Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bird, Wildflowers,and Ironing Boards

The ironing board my mother-in-law bought me right after I got married finally wore out. Her investment of $12 lasted 26 years of marriage. I think she'd call that a good deal! We couldn't think of a way to fix it, so we tossed it out and checked online to see where we'd buy the next one. 

I saw the professional ironing board on Walmart's and Amazon's websites and thought it would be nice to have one, but decided I couldn't justify spending that much on an ironing board since I do not iron that often. I figured a regular one for $16 would do.

Amanda said there were a few ironing boards in a resale shop. Upon checking, those were too worn for my needs, but I decided I'd check a few more thrift stores before buying one new. I bowed my head and asked God to help me find an ironing board when Clint and I went out that evening.

Well, I found the exact professional ironing board I wanted in the first store!! It is in great shape with no rust or dents and opens and closes easily. Because it is missing the pad and a rubber foot cap, the manager had marked it down to $4.95! Besides those two things, it looks like new!

When we pay attention to the little things, we see God cares about those small details too. Thank You, Father, for caring about the little things in all of our lives.


Philippians 4:6  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everythingby prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (emphasis mine)

Luke 12:6,7,27-31 ' “When birds are sold, five small birds cost only two pennies. But God does not forget any of them. Yes, God even knows how many hairs you have on your head. Don’t be afraid. You are worth much more than many birds....Think about how the wildflowers grow. They don’t work or make clothes for themselves. But I tell you that even Solomon, the great and rich king, was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers. If God makes what grows in the field so beautiful, what do you think he will do for you? That’s just grass—one day it’s alive, and the next day someone throws it into a fire. But God cares enough to make it beautiful. Surely he will do much more for you. Your faith is so small! “So don’t always think about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about it. That’s what all those people who don’t know God are always thinking about. But your Father knows that you need these things. What you should be thinking about is God’s kingdom. Then he will give you all these other things you need.'


Friday, April 18, 2014

You are Getting Very Sleepy

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Amanda was actually saying, "I am going to get you!" to the camera.
I love this crazy, fun-loving girl! She is my best girlfriend!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Flying Fruit

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Do you see the apple stuck in the fence?

Hot Shot can peel the bananas. He grasps an end with his teeth and drags the banana back and forth across the ground. He's muddy in the picture because we just had a rain the day before and he rolled and walked in a very wet part of the field. He'll stand out in the next rain and wash it off. He likes most weather including snow, but does not like thunder. Thunder makes him jumpy, but high winds don't seem to bother him too much.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Alzheimer's

For my friends watching their parents, husbands, and wives fight this difficult battle:

While He Still Knows Who I Am

I frequently remember you in prayer. 

Brandon

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Brandon is loving his new job and has received lots of positive feedback on the work he is doing. He is eligible for bonuses and comes up for a review for a raise soon. He has a great relationship so far with his co-workers. His bosses like his plans to improve things.

Thank you, Lord, for your provision to our son!




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Time

Real charity doesn't care if it's tax-deductible or not.  ~Dan Bennett

Monday, April 14, 2014

Growing on Our Little Farm

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Tillandsia usneoides

A previous attempt was not successful. 
This time, the Spanish moss is growing and doing well.
It is 10x larger than what was gifted to me by a dear friend.
I will divide it and try to get it started in other places.
Maybe one day I will have enough to share too!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

How to Ask Forgiveness

"It is so easy to say the quick words “I’m sorry”, however, when we wound someone in words or actions, “I’m sorry” may not be enough. Coming to the point of being able to say, ”Will you please forgive me?” is something far more weighty: it’s humbling and requires courage and wisdom. It is not defending myself, for that is not pursuing peace." Read more at Deep Roots At Home

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Caleb is Very Excited!

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Caleb is so happy!
This bluebird pair is hanging around and looking closely at the nestboxes Caleb built last year.
I am going to give Caleb more time to work on making more.

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?



Friday, April 11, 2014

Sammy Love

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Sampson pounced on Amanda as soon as she got home. It seems he can not stop thanking her for his new life. He loves her so much! He is a Russian Blue and is one of about fifteen cats we take care of on our farm. Sampson was taken in by Amanda when he was put outside in the middle of winter. She crawled under houses to get him. He has happily adjusted to life in a heated dog house and has learned to skillfully hunt. A farmette needs good mousers, so he is a good fit for us. Most of the cats we have are cats who needed new homes, but a few are feral strays that we have been able to trap and vaccinate.

