Well I'm sitting here waiting for my chicken bones to de-pressure so I figured I'd write something today. Not as much as yesterday mind you... btw in case you were wondering it came out to about 4 pages on my word prossesor when I converted it over. Looks back a few words. I love those spelling mistakes that the "suggestions" have no correction for even when you know you spelled it wrong; but cannot spell it right.
I have watered all of my plants that I put in yesterday and they do seem to be doing rather well except for 1 of the red cabbages. That poor thing is drooping. I think I know why too, it got only about 1/2 of the roots available when I had to cut them apart. So it probably does not have enough roots to make it.
We discovered this morning that the 2 hoses we are using can reach everything but... The pecan tree and the current. No biggie, we need at least one new hose as one of the 2 like I said has a leaky connector.
I have discovered this morning that we have 1 small frog living near our pond. I hope there is more but 1 is a start. My blue berry is looking very promising so far and I hope it produces well this year. It has buds everywhere, it looks as healthy as the Elderberries do.
Once I get my soup going I get to go out and do some clearing near all of my plantings from yesterday. Just to ensure no over crowding and plenty of sun for my new plants. I did notice the Kale seems to have sprouted finally, just when I was ready to give up on them. I also may have one carrot sprout, we'll see as it grows.
Time to go work on the soup,
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well, it's been a wet couple of days here. ..wet and cold, we've had rain,snow, sleet all in the last few days. Fun times! (my sarcasm over bounds) I am hoping the weather will be good Monday as our strawberry plants arrived and I need to get them into the ground soon. I am hoping to get pictures of them.
I've been downloading some info on various wildcrafting methods in the hopes of broadening my skills a tad more. Some are about making primitive tools, which I do find fascinating. So we will have those things to work on as well.
I had received on one of my posts the other day a message from “Heather” to email her as she wanted to talk to me about something. Now what happened after has me slightly annoyed.
#1 her name is Heather Von St. James
Good, so I have a name yes? Well there is more...
#2 She sent me a “canned” email asking me to post her story on my blog.
Which outwardly I have no issues with, however I did a bit more digging and sent another email asking a few questions about her as person. As I will not post about someone's story without knowing what kind of person they are. Just telling me you survived mesothelioma won't get me to post your story. Even telling me your daughter has it won't get me to either.
#3 She has through whatever method this is she contacts people she has at least 100 private blogs posting her story.
Ok, so again we fall to a question I sent her.. why my blog? I have a small amount of followers on my blog, so why would someone who needs to get info out about mesothelioma use me to do so? Doesn't make much sense to me.
#4 She has a facebook page and a Twitter feed.
This tells me she can reach millions of people is she truly wished to. Again why my blog? So I sent her a facebook message to her asking the same message I emailed her with.
#5 Upon digging deeper I have found out she herself has through lawsuits gained $5mil due to lost wages and medical bills.
Well in my opinion, if she has gained that much money she does not need my help gaining any more money. If she wants money for mesothelioma research then she should send me a message saying that. Not sending me a message saying she is trying to gain money for her daughter. Why not put aside some of her money just for medical expenses for both her and her daughter? Makes more sense to me.
#6 If you wish to make someone pay for what they did for you, do more than hit them in a pocket book.
Besides, the people who made the materials that did this nasty thing to them are probably not being bothered by it. Also, the biggest issues with it is if things are tested more/longer then maybe they will learn that the “thing” is bad and not use it.
Now go back to #2, I sent the email early this week. I still am waiting a reply. Same for the Facebook message, and I know she has her facebook page very active. So my guess is she doesn't truly care if I post her story or not. Now digging I found out that people call Heather the voice of mesothelioma good, they need a voice. However, a good voice would be very concerned if their message got out to all the people they contact. Not send one canned message and then ignore them.
Just wanted to put all this info out to everyone out there, just so that if you get the “hey email me I want to ask you something about your blog” message you you have info to look back at and make a informed decision based on more than just a canned email.
Now it's time for me to step off my soap box and finish breakfast.
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well here we are the morning after the storm and I'm making brownies. Sourdough brownies specifically, it takes about 25 minutes after the sponge sets most of the night to mix them. However I am a tad worried that they might come out a bit burnt as my oven is now running a lot hotter than it was before.
