Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing All A Merry Christmas

I wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas from my family to yours...  Here it is Christmas Eve 2012.  A date that many in this world thought we would not get to see....  I bought my childrens presents and fully expected them to get what I bought.  It is not some Doomsday Prophecy that I worry about... Instead it is all of the man made stuff I worry about...   I was able to get Ariel her new bicycle and a BB gun that looks like a Colt Officers Model.  Hannah got her Zebra print luggage and also an identical BB gun.  Nick will  be excited to see that he got his very first BB gun, a red rider.  He has been asking me for it for 2 years...And a interactive xBox game of disneyland...
They don't have a huge amount of gifts, but they all are reminded the reason for the season.  Nick at 9 still believes whole heartedly in Santa Claus and we strive to keep that magic alive!!! His face was priceless when he got the call from Santa this year.

The magic of Santa Claus is important to me... I collect Santas and snatch every one up that I can get...After Christmas sales is when my collection really grows every year...

The magic of a baby being born and growing into a man that died to save us is more important.  Please remember the reason we have this season is not to say "Happy Holidays" It is Merry Christmas!!!!

So Merry Christmas to all and I hope you were good so that Santa can be good to you!!! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Nation with NO Morals... Top 5 reasons in my books

It has been a while since I posted because of a couple reasons.  Number one the FLU got me.  Number 2 I had to deal with something unthinkable....
I got a phone call from the principal of my daughters school.  She is in the sixth grade, straight A's, no enemies she is a sweet Christian girl with a heart of gold!  She plays the clarinet and has recently gotten first chair in the beginning band.  This comes after 2 years of practicing her chosen instrument which is a Clarinet, long before band was even offered at school.

The principal calls me and starts out the conversation with I want you to know Ariel is not injured................  WHAT????  It seems as though one of the girls that my daughter has been friends with and has spoken alot about Christ to came to school and brought a knife!!!  That morning at breakfast the little girl came up behind her and put her hands around my daughters shoulders and neck which Ariel tells me is this child's normal way of greeting her, put her hands back in her pockets and then informs her that "You didn't even know I had a knife at your throat!!!"  Sure enough another little girl had seen it and then the  girl pulled out the knife of her pocket and showed Ariel.
The witness little girl went to the principal and well needless to say the girl with the Knife went home.  That is when the principal called me and then the police.  I told the officer I did not want to press charges that I thought being expelled was probably enough punishment.  My daughter told me that she didn't feel like the girl wanted to hurt her and that she was just being "stupid" The girl had been her friend for almost 2 years and my daughter did not want charges pressed against the child (see heart of gold)!!!  She had been trying to get this girl to go to church with her.  While the child walks around the school offering contracts with the devil...

Now what would give a child the idea to put a knife to another child's throat?  Or take a gun to school? Or shoot their parents or other children?  Rob a liquor store? or an EZ Mart? Steal a car?? Have sex or do drugs before they are 12?

I can tell you I am sure I know exactly what is causing our nation to bring up a nation of violent offenders... Thugs if you may....

  1.  The loss of moral instruction in our schools.
  2. The inability of parents to discipline their child without fear of interference or prosecution.
  3. The Television shows and video games that have such life like effects and place doing these things in a positive light.
  4. The loss of corpal punishment in our schools
  5. The loss of guidance and the teaching of "Moral Compass" by parents
Now lets look at each of these closer:

1. Loss of moral instruction in our schools:
When I was a kid I went to a Catholic school.  We said the lords prayer and then the pledge of allegiance first thing in the morning.  Before I got out of 1st grade I knew exactly what would happen to me if I broke any of the Ten commandments.  Now schools can not teach any kind of Morality for fear of "offending" another religion.  Put religion back into our schools and I promise you it will help.  Pretty much any religion from Paganism to Christianity have a "Golden Rule" which could be taught and expected to be followed.

