Monthly Archives: May 2013
As the weather warms up and we all spend more time outside enjoying our yards and gardens, be on the look out for ticks!
Ticks carry a variety of diseases, including Lyme’s disease. It’s a bacterial infection spread by tick bites, especially if the tick has been attached for more than 24 hours. Remember, check yourself and your wee ones for ticks when you come back inside every day! It really makes a difference.
This article popped up on my Facebook newsfeed: Lyme Disease: Signs, Treatment and Prevention – NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather. 🙂 It inspired me to write about this topic!
Lyme disease is becoming more prevalent among tick-borne diseases. Please do yourself and your loved ones a favor and be vigilant about checking for ticks! Also, if you find a tick, be sure you remove the tick in its entirety–including the head. Some redness is normal, but a ring or bullseye that forms around the bite should be checked out.
Other syptoms of Lyme’s disease include fever, chills, fatigue, and headaches. If you feel like you’re catching the flu, it might be a good idea to look for ticks and head to the doctor for a checkup. Lyme’s disease can have life-long consequences if it’s not treated early!
Here at my farm, we have TONS of ticks! I check myself, my kids, and my animals daily for ticks. Have you seen any ticks yet this year?
- Lyme Disease on the rise (wbng.com)
- Lyme Disease Myths: 9 Things You Should Know About The Tick-Borne Disease (huffingtonpost.com)
- Lyme Disease in the South (wtvy.com)
A combination of two of my favorite things: horses and art! It doesn’t get any better than this, does it?
Check out the original article here:
His owners taught him to paint with treat training techniques. After Metro’s success in painting, his owners realized that this could help all racehorses. Money earned from Metro’s paintings goes to a racehorse adoption program to help retired horses find a safe haven. Horses are rehabilitated and placed into adoptive homes.
I wonder if I can teach any of my horses to paint? This horse is amazing! Not only is he getting crafty, but his art is helping fellow retired racehorses stay out of slaughterhouses and auction. Kudos to Metro and his wonderful owners!
- Meet Metro Meteor: The retired race horse with a passion for painting (metro.co.uk)
- Retired racehorse finds calling as abstract painter (news.yahoo.com)
- Painting horse Metro Meteor has brush with success (metronews.ca)
Poison ivy sucks! Although I don’t usually get a rash from the irritating plant, both of my girls do. My youngest is very allergic to the plant, while my eldest gets a “normal” rash after contact. Either way, it is a miserable thing to go through for both of them.
After my older daughter got poison ivy recently, I searched til I was blue in the face looking for cures and remedies. I stumbled across this site and thought it was worth a share. 🙂 Check it out:
It lists tons of natural, folk remedies used to alleviate the itch and help it heal. There are too many for me to list here, but some of my favorites to try are:
- Aloe to stop itching and speed healing–apply up to every 2 hours
- Apple cider vinegar & water–make an equal mix and dab onto rash, let dry, and repeat often
- Baking soda poultice–make a paste and apply to the affected area, rinse when the poultice no longer feels “cool”
- Catnip! Use freshly squeezed leaves to make a small amount of juice–helps reduce itching and inflammation
- Impatiens (aka Jewelweed) leaves can be rubbed over the rash, but don’t rub too much! You can also boil the leaves, stems, & flowers to a deep orange color and make a compress.
- Plantain leaves (we have these ALL over our yard) can be crushed and applied to the rash to control itch and inflammation
- Salt water solution applied to the area can help drying and healing of the rash and lesions
- Tea tree oil promotes healing and relieves itching
- Fresh watermelon flesh and rind rubbed on the area is supposed to provide relief as well–wonder if this actually works?!
What do you think? Would you try any of these folk remedies?
This is absolutely fascinating. I can’t even believe we are here, from a technological standpoint. If we can print a bionic ear that is functioning now, imagine where we will be in five years!
Check out the full article below:
Reading about this technology made me think of some other things. We could easily make super-human parts, just as easily as this functioning ear was printed. It is hard to wrap my mind around the concept of 3-D printing, but it’s not that new from what I understand. What’s even harder to image is that they can actually use tissue–live cells–to print 3-D objects.
Technology is incredible! What do you think about this advancement? Is it a miracle, or is it messing with Mother Nature?
- 3D-Printed Bionic Ear Can Hear Radio Waves (natureworldnews.com)
- This Ear Was Made With A 3D Printer And It Hears Better Than Your Ears (huffingtonpost.com)
- Printable ‘bionic’ ear melds electronics and biology (eurekalert.org)
I happened across this article the other day on Facebook. It drew me in because of the stunning image! The storm on Saturn is hauntingly beautiful. It is also massive!
Check out the full article below:
It is interesting that this massive storm is stuck on Saturn’s northern pole. They say it is because of the strong winds constantly blowing north on the planet. This is the first time we have been able to take a sunlit image of the pole. Space is so amazing and beautiful!
Researchers were stunned to see this storm and compared it to a hurricane on Earth, except this one on Saturn is much larger-scale.
- Watch This: Cassini Captures Saturn’s Wild Polar Hurricane (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
- Saturn Shows Off A Massive Spinning Vortex: ‘The Rose’ (wnyc.org)
- NASA Captures First Images of Saturn’s Titanic Hurricane (escapistmagazine.com)
Spring is here! With the warmer weather and sunshine, we’re finding lots of poison ivy around the woodline. One of my girls is extremely allergic to oily leaves, so we try to avoid it at all costs. My older daughter recently got poison ivy on one of her hands…needless to say, it spread quickly and she ended up with poison ivy on both hands, her forehead, and one elbow.