As for the storm...? Well we have ice, we have snow, and we have power. That makes me happy, not long after my post yesterday our internet went out for the whole day, it was expected as we have satellite internet; breathe the wrong way and it goes out. The kids again have no school so lets see... They had a total of 2 days of school this week, guess it's better then them not having any school at all. Granted though some school are having a late start today it would be near impossible for them to walk to the bus stop safely. Also as Silver mentioned yesterday due to the ice, we are not driving for the next couple of days.
We are planning on either tomorrow or Sunday to go out and set the rebar stakes into the ground, more likely on Sunday as we are going to be in the 50's then. Maybe I'll cook something outside on our mini grill if it's going to be that nice out. Though we had something interesting in the storm previous to yesterday's. The old dishwasher that was left on our property before we got here that we are going to turn into a smoker was knocked onto it's side by wind. Now it's sat on it's base for years and a couple of days ago it gets knocked over? Defiantly a strong wind, or rather strong gusts. The wind that day also picked up one of our 2 good outdoor chairs and dropped it in the pond breaking it. So now we are down to one outdoor chair, we need a couple more; hopefully we can find some more cheaply as we still have building supplies to buy.
Speaking of which on next Friday we will have money again and after bills/animal feed/gas are paid for and my DL is replaced we are going to go and buy soil for the apple trees then the next item on our building supply list. Which may be either wire, pipe or fencing for the dome itself. Depends on what we have left really.
Well have a nice day all, I have to go check my brownies as they are starting to smell very done way to soon. Where did I put that aluminum foil again?
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
Well today was FUN, we picked up the track hoe,;(again I am amazed that there is such a thing) and after seeing the full sized back hoe up close I defiantly think the track hoe is the better option for us. I was very happy when we picked it up that the hitch held, which I was worried about it. As we left the young man who got us hooked up (literally)
However as you can see when we got very close to home the tire..
...didn't last. Well I called the person about it, and he came out quickly with a replacement. Within 20 minutes and considering where we were sitting that was fast. He even made a joke, as he used the track hoe to lift the trailer. “It comes with it's own jack”, cute joke especially while we were pissed off at the loss of the time.
So we drove it home, the dirt road was so much -fun-; we had no traction and we had to go at about 15 miles an hour to go up the first hill. We had to “get off to the side” twice on the way to the house on the dirt road as no one would yield for us.
So the first order of business when we got home was, COFFEE! For Silver anyway, (btw pics will now be tossed in at random)I set up a new pot of coffee and put cookies in the oven for a warm treat. While he “figured out” how to start it. While he has used heavy equipment before this was a different model than he was use too using. Of course our dogs were not happy with this new loud scary looking device and only stopped barking once Silver stopped using it at about 4pm.
After he figured out how it worked he started on digging the pond out for our fishies to go in. I am also going to grow the edible water lilies and cat tails for food production. We are also considering either ducks or geese to keep in the pond, mainly to keep the algae down. If we get pairs then we can butcher the extras.
So we have a short area for the little fishies and the cat tails to grow in. Then a deeper area for catfish and full grown other fish. We are considering Tilapia. I think the deep part is at least 6 foot deep maybe deeper, hard to tell until the extra dirt is “ground down” and we can tell the “actual” ground line. After we finished it off and worked on a few other projects we discovered something that may be very good news. We may have a spring under where we dug for the pond. I will know more tomorrow after it has sat overnight.
When we finished working the pond Silver went out and dug a septic for the dome out past our tree line. The only problem we had there is he was hitting something too hard for the track hoe to cut through after about 3 foot down. So he had to opt for a wider septic than a deep one, which we would have preferred. Once he finished that he dug the trench for it all the way into the area we have cleared for the house.
The next item we did was “unpleasant”, but necessary. We needed to dig out some more on our current septic. No I did not take pictures of it, I didn't want to take pictures of it shudders it's disgusting.