2. The inability of parents to discipline:
I knew when I was a kid if I smart mouthed my grandmother she would have "Slapped my mouth right off my face", If I said bad things she would wash that "filth out of my mouth", If I broke the rules I knew a belt that had my name written all over it and it would HURT!!!  Now if you wash out your child's mouth with soap you are abusing them,  If you make your child go to bed hungry because they just threw a fit and refused to eat what you made for dinner... It is abuse.  If you spank their butts with a belt... That is abuse...  I was never abused and I also was never a criminal!!!  I do not so much as have a speeding ticket on my record, nor was I ever suspended in school!!!  I was however disciplined and taught right from wrong!!!  I have never bruised, bloodied or damaged a child but I have warmed a back side up!!!

3. Television shows and video games:
Video games when I was a kid was as violent as the Atari blip bouncing back and forth in Tennis.  It was controversial for Mr and Mrs Brady to be seen in the bed together reading... Horror movies came on after 10 at night...  Now our kids are being taught it is acceptable to be violent, they get practice with their video games.  I was taught you used a gun to hunt with!!  I was taught gun safety!!! My children are taught to respect firearms and what they are used for.  I was not even allowed to point a toy gun at people or animals!!!  Now we have laser tag...  The closest thing my kids can point a gun (any kind of gun) at that even resembles a human being is a paper Zombie target.  Prime time TV is loaded with violence, sex and should be rated "R".  Parents are too busy with their schedules to censor what their kids watch and do....

4. Corpal Punishment in schools:
I knew that if I was bad and got a paddling at school I was going to get the belt when I got home.  Period, no questions asked!!!!  Now schools also have their hands tied when it comes to punishment because they might "offend"...  I say Offend??? If you are offended by a school disciplining your child for threatening another then you need a paddling also!!!

5.Loss of guidance and teaching:
My kids go to Sunday school, My kids are taught from a very young age what is right and wrong...  The lame stream media does not ever report along with any of the craziness that any of the violent offenders where a member of __________church... You know why??? Because they aren't!!!  I have made my own children write scriptures instead of sentences to remind them of the moral compass that I expect out of them... I promise you I could not be considered a "bible thumping fanatic"... No I have met those kind also in my life... But it take More than one person to raise a child and teach them the right way to go...  It also takes parents living by example... If a parent is going to bars every weekend, doing drugs, ripping others off, fighting violently with family members and so on... I promise you those kids see it... They see it and because their families do then it must be right...

It takes a village to raise a child.... Parents and other adults teaching them by example Right from Wrong, church leaders and Sunday school teachers, School officials and teachers... 

My children say yes sir and No sir (or Ma'am).  They eat their peas, work hard to get good grades.  They attend Sunday school every week and are active in their youth group.  They do chores and earn the things they want... We have a farm so there is always work to be done in exchange for money to spend on eBay!!!

In order to control the violence that our Nation has given birth to then we have to get rid of the parents of violence, get a grip on our young folks and remind them right from wrong...  Get rid of the negative influences that are there in  daily life and instead infuse some positive ones!!!  Boundries must be set and those limits must be inforced... Just telling a child "Oh no sweetie you can not do that" is going to do nothing to teach them not to... The consequences MUST be overwhelming negative in order to keep them from doing it...  I mean come on folks if a speeding ticket was a quarter and your insurance never went up then would you really pay much attention to the signs??? No because the negative consequences would not be harsh enough... It would be acceptable punishment in order to drive fast...  Our kids are like that... They think "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah... My parents can't really do anything to me other than talk (remember Charlie Browns parents on the phone, that is what our children hear).  And what to them is just talk??? An acceptable consequence since they can just tune us out!!!

Okay folks that is my 2 cents worth... I am sure many of you would vehemently disagree with me and that is your right...  If that is the case then we can agree to disagree...

Monday, December 3, 2012

A Christmas Story from 1881

I was sent this by one of the Ladies from our church.  She is a wonderful lady with a big smile and plays the piano every Sunday never fail.  I do not know who originally wrote this, but I would gladly give them credit...  Read it, the story is inspiring!!!


Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities. But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors. It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.
It was Christmas Eve, 1881. I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn't been enough money to buy me the rifle that I'd wanted for Christmas. We did the chores early that night for some reason. I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.
After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible. I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn't in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn't get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside. I couldn't figure it out because we had already done all the chores. I didn't worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.
Soon Pa came back in. It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. "Come on, Matt," he said. "Bundle up good, it's cold out tonight." I was really upset then. Not only wasn't I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see. We'd already done all the chores, and I couldn't think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this. But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one's feet when he'd told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens. Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house. Something was up, but I didn't know what.
Outside, I became even more dismayed. There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled. Whatever it was we were going to do wasn't going to be a short, quick, little job. I could tell. We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load. Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand. I reluctantly climbed up beside him. The cold was already biting at me. I wasn't happy.
When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed. He got off and I followed. "I think we'll put on the high sideboards," he said. "Here, help me." The high sideboards! It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high side boards on..
After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood - the wood I'd spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting. What was he doing? Finally I said something. "Pa," I asked, "what are you doing?" "You been by the Widow Jensen's lately?" he asked.. The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road. Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight. Sure, I'd been by, but so what?
Yeah," I said, "Why?"
"I rode by just today," Pa said. "Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They're out of wood, Matt." That was all he said and then he turned and went back into the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him. We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.
Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon. He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait. When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand. "What's in the little sack?" I asked. Shoes, they're out of shoes. Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning. I got the children a little candy too. It just wouldn't be Christmas without a little candy."
We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen's pretty much in silence. I tried to think through what Pa was doing. We didn't have much by worldly standards. Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it. We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn't have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy? Really, why was he doing any of this? Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn't have been our concern.
We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door. We knocked. The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, "Who is it?" "Lucas Miles, Ma'am, and my son, Matt... could we come in for a bit?"
Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in. She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all. Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.
"We brought you a few things, Ma'am," Pa said and set down the sack of flour. I put the meat on the table. Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it. She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out, one pair at a time. There was a pair for her and one for each of the children - sturdy shoes, the best.... shoes that would last. I watched her carefully. She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks. She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn't come out.
"We brought a load of wood too, Ma'am," Pa said. He turned to me and said, "Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile. Let's get that fire up to size and heat this place up."
I wasn't the same person when I went back out to bring in the wood. I had a big lump in my throat and as much as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too. In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn't speak. My heart swelled within me and a joy that I'd never known before, filled my soul. I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference. I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.
I soon had the fire blazing and everyone's spirits soared. The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn't crossed her face for a long time. She finally turned to us. "God bless you," she said. "I know the Lord has sent you. The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us."
In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again. I'd never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it, I could see that it was probably true. I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth. I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others. The list seemed endless as I thought on it..
Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left. I was amazed when they all fit, and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get. Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord, that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.
Tears were running down Widow Jensen's face again when we stood up to leave. Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug. They clung to him and didn't want us to go. I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.
At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, "The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals. We'll be by to get you about eleven. It'll be nice to have some little ones around again. Matt, here, hasn't been little for quite a spell." I was the youngest... my two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.
Widow Jensen nodded and said, "Thank you, Brother Miles. I don't have to say, may the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will."
Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn't even notice the cold. When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, "Matt, I want you to know something. Your Ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn't have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square. Your Ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do. Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand."
I understood alright... and my eyes became wet with tears again. I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it. Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities. Pa had given me a lot more. He had given me the look on Widow Jensen's face and the radiant smiles of her three children..
For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night. Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.
Don't be too busy today... share this inspiring message. Merry Christmas and God bless you!

Barter... What a wonderful thing!!!

An elderly man lives down the road from me pulled into my driveway earlier today... He asked me if I had a Billie Goat.. I answered yes in fear thinking Oh My did Jack get out???  But no there was no problem, he has a doe that needs to be bred and he wanted to know what I would charge for my Jack's services.

Now I had never given the thought of pimping out my Jack before so I had no idea...  I didn't want to ask for too much... I did however remember that this man sells fire wood on occasion so I told him "How about you bring me however much wood you think would be a fair trade and you can borrow him"  He said that sounded fine to him, I showed him my Jack and we talked a bit...  Then he headed on back home.