Proverbs 12:10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Brilliant Sunrise on the Water

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Sunrise at our getaway!

Psalm 113:3 From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD'S name is to be praised.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Thank You, Susan!!!

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Thank you, Susan and Vencil! I love you too!
I will put her with the other one you gave me for my Willow Tree collection.
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Thank You Gramma Susan!!

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Thank you Susan for being such a bright bit of sunshine in our lives!
Hannah loves her quilt! Thank you for using your skill and talent and taking the time to make it!

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Benefits of Making Your Own Stock

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Beef stock using bits of beef, beef bones, and leftover veggie scraps including dandelion greens (Yes!! It's extremely nutritious. Just find a place away from cars and dogs.) and carrots.


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Turkey stock using turkey neck and trimmings, turkey bones and leftover vegetables scraps including cabbage.

I learned this tip well over two decades ago from a wise mama of many who was happy to pass down beneficial information to a mama (me) who truly wanted to learn to optimize nutrition in the home kitchen. I keep the bones, meat trimmings, and vegetable scraps in the freezer until I am ready to make the broth. Sometimes I make a small batch and others, I make large ones. I use stainless steel or enamel ware pots and sometimes, if it is a small batch, my crockpots.

I have always heard the terms used interchangeably, but recently learned from Nourished Kitchen that there is a difference in the terms stock, broth, and bone broth. Click the link to learn what the differences are.

In case you are wondering....

"What kind of nutritional benefits does bone broth offer? Bone broth is a source of minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium,  and potassium, in forms that your body can easily absorb. It’s also rich in glycine and proline, amino acids not found in significant amounts in muscle meat (the vast majority of the meat we consume).  It also contains chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, the compounds sold as supplements to reduce inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain. Finally, “soup bones” include collagen, a protein found in connective tissue of vertebrate animals, which is abundant in bone, marrow, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.  (The breakdown of collagen in bone broths is what produces gelatin.)" read more from The Whole 9 on the health benefits of bone broth.

Underground Wellness has this to say: "Bone broth is loaded with glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). In fact, I’m absolutely certain that you’ve heard of one of them — glucosamine. Yep, those supplements that seemingly everyone is taking for joint health contain one of the GAGs we get from consuming bone broth. You know me, I’m a food-first kind of guy. Here’s just one of the reasons why I prefer Real Food over supplementation…Notice I said that glucosamine is just one of the GAGs contained in bone broth. When you consume broth you also get chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and likely a bunch of other equally important GAGs that have yet to be discovered."

Read here and here and here or do your own studies to learn the incredible health benefits due to the nutrition in bone broth. If made from vegetable scraps and bones from chicken and turkey that the meat has been picked off of, it is mainly made from stuff people have been throwing away. It contains the same things people are purchasing in pill form at high prices in the health food stores. Due to lost knowledge, we are literally throwing money away!

Happy Cooking!


I Corinthians 12:24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Bethany Boo

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This fun loving young girl is such a tremendous blessing in my life! Not only is she a joy to be around, but she eagerly helps in whatever way I need. She has a sweet and gentle demeanor, but is tough enough to hang out with her three older brothers when they are climbing trees and building forts. I bought this dress for her at JC Penny's as a surprise treat for her. She loves it!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Those Who Sow with Tears

If you have suffered pregnancy/child losses, I want you to know there is very real hope and healing in Jesus Christ. I have lost eight children. While some of the miscarriages had no known explanation, one a doctor attributed to extreme stress (test showed very high cortisol levels), one was a known blighted ovum, and one was a vanishing twin. It is through Jesus Christ, I have healed and still have been able to have great joy in the midst of great sorrow. That same help is available to you if you call upon His Name. If you need a woman who has been there to talk to or to pray for you, contact me at the email in the blog header.

If you avoid all of life's abrasions, you will never be polished enough to shine. Richelle E. Goodrich

The acid test of our faith in the promises of God is never found in the easy-going, comfortable ways of life, but in the great emergencies, the times of storm and of stress, the days of adversity, when all human aid fails. Ethel Bell


God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them. C.S. Lewis


Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy Psalm 126:6
It's a promise, ladies. That's a God given source of encouragement for the dark days!