After that Silver went and turned the garbage pile of things we cannot burn or are already burned and is just the garbage ash. The thing that surprised me was that it seems some of the things “out there” are decomposing. Now before anyone rips my head off. Please recall the post where I commented on the fact that while I really want to be “green” I know in some things it not possible. Garbage, is one of those “things” I burn my trash, then I dispose of the ash and the “unburnables” in a pile that will not if it ever composes down be used for food crops. However, I will be happy to grow flowers over them.
That is all we have managed to do today, tomorrow we dig the trenches for the well and the electric. Then Silver will have to find things to do with it.... I am sure he will figure something out, one thing he wants to do is remove that engine block that was here when we moved in.
I am baking some sourdough brownies right now, and tomorrow morning is a bread/laundry day. Have a happy weekend everyone!
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
So here I am with what now seems to be a once a week update of sorts.
I started my plants yesterday I filled 2 trays so far, and I'm thinking of in a month or so starting cukes and squashes to see if they grow better from starts. I discovered that I did not use up all the sugar cane seeds I got from Listia so I put six into the tray to see if I can get them from starting in the house. I'm using a “all weather” birding journal to keep tabs on this year's plants and with what I planted yesterday I have nearly filled all the lined pages.
Silver has pointed out that I probably should wet the starting mix before I put it into the “cells” so I don't have to water under them to avoid losing my seeds. ...hindsight... I defiantly think I'll be doing that next time.
I am hoping for 100% on my plants, but who really knows right? I have it set for 12 of each of the two types of tomatoes that I want to grow. I did 6 sweet peppers 2 of each of the ones I have and 6 hot peppers 3 of two of the multitude I have of those. I have some onions planted as well as cabbage, mini Bak Choi, edible chrysanthemums, nastrums, Kale, and a variety of herbs. I am hoping this time I get the lemon grass to grow good.
We have gone and found out how much a track hoe (wow it really is a “track hoe” ) would cost from a Saturday to Monday. It would be $350, and that's considering that Sunday is given as a freebie. Just need a nice weekend and the money and we can get the digging we need done. Oh, that price includes the trailer to bring it home.
We didn't get the package of insulation that I wanted to try to make the papercrete to try out, so we'll have to make an extra trip before we can buy supplies just to try it out. As I'd rather buy in large quantities only once and have it all delivered. We did discover that we are paying about ½ price when we buy the rebar in 20ft lengths, it's just a matter of getting it home after the fact. Which again would be best to include in a delivery option.
We did find out during the last rain storm that the area the house is going does get water during storms, but we are planning to build a bit off the ground; so we should be ok there.
Well I'm up again baking bread at this early hour and I need to return to it. Have a good day everyone!
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
We've been silent on the blog as we have not been able to get on the net as much as we'd like too. So an update to things going on here. Well we've had crazy weather again. For 3 days we've had spring-ish temperatures, yesterday we had severe weather in the form of severe thunderstorms and some tornadoes. Today the forecast is for occasional snow flurries and what ever our temperature this morning at 6am would be our high for today. It's so nice to see winter coming back, and I'm serious as I do have flowers that I don't want killed off due to the weather being wonky. Due to the rain yesterday our “pond” (which is still not finished being dug) is filled to the current spill over.
We have finally come to a good place in working with our wood stove, we have it burn new wood at the coal stage only and we have a smoldering fire all day and night. We don't “burn ourselves out” and it stays toasty enough. We also seem to have hit the spot in the wood pile where the densest wood seems to be at. Which is good for long burning anyway.
In the last week I have gotten up at 3 am to bake bread, I have to say I may be doing it more often. The bread I have made these last two times has been heavenly. Good flavor and just the right “weight” (if that makes sense), silver told me today that I need to get up at 3am every morning now. Guess that means he likes it huh?
We have made a small discovery that we hope will work like we think. Loews sells “blown in” insulation that is “green”. This insulation is made from shredded recycled paper. Silver has been wanting to do papercrete on the interior of the dome to insulate it. My only issue had been, where do we get that much paper. Then we noticed that insulation, we are planning on buying one bag and trying to mix some papercrete up and see if it does well with the insulation. If it works out I will let everyone know. Silver is also looking for a way to combine the wall flue of a Russian Masonry stove and a rocket mass heater. Any Recommendation would be helpful.