A few minutes later he was back with about a half a rick of nice seasoned wood...  He put it out by the barn and I helped him load up Jack into his truck.  Now my Jack is over at his house "visiting" for a few days... He promised me he would take "real good care of him" and we shook hands.  He will bring Jack back when the deed is done.  And that is how a "Country Contract" is done... A promise and a handshake...  I can see Jack when I drive by his house so I know also that Jack is just fine as can be!!!

I got something I needed in the form of some firewood and he got what he needed in the form of a sire to freshen his Nanny goat...  So when you are thinking of things that you can use as money should our economy crash do not forget about services to trade.  Whether it be your knowledge of how to brew beer or the services of an animal.  Barter is truly a wonderful thing and has been around a millennium longer than currency.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The day our lights went out

A few days ago something happened with our little grid here.  The electricity went down in an area several square miles.  They were off for several hours from about 4 in the afternoon until close to 9pm.  No problem for me... I pulled out the candles and the oil lamps, grabbed the camp stove and brought it in and cooked dinner.  We ate by candle light.  My daughter sat at the kitchen table with 2 candles reading her book most of the afternoon and evening.  I didn't have to go out to the barn but if I did I have hooks already installed to hang oil lanterns...

My 9 year old son though... He was just driving me nuts wanting to know when are the lights coming back on?  Will the lights come back on?  Why did the lights go off? Why aren't they fixing the lights?  Now mind you it was not once or even twice that he asked these questions.....  He is Autistic and if he asked it once he asked at least 20 times in the 5 hours it took them to fix the power...

While I was in the kitchen cooking I got a new wheel of cheese out of the cold storage where I keep it to age.  I peeled the wax off with my son anxiously asking me questions refusing to leave my hip.  Then a wonder happened I got out a flat hand grater to grate the cheese.  He had never seen me use this because I love my salad shooter for grating cheese.  He asked me what it was and I told him an old time version of the salad shooter... As I began grating the cheese and he saw it falling off in shreds.  He said "Wow mommy you really do know how to use one of those!!!"

If the lights ever go out permanently or even longer than a few hours I will need a huge bottle of something... (Valium, Booze, etc) just to have to deal with HIS anxiety!!!

Suffice it to say... There was not much more than a hiccup as we switched over to no electric for the night... It was a nice little practice drill...  We still had burritos for dinner with all the trimmings, daughter still read her book for school... Hubby and son waited anxiously so that they could watch the new Spiderman movie that we had JUST rented before the power went off...

Lessons learned:
1. Find something son can play with that is not run by electric and that will interest him
2. Teach kids more about my antique stuff that I have...
3. Buy Vodka!!! Large bottles for preps!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Product Review: Wise Foods Grab and Go Entree

I went to a gun show a while back and there was a booth there that was selling Wise Foods Grab and Go Buckets.  Since all of our food storage is ingredients, home dehydrated or home canned foods along with the ability to resupply my food storage with our garden, orchard and live stock I had no commercially prepared freeze dried anything.  So we bought 2 of the grab and go buckets of entrees to supplement our food storage.  My oldest daughter decided to try out one of the Entrees just to make sure it was fit to eat.  It was and tasted pretty good just the way it was.  Then with a few redneck additions she had a decent meal.

The meal was "Pasta Alfredo"
This is what it looked like dry.  She opened the package, removed the oxygen absorber and poured it into a bowl.  Then she heated 4 cups of water to boiling and added it according to the package directions.  It was a bit bland so in went some diced ham.
Now mind you when I got these meals my step-daughter who is 13 immediately said "EEEWWWW, I'm not eating that!!!"
So Becky brought over a bowl of the prepared pasta and it went into the fridge.  When Step-daughter saw said bowl in the fridge she immediately wanted it.  I did not tell her what it was until after she went on and on about how good it was!!!
Hubby also had tried it and said it was good.  The taste was much similar to that of Hamburger Helper.  This food definitely passed the picky teenager "EEEWWWWW" Test!!!!