Sunday, April 06, 2014

5 Simple Ways to Make God a Priority

Most people put pictures on their walls of family members they love. It only makes sense to be reminded of your loved ones whenever possible. Without thinking, who is your number one love? Of course, God wants to be at the top of the list. He wants to have that heart, soul, spirit connection with you that only those who experience it can attest to or truly understand. So what have you done to "remind" yourself of the love of your life? Here are the top five things I believe you can do to keep God on the front burner of your heart.

1. Daily Bible Study alone and with others
2. Praise music in the background
3. Make prayer less "religious" and timed and more spontaneous as if you are talking to a friend that is always by your side.
4. Ask God to help clean up the sinful stuff in your life and mean it.
5. Pull away from people who are pushing you away from God and begin to spend more time with those who can help you get closer to Him. ~Jon Cash

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Crispy Baked Wing Method

I recently used this recipe's method for 200+ baked wings for a large family gathering. They turned out great with a nice crispy outside! We used different seasonings on five separate batches to cover everybody's taste preferences. Many thanks to Brandon, Amanda, and Joshua for helping me cut the wings into three sections! 

Next time, I think I will use my cast iron griddle on the grill. 

Friday, April 04, 2014

Barn Swallows

I saw one Barn Swallow on Monday or Tuesday! Caleb came and told me there was one flying in the front yard. I went out to see, and it was gone. I called "Chip! Chip, Chip!!" and it came right back and flew over me while chirping. I was out there another time and called for it. It came and flew over me again, but that was the last time I saw it. I do not know if they will nest at the front door again. I really miss the barn for all of the nests they had in there, but am happy to see them home again!

Just Maggie

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Three pounds of fiesty Sweet Magnolia Blossom aka Maggie


Thursday, April 03, 2014

My Little Buddy

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This little bluebird sticks to close to me when I am outside, 
I am going to have to give him a name!
I have a birdie "Buddy!"

Psalms 16:11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

My Newest Babies!

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These are a few of my newest plant babies.
There are four butternut trees and two tophat blueberries.
The dwarf blueberries grow well on my deck.
I am experimenting with the trees to find the best way to grow them in our soil.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Way to Go, Amanda!!

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Yesteday, Amanda was promoted to assistant manager after only 6 months of working! She has already been doing some of the responsibilities of the job. She also had Clint and I go with her to leading stores and took some of the ideas back to the one she where she works. Customers noticed the improvements and commented! Amanda starts in her new role on the 5th when the next pay cycle starts. Clint and I are proud of our hard working girl!! This fits in with her plans to graduate as a business major. God is good!

Convenient Breakfast: Eggs Baked In Ham Cups

This isn't a new idea and has been around for a long, long time. Rather than take my time to take pictures and write directions, I am going to point you to a page where it already exists: Eggs Baked in Ham Cups 

This is one I use quite a bit in keeping up with my ever active, ever growing, and ever hungry gang of mine. There are so many variations and twists you can throw in that can keep you enjoying these for a long, long time.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Follow Up on Olde Thompson

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Earlier today, the post I made on Olde Tompson's wonderful customer service went live. This afternoon, the lid to spice bottle they sent me for free as a replacement for the one that was missing arrived. I did not expect a bottle and for it to contain the spice too! Wow! I am blown away! What a refreshing way to be treated by a company! I was so impressed; I had to learn more about the company.

"Olde Thompson was originally started in 1944 as The George S. Thompson Company. Mr. Thompson retired from military duty in Europe, where pepper mills were routinely used. He then founded his company to "introduce" pepper mills to the American market. In the mid 1960's the company was acquired by Douglas Shumway. Olde Thompson is now the largest manufacturer of salt and pepper mills in the world. Every 18 seconds of every day (24 hours a day, 365 days per year), someone buys an Olde Thompson pepper mill.

In the 1980's, Olde Thompson actively began exporting products through foreign distributorships. Olde Thompson pepper mills are now sold in over 30 countries worldwide from France to Japan, to Chile and Israel."

Their pepper mills:
"Exclusive grinding mechanism has a lifetime guarantee. Designed for commercial use. Each mill is assembled by sonic welding -- eliminating screws which can come loose in long term use. Ceramic grinding mechanism is fully adjustable from a coarse to a fine grind."

