s dissatisfaction with their drudgery, one can feel them happy while living in pleasant surroundings with good treatment. And the cycle of life with a respectful use for everything is an obvious theme. Things just seem to work better when one farms with nature instead of in opposition to it.

The grass fed beef freezer at Your Family Cow is always
stocked with the best. High quality pastured beef has
more nutrients so is cheaper than one would think.

A natural farming system is in place, set up as if it were planned, and surely it was. All one has to do is work with it, not against it. For instance, the cows graze in the field and spread manure around as they eat which fertilizes and restores the grass for their next season’s feeding. It’s a win-win. Everyone benefits and the cows are happy.

A bounty of homemade organic goods are available at Your
Family Cow and other farms and country stores in the area.

We shopped at Your Family Cow’s farm store for quite a while. Edwin Shank was there and we talked to him about the pastured pork that is in right now, but sure to sell out soon. Customers are increasing every week for Edwin and the Shanks as people are quickly learning to choose wholesome food products. Edwin remarked that the pork farm down the road supplying Your Family Cow with hams, sausage and ground pork will be doubling their stock for next year when they raise their pigs and hogs. This indicates a heartwarming demand showing people are continuing to know what is good for them and act on it while telling their friends.

Your Family Cow offers seasonal vegetables from the garden,
cheese, free range eggs, milk and baked goods, all fresh,
delicious and ready to actively build up bodies and minds.

On our trip last weekend, we purchased 20 pounds of hamburger, a tremendous large, thick ham steak that won’t begin to fit on a plate and a pound of sausage all for $120.00. Better food and at a reasonable price. The ham steak will serve for a number of meals as meat entree, flavoring and then as a soup base. In the past, we have paid $23.00 for nice size pork shoulder and made pulled pork Bar-B-Que for sandwiches, eating them all week.

The residents of the Shank Eco-farm, Your Family Cow, are
bright eyed, curious and eager to connect with visitors.

It is amazing how much longer grass fed and pastured cows live compared to their stockyard counterparts. The stress of living in crowded conditions, not being able to rest or lie down takes its toll. In addition, being over bred to constantly produce milk while being on drugs and antibiotics causes stockyard animals to live about half as long as those cows pastured in the fresh air while eating grass instead of grain. the average life of a stockyard cow is 5-7 years, while a grass fed cow lives 10-15 years. Organic farming studies have determined that cow replacement rates on grass fed farms are 30-46% lower.

Leaving Your Family Cow, we have a cooler full of goodies. The
Shanks are a Mennonite family.  Showing their faith, signs of
comfort welcome customers and send them on their way.

Charles Benbrook, PhD, chief scientist pf the Organic Center and former executive director of the board on agriculture of the National Academy of Sciences, led the study that investigated milk and meat production compared with money earned and environmental effects. To study this article in greater detail, click here.

Free range chickens freely run around many farms and
homes in Pennsylvania. They all seem to stick together
and know what to do to avoid intrusion.

Getting ready to leave Pennsylvania, we go on our way, secure that we have food to put in the freezer when we get home. Scenes of rural harmony are all over as we drive by great stretches of farm land occasionally dotted with small farming villages. On one of the back roads, we had a great time watching this pimped out rooster run around with his three hens. There seemed to be no friction between the individuals in this “polyamorous” relationship, a new word I learned on BlogHer this week.

Finally, the quintessential Amish experience,
seeing an Amish buggy.

When driving on the back roads in an Amish area, one is bound to come across Amish buggies driving around, running errands like everyone else. As much as I would LOVE to take photographs to share of Amish people in their buggies, that would go against the dictates of their religion forbiding the making of graven images. So, finding a buggy without anyone around it that might be offended by the intrusion of a camera made the trip. I mean how can you post about visiting the Amish without Amish people? So, here it is! We were really there. It really happened.

…And I really have a recipe for Amish Hot Fudge.

And you don’t.

Come back tomorrow for “Up to the Amish for Raw Milk III”
for Amish Hot Fudge


One fateful starless night, 17-year-old Ira Wagler got up at 2 AM, left a scribbled note under his pillow, packed all of his earthly belongings into in a little black duffel bag, and walked away from his home in the Amish settlement of Bloomfield, Iowa. Now, in this heartwarming memoir, Ira paints a vivid portrait of Amish life—from his childhood days on the family farm, his Rumspringa rite of passage at age 16, to his ultimate decision to leave the Amish Church for good at age 26. Growing Up Amish is the true story of one man’s quest to discover who he is and where he belongs. Readers will laugh, cry, and be inspired by this charming yet poignant coming of age story set amidst the backdrop of one of the most enigmatic cultures in America today—the Old Order Amish.