So I guess a few more buckets are in order for the pantry!!

Link for Grab and Go Entree Bucket

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Wishes

I want to wish all of my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving. May your table be blessed with food, friendship and love. Today is a day to be thankful for all your blessings and it is also a day that you may release any frustration you may have built up. Here are ways to release that frustration:

1. You may BEAT Mr. Egg or you can send him to hell to be "devilled"

2. You may string up Mr. Gobbler

3. You may WHIP Ms. Cream

4. You may take a Rolling pin to Little Ms Pastry Crust

Have fun, Enjoy the day. And now Little Ms. Pastry crust has had it. She is definately getting the rolling pin treatment from me!!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

We have babies!!!! Bunnies that is!!!

One of our does just gave birth last night... She had been working on her nest since yesterday morning so I knew it was imminent... I went out last night and could see the fur moving in the nest...
What a cozy nest!!!
This morning when I went out there I gave her some good scratches behind her ears and then pulled back the fur:
See the pink spot in the hole of fur?
Phone on zoom, not a great picture.
There are 6 of them.  3 pink ones and 3 black ones like their daddy.

This is her first litter so I hope all goes well.  Every time I have been out there she has not been in the nest with them.  I put her in the nest to get the top picture...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Building a combost bin for free

If there is one thing every farm has plenty of that is MANURE!!!  Up until now we had no one place to put it so when we cleaned out a stall it just went... Where ever the kid who was in charge decided it should go.  Now we have a compost bin and that is THE PLACE for them to dump their wheel barrows.

Cost 6 nails... a few pennies
Pallets and skids Free
Bailing wire... Free (it came off the bales of alfalfa)

I have several pallets and skids sitting around that I had gotten for free when some people down the road built a house.

2 of the skids were 10 feet long by 4 feet tall and the two pallets I used were about 4feet by 4 feet.

Our garden has a pen made from field fencing at either end of it.  One end has our growing pigs in it the other is for if I have to separate out a goat for some reason.  In between the two pens we have almost half an acre that is going to be our new garden this next spring.  Last year our garden flooded horribly and had to be replanted 3 times so this year I decided it was going on higher ground with no chance of flooding from the road.

The first step was to put one of the skids up against the fence in the corner.  I nailed it to the corner post and then bailing wired it to the T-post.  I then added a pallet on each end which I nailed to the skid.  The front skid I cut so that it was only about 2 feet tall and then nailed it to the pallets.
Now I have a place in the garden for garden compost like weeds and a place to put the manure from the barn and pens.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Update on Star, Our adopted 30+ year old horse

About 7 months ago we adopted a horse.  The people told us she was about 20 years old.  She was super skinny with all her bones sticking out and you could count every rib from 10 feet away.  I noticed she was dropping her grain and having trouble eating so I got the dentist out here.  That was 6 months ago.  The dentist fixed her teeth.  She said they were in really bad shape and one even fell out in her hand.  She told me that Star was 30+ years old.
I have been feeding her lots of grain and weight gain powder plus alfalfa and all the grass she can eat.  She is now much fatter and VERY barn sour....
November 2012 looking better
Before you could see every vertebra, every rib and all of the bones in her hips.
November 2012 much fatter
These pictures where taken from about 3 feet away from her.  You can see the difference, The picture's below was when we first got her and I was about 10 feet away.
Day one

When we first got Star

I like the ones now better.  See how you can see the bones in the pictures just above but in the pictures I took today in the top of the post she looks MUCH better.

Now I just have a horse that is so spoiled she wants no part of being ridden.  I was scared to put a saddle on her and put any weight on her when she was skinny so we didn't try to ride her and now she refuses to move...  Except to the barn or the feeder!!!

Anybody out there have any ideas on how to un-sour a horse???

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Is a Hard Winter on the Horizon?

