Saturday, February 25, 2012

IDC week 3 AND 4

It's been quite a week.  Our family has been in quite a turmoil with my step dad being in the hospital.  I've spent quite a lot of time up there the last week and a half.  I can see now why people hate hospital's so much.

So as far as the Independence Day Challenge I have gotten stuff done in the last TWO weeks since I've been on.  I started seeds in my window.  It's yet to be decided if they will survive since the youngest member of our household loves to get into things and they have been tipped and moved and messed with.  She hasn't dumped them yet... but I probably just jinxed myself.  A friend of mind came over and helped me turn over the ground in the first spot where I will put a raised garden bed.  I'm still a little unsure about the deer and moles around here.

I've been reading a new book called "Lights Out".  Story line follows one main character guy and his neighborhood as they try to survive and overcome life after an EMP.   It's pretty good, but a really long read.

We also added 4 chickens and 3 ducks to our growing little country home.  I hear them happily peeping away in their living room Tupperware bin as I type away.  Each of my kids picked one chicken and one duck.  So we now have an Americana, a Buff Orpington, a Plymouth Barred Rock and a Rhode Island Red for chickens.  Oh yes, that's 4, cause I picked one for myself too.  Looks a bit like a skunk right now, hope she grows outta that.  haha  The 3 ducks are runners?  My oldest picked a blue, (which looks grey to me) my second daughter picked a yellow (which they call white) and my son picked the black.  It was nice they had such variety so everyone could pick something different.  I am really proud of my little one; with just a little coaching she is very gentle petting the birds.

Here's a very poor picture taken with my camera phone.

Well, off to another day.  I'm pretty sure I'm behind on laundry and cleaning.

Talk to ya'll again soon.  God bless!

Papa 1949 - 2012

Goodbye Papa
You left a lot of family behind
We loved you dearly
I hope you knew
So young, yet looking so old
You left us before you should
There's hurt here and anger
Did you know it would be so?
Oh how we'll miss you
Goodbye Papa

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Independence Day Challenge Week 1

I am so behind.  Yet I always feel that way.  Like most people who lament "There aren't enough hours in the day!" There are certain things I must do every day like dishes, laundry, sweeping, cooking, etc.  Not to count taking care of the kids and hubby.  Anyway, enough of my whiny 'why I didn't get to my blog posting before today' rant.  Lol

On to my Independence Day Challenge for the week of Feb. 3 to Feb. 10th.

Plant Something:  Ok, I didn't do anything with this because it just still feels too early.  I DID however get my seeds out of storage to sort them and see what I got.  I bought heirloom seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. at the start of the new year.  I actually ordered their small garden package for the NW which comes conveniently in a 1 gallon plastic bucket - sealed.  Pretty cool, but I had no idea what was in it.  You should have SEEN my husband and I trying to open the thing.  The lid wasn't properly processed so the normally easy strip you tear off wasn't so easy.  Had to get a razor to cut the thing open.  Then, our first use of the lid opener.  Sooo - lesson for me, there is a lip on the bucket that coincides with the lid.  If you put the lid opener on too deep, all your doing to pulling on the bucket.  A couple of frustrating minutes or grunting and pulling and a frustrated me and I handed it over to hubby.  Luckily for me he's bit smarter.  He turned it over to take a look a the best spot to place the puller and had it open in less than a minute.  I say I loosened it for him.

Preserve Something:  I found a buy at our local store for Chicken friers on sale.  I picked up some of those.  I opened a #10 can of pineapple and dehydrated it.  The kids love these as snack and fodder for lunches.  I get them from the local big box store for cheaper than if I bought the cans separate from the store.  I also dehydrated a big can of peaches to see how they would do.  They are 'ok' I guess.  I didn't really get any canning done this week.

Waste Not:  I 'kinda' started a composting pile.  I don't have a box or sides to it.  It's just a 'pile' in the whole sense of the term.  Right now I just put the soiled straw from my rabbit cages there.  I did save up a couple days of kitchen scraps (minus meat or citrus) and gave it to the worms.  I'm still new to the worm thing - worms don't get sick from the rotting food?

Want Not:  Mandarin oranges were on sale so I bought my limit of those.  Found some filling putting for emergency tooth repair to add to my first aid kit, in the clearance section of my local store for less than $2.  A few misc. things here and there.

Eat the Food:  I am still constantly amazed at home much I love and get a tickle out of going into my canning room to get jars of saved up stuff to make dinner.  I can't believe I didn't do this sooner!  Lol  I still have a long way to go.  There are still busy days where I run out of time and ideas and make mac n cheese for the kiddos.  I did make bread TWICE this week!  Yay me!

Build Community Food Systems:  I joined (or was added to a group) on FB for Self-Sustaining Food preservation.  Some of the local ladies and I are talking about doing a seed swap.

Skill Up:  I'm still not sure, beyond trial and error and just going out and doing it, how I 'm going to add to this area.  I bought a couple books this last week on Amazon (and already got them - YAY).  "Chicken Garden"; "Chicken Encyclopedia"; "Gardening in the NW"; and "Mini Farming on 1/4 and Acre".  They are full of great info and I'm enjoying them.  The "Mini Farming" book is a bit overwhelming because I think the author makes the assumption you know what your doing and have been a backyard garden hobbiest.  I have 'tried' over the years.  I'm still going to try and I hope one day that I'm actually good at it before my family actually NEEDS to live off what I grow for the whole year!