If you would are interested in reviewing this book,
hover your mouse over the following link:

Growing Up Amish: A Memoir

NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Filed under: Food,Real Milk — admin @ 5:24 pm Comments (0)
Jan 08 2012

My family is devoted to the healing benefits of raw milk, grass fed beef and building up the probiotic content of our digestive systems. We follow the beliefs of a very savvy group of people who are health conscious and well. They are so well, they espouse their wellness, rather than their illness. And, with the Weston A. Price Foundation tenets, one is rarely, and I mean rarely, ever sick. There is just no illness to talk about, unless one is beginning the journey and coming to Weston A. Price to heal a chronically ill health condition, which many people are. But even then, they speak of how they are getting well, not about how sick they are.

We left at 10:00am to go north to Pennsylvania. First thing
of note on the journey was this BIG N. I kept looking around
for Big Bird, thinking I was on Sesame Street.

Several times a month we go up to the Amish and Mennonite farms just north of us in Pennsylvania. Each state in the union has its own laws about the sale and distribution of raw milk. Pennsylvania allows the sale of raw milk, while Maryland does not, but Maryland will allow enough to be brought across state lines to feed one’s own family. Raw milk is not pasteurized or homogenized. It is milk drunk fresh from the cow, like it has been all the way down through human history until the last hundred years or so.

Route 70 goes across country and cuts through the State of
Maryland. When I was driving out west in the 1970s, I could
get on Route 70 outside of Washington, D.C. and drive all
the way to Indianapolis, IN without a single stoplight.

The natural enzymes, vitamins, minerals, CLA which is a cancer deterrent and good bacteria of raw milk can not be equaled by any other food product. And I’ll even venture to say, not by any natural or man made medicine. It is a pure and nutrient dense substance that sustains life and promotes health and has for thousands of years.

Maryland is a beautiful state, called America in Miniature,
having the Atlantic Ocean coast, the Chesapeake Bay
and also mountains in the western part.

Years ago, every family had their own cow or had access to one. As people moved to the city, the milkman began making deliveries of cold fresh milk into urban communities. Pasteurization became necessary when, to make money and use up the wasted grain from liquor distilleries, cows began being kept in stockyards so that they lived and died next to the liquor plant, not in fields of grass.

Pennsylvania is a state that allows the sale of raw milk,
while Maryland does not allow the sale. But, each Maryland
family is allowed to drive across state lines and buy milk for
their own family’s use.

The waste grain from liquor manufacturer processes was brought out on conveyor systems to the cows to eat. It was all they had to eat, so they ate it. Cows don’t naturally eat grain and they got sick as a result. Because the cows were sick, their milk had to be pasteurized to be safe. That practice has continued over to today with most milk being pasteurized and homogenized. Cows that are kept clean and safe on grass fed sustainable farms produce a safe and clean product that most times has less of a bacterial count than the milk bought at the store.  Pasteurization and homogenization methods render milk difficult for humans to digest.

Once over the Pennsylvania line, the houses are wood framed
and from another time. Here we are starting to get near where
the Amish and Mennonite farmers live.

It is the inability of people to digest pasteurized and homogenized milk that has lead to the concept of being “lactose intolerant.” The pasteurization kills the enzymes and interrupts actions of the chemical buffers that make it possible for so called “lactose intolerant” people to drink milk. When those who are lactose intolerant drink raw milk as nature intended, many say their problems with milk are easily overcome.

White outbuildings tell the tale of generational, sustainable
farming practices.

I am not the first to tell this story about raw vs. pasteurized milk. The knowledge is common, if one knows where to look. There is a great deal of information on the Weston A. Price web site. In addition, the book The Untold Story of Milk illustrates the system that made milk dirty, so that it had to be cleaned. At the end of this post, there is a link to the book, The Untold Story of Milk.

Hungry and ready for a break from driving, we stopped at
Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, PA, right off
of the I-81 Interstate.

Trickling Springs Creamery has great dairy products as all of their milk is from grass fed, pastured cows. They “flash” pasteurize their milk. We raw milk fans do not drink that kind of milk on a regular basis, as we do not agree with any pasteurization. The Trickling Springs Ice Cream is SO GOOD, however, sometimes we decide not to be too fussy.