In a feeble attempt to find a way to make it just go away, I found this informative website:
Unfortunately, I know poison ivy doesn’t just “go away.” It has to run its course. That means up to 3 weeks of itching and red splotchy spots. 😦 Poor baby!
I learned to interesting ways to treat the rash. We usually use the old standby, calamine lotion. She also tried applying hydrogen peroxide to the affected areas to help dry the lesions out. It sucks, but nothing is doing much to really relieve the itch for her.
Here are some other suggestions we’ve tried for ditching the poison ivy itch:
- Oatmeal baths (buy the kit/mix at the pharmacy)
- Baking soda bath (add 1 cup to a warm bath)
- Calamine lotion applied to itchy areas
- Cool compresses to soothe the burning itch
- Antihistamines could help, but only in oral form–do not apply an antihistamine cream directly to the rash!
I’m interested in trying out some natural or homeopathic remedies to help her get over the itch. Do you know of any natural treatments that have worked for you?
I recently discovered this company that recycles old racecar tires and makes them into fencing material. Intrigued, I scoured their website for weeks until I decided to ask for a free sample of the material. Check out their site for yourself (below)!
Once we received our sample in the mail, I was even more impressed. The rubber material is durable, strong, and SAFE! There are no sharp edges and I have been unable to think of any way a horse could injure themselves on this fencing material. Plus, it’s recycling–or upcycling?–old tires that would likely end up in a landfill anyway.
Okay, so I must admit I was sold on it at this point…but I had to convince my loving husband. When I checked the prices, my jaw hit the floor. Not only is this material incredibly safe and eco-friendly, but it is cheap to buy and claims to be easy to install!
If you’re in the market for safe, affordable horse fencing, you NEED to look into this product. We put in an order for enough material to fence a small 305′ x 290′ rectangle paddock. Our order will be delivered next week!
You can bet I’ll be posting about installation of this fence. If all goes well, we will continue to use this product! Stay tuned to see how this fencing project goes. 🙂
Weakness in the hips can be a cause of iliotibial band syndrome. One the flare up has subsided and you feel comfortable stretching, it is time to start strengthening those muscles. Strengthening the hips and thighs is key to preventing another IT band flare up down the road.
The article linked below provides a lot of insight into ITB Syndrome as well as stretches and strengthening exercises. The exercises I’m showing you today were found at this link.
Bridging with Single Leg Raise
Strengthens glutes, obliques, and thighs!
- Lie on your back with your hands on your hips.
- Lift hips and shift weight onto one foot.
- Extend other leg without allowing pelvis to drop–keep it level!
- Hold for 10 seconds, lower pelvis, and repeat on the other side/leg.
Improves gluteus medius control and function! 😀
- Lie on one side with hips bent at a 45 degree angle and the knees at 90 degrees.
- While keeping your heels together, lift the upper knee by turning your leg out at the hip. Keep your pelvis straight, don’t roll back to lift your leg!
- Hold for 10 seconds and work up to 10 repetitions. Repeat on the other side.
Strengthen the quads and improve knee control!
- Find a stable step. It can be between 2-6 inches high.
- Slowly step down from the step with one leg. Keep your leg straight (knee following toes, not angling inward towards other knee).
- Keep your pelvis level! Put your hands on your hips to help you see if your pelvis stays level.
- Repeat, working up to 3 sets of 10. Do both legs evenly!
- One of the most common running injuries, the ITBS (runnerunleashed.com)
- Say What? Runner “Lingo” 101 (runfindyourhappypace.com)
- Quick Tip of the Week: “X” Does Not Always Mark the Spot (healthheralds.wordpress.com)
- Non-arthritis Hip Pain (smartlivingnetwork.com)
Ever since we got horses, I’ve been planning on building some kind of enclosed riding area. Once I decided it was going to be an 80 foot diameter round pen, the serious stages of planning went underway. About a year ago I wrote about planning my round pen here. I basically talked about materials, pricing, and trying to decide where to start.
A year later and our round pen is nearing completion! We decided to go with the free/as cheap as possible route and build with all salvaged materials. We cleared a small wooded area for a paddock and used the downed trees from that venture to build the pen. The only things we had to buy were a large box of 4 inch screws and some gas and oil for the chainsaw.
I found the circumference of my 80 foot diameter round pen by doing a little simple math. The diameter (80) multiplied by Pi (3.14) is equal to the circumference (251.2). I adjusted it to 250 feet around so I could do nice, even 10 foot spacing between each post.
Since the round pen is on a slight incline, we planned to level it by adding fill dirt and building a retaining wall on the downhill side. But, I wanted to be able to use it before we get the fill dirt, since it might be a while. We installed taller posts on the retaining wall side. That way, we can add the retaining wall and fill dirt when we are ready without having to tear all the fencing down and starting from scratch.
After lots of digging, all 25 posts were set at least 2.5 feet into the ground. All of the holes were dug by hand by my family and I. My husband and I easily installed all the crossrails and top rails within a few weekends. We got the gate for free from a nearby farm.
It’s so close! All it needs now is a few more rails to be safely usable. Before long, we’ll be using this round pen!
The cicadas are coming back out this year! We haven’t seen this variety in 17 years. Since I first heard about it, I’ve been worrying about our fruit trees. After reading the article below, I’m thinking we’ll be alright. There are going to be LOTS of cicadas, but supposedly they do not eat the trees.
I haven’t seen these bugs since I was in elementary school. Boy do I remember them well! They come out in masses and they are LOUD! Hopefully I’ll have a chance to get some good pictures of them while they’re out. Check out these pics I found online–they look so creepy!
Have you seen cicadas before? Apparently this 17 year variety is unique to the eastern US. There are other kinds as well, such as 13 year cicadas and another variety that appears in smaller numbers every summer.