There is a soap making class and a Bee keeping class I'm going to look into attending.  It's tough cause classes always end up being during the weekend and/or on the WHOLE other side of town from where I'm at which means a 45 min. drive.  With babysitting and gas prices - GULP!  Not to mention the price of classes.  I think these are worthwhile classes that I could really benefit from, so we'll just have to see.

One other thing I did this week (not sure what category to put it in) was FINALLY clear out a spot that had LOTS of blackberry brambles.  It was a HUGE plant when we moved in here last July and we benefited from the blackberries.  I cut back on it slowly as we harvested and NOW finally it's GONE!!  Yay!!!  I'm happy about that - even though we harvested a lot of blackberries because there are about 100 other bushes on the property and we'll still get lost of blackberries.  I needed to cut this back so I could get back more of my yard.  Plus, I think I'll put our chicken coop there that way they can keep the blackberry bushes down.  Lets see if I can actually put up the pictures here.

Yay!  Now to figure out how to turn it the right way up.  There is my big helper.  Him and his sister stuck around to help me clear away the prickles.  HUGE help they were.  It only took me about an hour.

My other helper!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Independence Day Challenge

First, a thanks to Judy over at My Freezer is Full for posting this.  She got the Independence Day Challenge from Sharon Astyk at her blog here.  It is a really great idea on how to learn and grow in your self-sufficiency.  I love it!

So here we go. I'm going to cut and paste some of the instructions from the other blogs, that way I get it right.  There is a bit too it and I don't want to get it wrong.  =)

These are the categories:

Plant something:  This may be a bit difficult at first as we are still in winter, but you could do something as simple as sprout seeds for adding right into your food.  That sounds yummy and healthy.  As spring comes closer, planting seeds in doors and then finally outside. 
Preserve something: There are good buys I catch at my local market for a whole fryer chicken.  During the winter when I haven't had any produce to put up I get these, boil the whole thing and can they chicken and the broth.  Or if you find a good deal on bacon or maybe if you have your own chickens or rabbits or you hubby brought home a nice deer.  Can it!  When produce is back in season - there ya go.  Dry out some fresh spices and can/jar them up!
Waste not: Start a compost pile.  Use your recycling bin.  Figure out how to reduce your carbon foot print but reduce, reuse, recycle.
Want Not: Stock up on the things you use, so when times are lean or there is some sort of emergency that keeps you home bound or unable to go to the store you can still take care of you and yours.
Eat the Food: Store what you eat, eat what you store.  Find some good cookbooks that teach you how to use food storage if you don't know how.  There are quite a few of them out there.
Build community food systems: What have you done to help other people have better food access or to make your local food system more resilient?  (*I'm leaving this one like I copied it because there isn't a way for me to restate it so that it will make sense.  =)
Skill up:  Add to your skill base.  Learn to crochet, fix a toilet, build a shed, chop wood.  Whatever.  Learn - always learn.
Check in is every friday.  Blog about how you've done in these area's.  It should be fun!  I'm looking forward to it!
God Bless!  Happy Prepping  <3

Friday, February 3, 2012

Government Regulation of Sugar

Wow, going to surprise myself and put up two postings in one night.

I hate talking politics.  Really I do, cause there's always someone your going to offend or someone who doesn't agree with you.  I hate disagreeing.  I don't like to make people mad.  I don't like arguing.

I can't understand why anyone would argue over this though.  Government control of what we are allowed to eat sounds like a very dangerous thing.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't eat healthy.  I'm not saying we don't have an obesity problem or a diabetic problem in this country.  We have a HUGE problem with those things (no pun intended).  I'm saying, letting the government have control over what food people are allowed to eat is a dangerously slippy slope.  You know the famous quote "Give and inch, take a mile".  That's what we're facing.

Here are some links for what I'm talking about.

And a video from uTube from a lady I really like to watch.

Happy (or not so happy) reading.

God Bless <3

The Challenge

Okay.  I'm finally getting around to posting this.  Tho Tom, you may be the only one to see it for awhile since you're my only subscriber.  Lol

Here is the Challenge.
Make something with your own hands for 2012
The first 5 people to comment on this post will receive from me something homemade.  Not going to tell you what it is, it's going to be a surprise!
BUT, in return you have to post the same challenge on your blog.  =)  Five people and you have ALL of 2012 to do it.  Sounds simple and super fun!  Come on people (or Tom) come comment so I can start making something!

God Bless  <3

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New to this side of the blog page

Wow. Writing your own blog makes you feel a bit like a published writer. I feel a bit behind the times in starting a blog. It seems very 21st century to do so, like finally getting a cell phone with blue tooth....which I have yet to do. I'm not sure who'll want to read my ramblings, maybe just family. Family sticks by you that way, overlooking your idiosyncrasies. I always loved to write as a kid and teen. It's so freeing at times. Being a mommy though, who knows when I'll have time time. My day time is packed with kids and cleaning and other such wife/mom/adult things. Sleep is pretty important too. Any mom who has her sleep interrupted on a nightly basis a dozen or so times doesn't usually find herself relishing staying up late as was the early 20-something ritual. I'm too old for that now. Did I mention I like to ramble and rabbit trail? Writing on my iPad is interesting too. Hopefully my paragraphs will show up in subsequent blogs when I start using the desk top. For now, good night blogging world. It's nice to catch up with you.