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
I know there are many preppers out there who are getting ready for "something" to happen. While I think that listening/reading/watching them can be helpful, I don't know if something bad is coming at us or not. However, I do think having a good supply of self safe food(s) available for 'just in case'.
Where I am living we get told at the beginning of 'storm season' (tornado season), we are told to have a emergency kit just in case we have one hit near us and there is no power what will you do for food and water? So instead of just waiting for one instance of one season to hit you. Where I live in Missouri we could have a blizzard, if we do; and I live in a very rural area. When would I receive help? When would the roads be clear enough to get food from a store? If the power went out after it thankfully I have a wood stove for heat. However my cook stove is electric.
Look back at first Katrina, and then Sandy. Both of them had issues with people getting food, Katrina was, pardon this; a clusterf###! Then with Sandy parts of the cities were without access to food for a week. What would you do in this situation? The biggest problem for a city is that 90% of your home is electric. I know in the Chicago area most people have gas stoves and heat, unless you have matches what will you use to light your stove?
I would like to see people keeping some extra foods that are shelf stable that can be eaten without cooking, while I know this is very limited in scope for the people who are picky eaters. But, let me ask you this. What would you prefer? Not having any food or having something you can eat though you do not like it?
When I go shopping I tend to buy an item or two that I am not planning on using right then. It gets put in the pantry for later use, whenever I find tuna on sale or peanut butter I buy lots of it. I don't like peanut butter, but if I had to I'd eat it.
Now with that said, I have a comment on something that has popped up all over the place.
#1 Buying MRE's for your emergency stash
#2 Buying tons of dried foods for your emergency stash
#3 forgetting to account for water
Lets start with #1... How many of you out there who think MRE's are a good idea have eaten them before? I know I have only tried one type, Silver has tried many as he was in the military. I was lucky the one I tried which I think was a chicken parma was good... not the best I'd ever had though. I have been told by a few people (Silver included) that the tuna one is horrible, Silver thought it looked like and smelled like cat food. Also each MRE is suppose to be 3,000 calories which for most people is the total calories you need. The cost can go anywhere form $5-$12 a piece, which if you bought canned goods the MRE's would be more in cost. You also need to check the dates on the MRE's as sometimes the ones you can buy are out of date... or they were rejected by the military.
#2 What good will dried anything do you if it needs to be re-hydrated with hot/warm water? Or even cooked, if you have no way to heat or cook something? I know dried fruits can be eaten as is, how long before you get ill from just eating fruits in an emergency situation? Dried foods can be wonderful, but they need water to be edible aside from dried fruit... and sometimes the dried fruit needs water. If you try to eat the dried foods dry, you will probably eat more than you should as they won't be very satisfying unless eaten in large quantities. That said I do think they have their use, if you have the water available and the ability to cook the items that need cooking.
#3 I think this one is the most important, people don't tend to think of water when they store food for emergencies. Now, I am the first person to say to not buy bottled water, however. In the case of storing water for long term buy bottled water, you need about 3 gallons a person per day. Which is a lot of water, and if the power is off there will be no water coming out of your taps, eventually in the cities the tanks where water is stored will run out.
Now some other things you should have for an emergency. Extra blankets, if you have no heat you will need them to keep warm. Also flashlights, WITH extra batteries; you'll need them at night and in dark corridors. A fire extinguisher, a working one; also not a "kitchen sized" one as they don't put out anything the average one lasts maybe 20-30 seconds. What happens if you do manage to get your stove going and it catches on fire? You'd need that extinguisher for that possibility. I'd also suggest having something to entertain your kids if you have any, I know that when I was a kids power outages didn't bug me as I read like a book worm. I know most kids are not like I was though.
You should also have a GOOD first aid kit, and I don't mean one of those under $20 ones at Wal-Mart. They are not really helpful. Ask your doctor what they'd recommend in one for emergencies. Also maybe take a class on first aid, you never know when it might help.
Now please note... this is not a comprehensive list... nor is there any such things as a "magical list" that will work for everyone. I am no expert on this stuff, but I know what makes sense to me; and what I have observed. Make the decision for yourself.
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
That lovely picture is of this morning’s harvest or if you will the product of my foraging, as I got them from a location I didn't plant intentionally. That is about 3/4's of a gallon of blackberries in one morning! They are being frozen until the season is over and I have some rose hips, then I am making some jam and maybe some syrup.