I plan to purchase an Olde Thompson pepper mill to add to my kitchen. I like the big one because I won't have to refill it as often for my big family, and it will make a nice centerpiece to our dining room table. I am looking forward to the purchase!


A Company with Great Customer Service

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I purchased this spice rack at a second hand shop because it would put the spices I use the most at my fingertips on my food preparation counter. I've wanted one for a long while and could not pass up the opportunity to get one for $10! 

Well, one of the caps was missing the black flip-up lid. I found the manufacturer, Olde Thompson, and wrote them to see if I could purchase a replacement from them. If not, I would try to find one that fit or attempt to fashion my own.

Olde Thompson's fabulous customer service wrote me back very quickly. They were extremely courteous and professional! They also told me they would mail me one for free! Customer service like that is remarkable today! I will be more apt to purchase things from Olde Thompson because I know they will stand behind them! 

Read the follow up here.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What Teaching is Tickling Your Ears?

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

This verse does apply to our generation as a whole, but I think the message can go so much deeper if we allow it. Very few look at this verse, let it soak in, look for ways their own ears are being tickled, and start making necessary changes. "Lord, make me righteous and not a bit self righteous." It is just so much easier to believe it is about someone else who needs to change than to do that hard work in our own lives to make choices to live right before the Lord. It takes effort to police our own selves to live more righteously and few of us want to do that any more. "We must realize that it is the failure of Christians to uphold God's moral standards that has led to the spiritual downfall of our nation. The reason we have so much public wickedness in America today is because we have had private wickedness among Christians for generations."

I'll be honest. When I examine myself, I find a lot of work that still needs to be done. The battle between the flesh and the spirit is fierce. Finding yourself with room for improvement is a great place to be, because if you feel you don't have any room to do better, Christ can't use you.

Christians, grow. Get closer to the Lord. Sacrifice your way of doing things for His. The blessings of obedience are so worth having. Teach your children, and then teach them to teach their children. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Isaac

I packed up Isaac's things today. The positive pregnancy tests, the ultrasounds, the things we had purchased for him that we didn't donate, the cards from everyone, our hospital bands, his very tiny clothes someone made for babies his size, etc. I had them in a hidden spot in my room and had been avoiding even looking at it afraid it would knock me down again. I got it done and am OK. 

I think of all of my babies every day, and my arms often ache for them. I can still feel Isaac's tiny form and small weight in my arms. I know where my children are and what God promised. God has given me an incredible ministry to hurting women through my losses. I would not have been as effective in helping others, a very bright spot in my life, if I had not had those painful experiences. Those who know Christ fully understand it is possible to experience real joy and peace in the midst of suffering. 

Last month, I spoke to a woman who abruptly exhibited great anguish in a store because her father had just died. I did not know this 60ish year old woman. She just looked up at me and said "My daddy just died." Then she started bawling her heart out. There were no words I could offer her just then because the compassion God has given me for those hurting had me crying with her. But, that is what touched her and gave her strength to go back to work. I think God allowed me to be there at that time and to react in that manner for a reason. I am asking Him to give me a chance to share Him with her soon. It will be interesting to see what my losses have reaped once we are on the other side of Heaven. I believe I will gain far more through Christ than the short period of time my children and I lost together on this earth.

I believe God also has a special plan for mothers and babies who were separated too soon. I believe that because that is His nature...a loving, giving, Father who cares so deeply for and gives good things to His children. In the meantime, I am trying to keep my eyes on Him and am doing my best to focus on serving Him as time marches forward. 

Psalm 37:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

A Busy Mom's Friend: Boiled Eggs

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Boiled eggs are a great thing for a busy mama to have on hand.
They are a nutrient dense food that is quick to make. They can be consumed quickly in the morning or easily carried for lunch later. They are great on the go foods and come in their own wrapper! If Mom needs an energy boost, eggs pack a nice protein punch!*

I have been making between 5 and 7 dozen at a time lately. My husband and children ate them in two days the first time and three days the second! Boiled eggs serve as both meals and healthy snacks. Most of the ones I boil are eaten as snacks by my five youngest but very quickly growing and very physically active children. 

