Flies hate mint! Who knew?!

Mint plant

No matter how clean you keep animal enclosures, there are always flies around in the summer months. I greatly dislike flies around my fur babies; I like chemical fly repellents even less!  So I am constantly looking for natural ways to keep flies at bay.

I stumbled on to an idea about using sprigs of fresh mint and lavender, twist-tied to the bars of the cage.  We have mint growing, and lavender growing, so I got right on this idea.  And, you know what?  It works!!  I really think flies don’t like mint!  And, it turns out, I REALLY do!  The smell of the fresh mint and lavender, when smooshed slightly together with the twist tie, is wonderful!

Pixie Ruth and Mint

When these sprigs dry out, I put them up on top of the cage and tie fresh ones on.  The bunnies really seem to like them, too!  Little Pixie Ruth likes them a bit too much, and eats them if I don’t keep them out of her reach.  They are perfectly fine for her to eat, but doesn’t do “fly duty” in her little stomach!

Peppermint Spray

So, what if you don’t grow lots of mint?  It turns out that if you put about 15 drops of peppermint essential oil in a small spray bottle of purified water and spritz it on and around the cage each day – that works really well, too.  Be careful not to spray it directly on the bunnies (you don’t want to get it in their eyes), just on the cage.

Coco and Izzy with mintSO excited to be hosting Animal B.E.S.T. this weekend at Morter Farm.  Along with teaching the amazing Animal B.E.S.T. procedure for small and large animals, we will have a whole presentation about using essential oils in animal care.  You can find out more about Animal B.E.S.T. at http://www.morter.com.

Garden 2017 Begins!

Garden 2017 2I’m so ready for Spring, even though I didn’t get my snow again this winter.  Oh, I know!  Everyone else got GOBS of snow, and it missed us every time!  So today, we put that all behind us and start preparing GARDEN 2017 at Morter Farm.  Usually we wait until St. Patrick’s Day to put in the potatoes, but not this year!

Garden 2017We’ve been watching videos on YouTube, learning new ways to plant for bigger yields and LESS WEEDS!  Also, the no-till method of gardening.  So, Farmer Ted knifed in some gypsum and then spread manure across the top of the first half and raked it smooth.  He’ll do the same with the other half this weekend.

Garden 2017 3Izabella (the Labrador) absolutely LOVES helping with any project.  She also loves potatoes, and steals them regularly from the pantry.  She found the “mother load” here in the garden, and before I realized it we had some blank spots in the rows!   Oh well, perfection in a garden is a unicorn anyway!

The Little Things I Love


I was walking around the front of the house and out to the chicken coop last evening and, as I passed the front door, I stepped back to really take a look at our home. And, I fell in love all over again. I love the dark gray color with the white trim. I love the old red front door. I love the tall red brick chimney. And, I love the bright new American flag that greets every visitor. I am so thankful to live in my dream home. I know it is my dream home because if I saw a picture in a magazine of what I stood there looking at last evening, I’d tear it out and put it in my dream book!

It’s all the little things I love. And, when I say I love something, my real vibration is thankfulness. I totally equate the two. They say that all these little things are the fibers that make up the tapestry of life, and even though I don’t wax all that poetic, I know it’s true.

As my journey continued yesterday, my thoughts were how much I love the new/old/reclaimed white picket fence that Ted put around our blackberry patch; how much I love my beautiful spring garden; and how much I love my little chicken girls and their beautiful brown and white eggs. And, how much I love my sweet donkeys and how they call to me when they see me walking up to their corral . . . probably just because they know I’m going to give them a treat!

And, those little “love” moments extended into this morning. Feeling the bunnies sweet breath on my fingers when I feed them their vitamin treats each morning. How much I love getting in my Ford Explorer, Dora, and driving her to work. How I love being in downtown Rogers and smelling tortillas frying in the mornings walking from my car to the office.

I could go on and on you know! I used to keep a journal of all the things I could think of that I loved in that moment that I sat down to write. But, really, I found the process to be way too contrived. Now I just think about these things as they come to my mind. I think about what I love about things that I’m seeing or experiencing.

You could try this, too, you know! Remember, it’s all the little things. I love the blue color of that fabric. Or, I love the smell of leather when I open my brief case. Or, I love when I look in the mailbox and my favorite magazine has arrived. Just take time to recognize the things you love. You’ll soon find that you have so many you might not have any time to think of other things . . . especially if the other things don’t serve you well! That could be a very good thing! (Oh, and I love Martha Stewart for turning me on to thinking about the “Good Things”!)