The sign out in front of Trickling Springs Creamery has the
phone number in case you ever want directions.
Worth a trip from anywhere.

You won’t find the word “organic” on the Trickling Springs labels and that’s where eating organically gets a little tricky. At first when you change over to eating organically to start detoxing and getting the industrial chemicals out of your body, it easiest to just follow labels and eat something if the label says it’s organic. Later as one spirals upward with health and habits, it gets easier to know what’s organic or not, regardless of the labeling.

This half gallon of ice cream does not say the contents are
organic, but we buy it and get spoons to share.
Cheaper than cones: $6 not $12!

This is the beauty of buying locally.

We know the cows are raised organically and the manufacturing
process is organic. Besides, this tub contains Amish Hot Fudge.
 It’s Cold Amish Hot Fudge, true, but that’s an important segue
as I’m going to GIVE YOU THE RECIPE for Amish Hot Fudge!

You will thank me. Your children will thank me.
And your children’s children….will thank me.

To qualify for an organic label, companies must pay large sums of money. As one studies the situation, it becomes obvious that small, local organically practicing food companies cannot afford the label. Big corporate conglomerates easily can, although their practices might not be as pure. That is why people who worry about what they put into their bodies get to know the producer of their food. If the food you eat is local, it is easy go see how the food is produced, gauging whether the production and harvesting are wholesome.

An old ladder becomes a handy display rack.

Amish and Mennonites come from a frugal heritage of using what they have to best advantage.  Isn’t this nifty? On the Trickling Springs front porch, we see an old ladder that has been converted into a display rack for sales items. With nothing added but swing-set chain and “S” hooks, the display is ready to go once the ladder is hung from the ceiling. Can you see this adapted to a country kitchen to hang large pots and pans? Maybe not the WHOLE ladder, but several rungs would be great.

The front door leading to the Trickling Springs Creamery store.

See the sign on the front door saying Trickling Spring milk is from grass fed cows? That’s the pedigree you want for your milk. If cows are grass fed in a pasture, they are not being held in overcrowded pens eating grain. It is comforting to know this milk comes from cows free of preemptive antibiotics.

The cow “mothers” of the milk used for Trickling Springs Creamery have not received antibiotics because they don’t need them. They don’t get sick because they are not in close quarters eating unnatural foods they can’t digest. The farms that give milk to Trickling Springs follow organic practices with their cows pastured in fields eating grass and clover like cows naturally do.

And, how do I know? Well, once again these manufacturers are standing right there in front of me. It’s easy to ask them where they get their milk and go see the farmer, the farm, the cows and the fields. And, that is where we are going on the next post: to see a farm that gives milk to Trickling Springs Creamery.

But, in order to go, you must be very good today, read all the BlogHer posts you possibly can, putting all other obligations aside and leave plenty of comments to encourage those writing the blogs. Don’t be a stranger! BlogHer bloggers need to read that someone, somewhere cares.

Join us for tomorrow’s post where we go to an organically
run farm, see a studly rooster and an Amish buggy.
Come back. Have fun! Be better informed!


Ron Schmid, ND, naturopathic physician, writer, teacher and
farmer, has prescribed raw milk for his patients for nearly
25 years. Dr. Schmid is a graduate of MIT and the National
College of Naturopathic Medicine. Author resides in Connecticut.

If you have an interest in this book, hover your mouse
over the link below:

The Untold Story of Milk: Green Pastures, Contented Cows and Raw Dairy Products


NaBloPoMo January 2012

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Filed under: Food,Real Milk — admin @ 5:22 pm Comments (0)
Jan 06 2012

A mother poodle nurtures her puppies. Or wait, does she?

When I was a kid growing up, I had a friend that used to say a common adage, “You can believe nothing you hear, half of what you read and everything you see.” If that were ever true, well, fifty years later that has changed. Now things are much simpler: “You can’t believe anything you hear, read OR see.” Modern technology is progressing so quickly it is important to realize that “photographic evidence” can no longer be trusted as such.

Watch this fascinating video about the green screening and computer graphics of the movie John Adams by clicking play to fully appreciate the enhancement capabilities of audio/visual information:

Technology is a wonderful thing, but now every bit
of new information must be critically reviewed.


For information on the green screen technique, preview
this guide by hovering your mouse over this link:

Greenscreen Made Easy: Keying and Compositing Techniques for Indie Filmmakers

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Filed under: Beauty,The Arts — admin @ 5:20 pm Comments (0)
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NaBloPoMo November 2012