I told my husband last summer with the drought and the heat so bad that I feared a HARD winter... Now my animals are looking really shaggy.  Our horse has fur that is almost an inch long.  My goats are growing thick under coats also.  The persimmons are showing spoons which means we will have to dig out of snow and the almanac also is calling for an extra snowy winter here.

We have frequent power outages here from ice.  So I invested in some solar lights.  We have extra lamp oil and candles.

I just built a barrel wood stove for the barn so if I lose power at least we can all go to the barn and stay warm.

What do you folks think?  Are we in for a cold, cold winter?  Has anyone looked at a persimmon seed? What do you think your area will be like???

I guess I better get busy and get the last of the "Before it gets too cold to be outside" stuff done...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Update on State Petitions to secede and a petition to impeach Obama

Here is an update on all the Hoopla at the White House "We the people website".

As of 6am Central time there were petitions for 45 of our 50 states to secede.  Combined they have 674,433 signatures.  There are 5 of the New England states and Hawaii that is not listed. Since it is easier to list the states NOT listed on the site with petitions here they are:

I am keeping up with all of this for curiosities sake... I am not going to sit here and tell any one they need to sign a petition or tell them not to sign the petitions.  But we do have the right given to us by the first amendment to petition our government. They have 30 days to amass signatures and they are only into this by less than a week.  I am curious as to how far this will go before the White House decides to unplug their web server....

There is also another petition to peacefully allow all the states that have requested secession to form a new nation together here it is:

On the other front the two petitions wishing to strip citizenship and exile all who sign have 21,333 signatures.  Those are the people that have never heard of the First Amendment.  I am not quite sure where they plan on exiling this many people to... Alaska maybe??? That would be the closest thing to our version of Siberia where communist Russia used to exile their people that spoke up to...  I have always been fascinated by Alaska so maybe I will get to go... LOL

You can also read all of the petitions at:

There is also a petition to impeach Obama and it lists several reasons you can read this one here:

All I have to say once again is WOW!!!!!  People are speaking up. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Update on petitions at Whitehouse

There are currently 40 states that are listed and all together there are over 528,000 signatures.  You can see them all here

There are also 2 petitions asking the president to exile, remove citizenship or "deport" everyone who signs the petitions.  They have about  8000 signatures combined.  I guess those people have not heard about that little thing called the First Amendment and the right to freedom of speech.  To me this is a very peaceful demonstration.  Like I have said you can not get any more peaceful than a bunch of electronic signatures on an electronic petition.

I do not believe there is going to be any secession.  I believe this is only a message to the president that the people want the country to go back to the ways of the constitution. 

Preserve our rights as our forefathers had intended them to be!

Petitons on White House site to secede...Why the people have done it... What I think...

The count of petitions people have submitted for the different states is up to 31 out of 50 states. It has now hit main stream media and was on our local news last night. I believe that these people do not truly want to secede but only want their voices heard about the recent blatant infringement upon rights.  Now there is even a petition to exile and strip citizenship of every person who signs the petitions.  What these people do not realize is that every single petition is a voice.  It is our first amendment right of Freedom of Speech being utilized to send a message to the president.  This was the way many thought that maybe they could get a point across. 

Since over half of the states are present I believe they (the citizens) do not want to necessarily secede but they do want a NEW government...

The people are not happy.  Many of our rights have been trampled in recent years.  Whether it is the TSA violating privacy.  People being arrested for peaceful demonstrations (the occupy movement). Taxation without permission of the people (jsut raise taxes).  Or gun control.

Can anyone even remember why we left dear old England and King George?  Many of the reasons are present here and now again.  Yes that cup of tea is being taxed!!!

Our Government needs reform.  We need to be reformed back to our constitution.  Smaller government.  Less red tape.  Decrease federal spending. 

I am a US citizen and am proud of that.  I do not need or want a president to apologize for that fact.  We are supposed to be one nation under GOD.  Why should we apologize for being Americans, or for being Christian, or whatever religion you choose.  That is our choice and it is a right.

I do not want a civil war, But I do want the president to remember our constitution that he swore to uphold.  Remember the declaration of independence and why we are what we are. 