It is a time saver to me to make a big batch at one time. I boil mine in a very large enamelware canner and do two layers with baking soda which seems to help with shell removal. I have no problem with eggs breaking. I bring them to a boil and then turn the stove off and let them sit for 10-15 minutes. Then I pour off the hot water and fill with cold water to cool them faster. I peel mine all at once for my family to save them a step and to help control messes by the younger ones.

I rarely buy junk food, so I allow them to get things like fruit, veggies, and the boiled eggs any time they want it as long as they are not wasteful. 

For breakfasts I package two eggs in a sandwich bag and put it in the fridge with other "ready to go" breakfast items. Clint and Brandon often take theirs to work with them. Amanda and I like the convenience of having something ready in the mornings. For the younger children, I put them in big plastic ice cream containers and let them have them as they want them.

Luke 11:11-13 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mom Invents Harness to Help Disabled Kids Walk

Mom Invents Harness to Help Disabled Kids Walk: An Israeli mom of a child with cerebral palsy has invented a walking harness that changes the way special-needs kids navigate the world. Debby Elnatan designed a support harness to allow her wheelchair-bound young son Rotem to stand upright. By cinching the top of the...

Good Eats

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KC's Crabs and Cues in Kilmarnock, VA is a favorite spot of ours for their meaty and delicious crab cakes and great service!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sent to My Phone Today

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outside of one of Brandon's offices

Brandon was told by several professionals he'd have to work 2-3 years in a lower job before he could get a job like this. He was also given the advice that getting a degree and certifications were a waste of time. He passed exams, gained the credentials, and proved them wrong! Brandon moved ahead after only 5 months! He worked so hard and was able to take a huge leap forward! I am proud of him for not listening to the naysayers, for his hard work ethic, and for reaching further than the rest. I am also very happy for him and thankful to the Lord for opening a door we were told could not be opened.

Psalm 72:19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!

Conestoga

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Caleb built it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

They Love Him

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It's hard on the youngest five to be away from their older siblings all day. I often hear, "When is Amanda getting home?" or "I can't wait until Brandon gets home so I can show him this!!" Brandon barely had time to get home and change before his littlest sisters wanted to play with him. He's their go-to guy for rough-housing. Emily and Hannah want Amanda for snuggles or to do nail painting.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Storms of Life

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Free to use as long as unaltered.
A link back would be appreciated but is not required.
The image is of a storm front over our farm.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Many Eyes For Other's Infirmities


“It is sad to consider that saints should have many eyes to behold one another’s infirmities, and not one eye to see each other’s graces.” Thomas Brooks 

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ring My Bell

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No matter where my family is on the property, they can hear this bell ringing for supper time.


I Corinithians 13:1 
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fill Out Your ICE Contacts

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I took this picture after rescue arrived. Clint was the first trained responder at a flip over accident tonight. The deputies thanked us for stopping. Clint is amazing in emergencies. Some switch is thrown, and he takes charge and does what is needed. I am encouraging him to get his EMT certification.

An older man rolled his truck after losing traction on the wet road. Witnesses say he was air-born and the truck stood on it's nose for a moment. He is OK with minor injuries, but his and his aunt's only vehicle was totalled. Please pray God heals him and provides a new truck for him and his aunt to drive.

The man asked me to call his aunt for him, but he was so shaken up he couldn't remember her number or her name. He scrolled through his contacts in his phone but couldn't remember which one was her. If his ICE contacts had been filled out, I could have chosen one and called them. REMINDER: Make sure you fill out your ICE contacts asap because in that situation you may not be able to think clearly to get the people you need.

Bluebird

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

River Rock for Gravel

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I was asked what kind of gravel I use in the bottom of my fish aquariums. I go to Lowes and buy the big bags of river rock for $3-$4 and rinse them repeatedly before using. When I asked someone if this could be used over 20 years ago, they told me it couldn't be used because it would put dirt and bacteria into the aquarium. I figured both of those can be washed away, so I used it. I have not had a single issue with disease or parasites in over 20 years of doing this. The river rock looks more natural and has beautiful colors under the lights. After I rinse them, I shake them to settle the small gravel to the bottom so I can scoop up the larger rocks. The larger rocks form gaps where the fish fry can hide and help the water to flow somewhat better to keep the tank cleaner.

Mischievous Leprechaun

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He was actually being a good boy by working on his high school exam, but he looks mischievous! All of them are growing too quickly for this mama's heart.