It made me think though, as I had help after I had gotten 2 pints already on my own by at first my youngest... then my oldest and then finally the middle child. I -LOVE- fresh blackberries, not as much as fresh strawberries; but hey nothing adds up to them.
To me there is nothing better than putting into my mouth a blackberry just off the bramble that has exploded into my hand from being sooo ripe. Sweet with a lite bitterness that comes from natural sugars. I did pause this morning when I tasted a particularly sweet one, with a moan escaping my lips. As oddly, considering modern life I prefer my sweets in the form of berries now. Don't get me wrong, I love chocolate... but it's just not the same.
I think many kids and adults miss something good when they don't eat something freshly picked, like fruit. It has it's own flavor and it's very unique. To me most of the processed sweets have all the same flavor, and it's missing something.
The other part that I was thinking on is how my kids pick berries. Had I handed them my berrying bucket and sent them out I'd have been lucky to get maybe a pint. ..and the thing is it would not be because they were eating while picking. Part of it is they don't seen them all on the brush. They also want to find the “perfect” berry. It really made me think when I realized that, as I just finished a book about primitive man(novel) and how they lived and that included gathering food.
If my kids had to rely on what we had found to eat.. they would wind up picking more of them. My youngest admitted that, so I told her then just think that way and we'll have tons of berries to make things with. One or two blemishes mean nothing, and partly dried out? Come on, people pay tons of money to buy dried fruits; pick them yourself. It'll do you some good to be out in the sun enjoying the fresh air... and grins getting covered in berry juice! It's an old family pastime, that I think needs to be revitalized.
People use to spend whole days going out “berrying”, and they'd bring a picnic lunch and the dessert would be the fresh berries with sometimes some home made cake. To me that sounds much better than going to the store and “foraging” for a nice looking package of berries. As that is what you are doing when you are in the store turning the berry packs all around to check every angle until you find just the right one that looks to be “perfect”. WOW.. I just realized where my kids' idea of perfection on berries comes from. As if you don't do “perfect” on ones in the store you are likely to have rotten berries.
I don't know if any of you remember seeing an older orange commercial a number of years ago from the orange growers. It had a woman explaining a ripe orange isn't always fully orange, which tech if it's green it's not ripe... but the point is most people have no clue what “ripe” is... I certainly don't know what a ripe wild blueberry looks like. So I am learning that, maybe true ripeness should be taught to all people; most of all children.
I hope everyone out there gets to experience the freshest of the season!
Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...
while yes we do use power/oil and there is not much we can due to stop using it for now. We can reduce our needs for it. We for one only fill up our gas tank once a month and if we get down to only enough gas to get us tot he gas station, well then we don't go anywhere till the month is over.
We are also not using heavy equipment to build here, the most power hungry item we use to "build" right now is our drill for the root cellar. It's slow work, but I feel good about it.
In the city when I lived near Chicago I rarely used a car. If I had to go somewhere I used a bus, that is using less as they -will- be running no matter what (just the amount of runs will change). For areas where bus/train service is spotty the more riders the more "runs" they will have.
The most electric we use during the day is maybe 2 computers and our air goes -OFF- during the hottest part of the day. It only really helps us here during the night so it's a waste of power to use it during the day.
Personally I'd love to have our home set up like an Amish home, and we are planning to buy a hand water pump next spring. Once the full house is done, hell once my cob oven and outdoor stove is done; I'm -NOT- going to be using my electric range/oven. I know of one blogger that isn't using a fridge, but she is using a freezer.
I am hoping that down the line once our chickens start producing we can reduce our fridge use, the big thing we are storing in ours right now is eggs. I know for a fact that fresh eggs can sit out for a day or 2, and with how we eat eggs here they wouldn't last more than 2 days.
I'd like to issue a challenge to all my readers out there... A ONE FILLUP A MONTH challenge! Lets see if you can manage your life and world on one tank of gas a month. I am sure to those who have to drive to work can find other methods of getting to work if they looked. I have seen small towns with bus service, if you plan your day accordingly For those of you who do it post your results!