Yes I signed many of the petitions (that was the only way I could get those links for my posts).
I know that a little petition by the citizens will never cause any state to be released from the union.

I believe that this is nothing more than a peaceful demonstration in an attempt to get him to listen to the people.  And really... How much more peaceful can you get than electronic signatures on an electronic petition????

And with that I am saying no more about all of this.  Back to my homestead... I HATE politics!!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Multiple states wanting to leave the US peacefully... The Bible Belt speaks and then some

Okay... WOW... That is about all I can say about all of this.  There are multiple petitions now for multiple states to withdraw and create their own new government.  Louisiana started it and now there are 20 in total...  Is this a sign of what is to come????  I have a foreboding feeling about all of this....  I do hope the president can see that his peasants are not happy....  Many of the states listed were confederate states to begin with and pretty much the entire Bible Belt is spoken for here, only a few are missing.  There could be many more since you have to get the first 150 signatures before the petition will even show up on the White House web site.  I have no interest in seeing a civil war here on our ground, But I do hope that all of these petitions will get the Commander in Chief's attention and tell him there are a LOT of unhappy people out here.  Maybe he will LISTEN to his people and try to unite the nation once again. 
We were once a great nation united by the people and for the people.  We are now a divided nation that is by the government and for the government. 

Oklahoma and Arizona Have also entered onto the petition page.  That raises the count to 22 states.  Now I do not believe for one minute that anything is going to actually come of this except papers flying (Or at least I truly hope not).  But it truly is my hope that with this much attention maybe the Obama administration will stop and truly consider the reasons behind all of this.  This is almost half of our continental states.  Maybe the voices will be heard and attention paid to them....

Here are links to all of the states so far:





Georgia  and



Louisiana  ...



Missouri  and


North Carolina

North Dakota

New Jersey

New York


South Carolina  and



Friday, November 9, 2012

Louisiana... Trying to leave the union??? Interesting...

Okay has anyone out there read the latest on the WND??? It seems as though the day after our election someone decided to write a petition to the White House to allow the state of LA to secede from the union and start their own new government.  You can see the article here...
If you read the comments it seems as though there are alot of other people in other states that seem to agree...
And you can read the petition here...

 My husband is from Louisiana and he said "leave it to the Cajuns to start it".  I do not believe it will ever happen not without a bunch of blood shed and I do hope none of this comes to that.  We have had one civil war I hope to not ever see one here in my lifetime or my childrens.

But in case you are interested in reading it the links are there for you...

I found it interesting reading...  The entire bible belt wanted Romney and the East and West coasts wanted Obama.  But usually the mid section of our country is much more conservative than the coasts. 

Just for the sake of pointing out something.  I saw a lot of posts on blogs saying the same thing soon after Katrina.  It didn't happen then and I don't see it happening now.  Usually it is just people yapping their mouths.  This is the first time I have ever seen someone actually try to DO something.

I believe that the bigwigs in the state would never actually want it to happen.  And one little state against the machine of the US is not a fair match anyway.  They would lose...

But at least the people have voiced their concern over our current administrations policies.  As of now we still have freedom of speech.  I just hope and pray it stays that way.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Super Storm Sandy

I want to take a moment to wish everyone in the path of Sandy well.  Please stay safe...  Every year one storm or another takes lives whether it be from the tornado's in this part of the country to hurricanes to winter storms.  Sandy looks to have the possibility of being one of the worst storms on the history books.  She seems to be poised to take many, many lives. 
So just please stay safe and warm.  Be prepared.......

Monday, October 22, 2012

A new cheese press

I admit it I BROKE my other cheese press.  It was a dinky one I had bought off of eBay when I first started making cheese.  I wanted a really nice one but hey $300 just was not in my budget.    Cheddar cheese has to be pressed at very heavy weights because the curds are so tough.  The dinky one just could not do it. So I looked really hard at the expensive one and thought "I could make something similiar to that" I searched around and found springs which I had to buy online and they had a $50 minimum order...  I went to Lowes and bought red oak boards and the hardware.  Then I got busy.  Sawing and bolting.  I still have to fashion a handle right now I am using just a nut that I am turning with a wrench to tighten it down.

This is the end result of my engineering:
I made it big enough so that:
A. I could fit my bathroom scale under it to determine the pressure it exerts and
B so that I could get a bigger piece of PVC and make 10" rounds

I put my scale under it and finger tightened the nuts down.  Then with 3 full turns on each side I had 20lbs, 6 turns =40lbs and 9 turns = almost 60lbs just what I needed for cheddar as easy as can be...

And here is the first round of cheddar I made with it:
The curd is nice and tight and I made it for a fraction of what I could buy it for!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Being Thrifty 101

One of my favorite blogs posted an article about being frugal and asked all of us to also post one and link to theirs.  Almost 3 years ago I was in an accident that ended my long time career being a RN.  I was used to making really good money!  That sent me down to less than $800 a month.  I had to learn really quick how to cut corners and save money. I understand that due to urban restrictions some may not be able to do this  Here are a few tips:

1. The three R's of bring thrifty:  Recycle, Re purpose and Reuse
     I try to save everything that could possibly be re-used.  Here are some top ones that most throw away:
  1. Soda bottles.  20 ounce bottles get used for rabbit water bottles.  The 2 liter bottles get used to store things like rice and beans.  Wash them with a little bleach water and then let dry well.  Use a funnel to pour in your stuff to be stored.
  2. Creamer bottles: Wash and then dry they are great for storing your spices in.
  3. Old bread sacks.  I get my friends to save me their bread sacks to store my own in.
  4. 4. egg cartons.  I also have people save these for me.  They are great to package my own eggs or use them when you are taking something apart to keep small parts organized and labeled.
  5. Newspapers: These can be used for new chicks, making fire logs, used as weed barrier.  The comics make great wrapping paper.
  6. scrap wood from local builders.  Many a projects have been done with scrap lumber like nest boxes, gates etc.  You might have to pull out a few nails but hey it's free.
  7. pill bottles: these are great for storing things like pins and the small ones are great for pre-measuring black powder for primitive firearms.
  8. Butter bowls, cottage cheese containers etc.  Redneck Tupperware!!!
  9. Frosting buckets from the local bakery... Why pay for a food safe bucket when you can get them for free!
Before you throw something away think... Is there anything else this can be used for????

2. Hang out your clothes.  The sun is alot cheaper than the dryer.

3. Get a goat... My milk costs me less than $1 a gallon figuring feed costs.  A gallon of milk in town is $4.29.  I can make cheese for about 10% of what it would cost at the store.

4. Cook from scratch.  Buy ingredients rather than ready to serve meals.  You can make your own TV dinners by freezing left overs or canning them for an open the jar meal!

5. Dollar stores... It is so much cheaper to go to the Dollar General than to Wal-Mart

6. Use coupons Many stores will double coupons but only use them on things you would normally buy.  Don't buy something just because you have a coupon.

7.  Price Match.  I check the online ads for all of the local stores and write down the best prices.  Then I go to Wal-mart and tell them about it.  Potatoes at Wal-Mart was $3.97  Save-alot in the next town had them for $2.95 it saved me a dollar and I didn't have to drive.  The stores usually have to be within 20 miles to get the price match.

8.  Thrift stores and Yard sales... I just today bot a wooden over the toilet shelf for $2 cost at Wal-Mart $69.97 I have to tighten the screws but hey the new one I would've had to put together.  I refuse to pay full price for clothes.  Many times people sell gently used things that are still just as good as something new.

9.  Ebay.. I always check Ebay before I go buy something.  For example the cost to buy a new all metal cream separator over $1200 I got one on ebay that works like a champ and looks new even though it is 80 years old for $175.

10. has a free section and also classifieds for sale.  I have bought many things there ALOT cheaper than at the store.  And gotten them free.

11.  My latest score 6 dozen canning jars for FREE  Cost to buy $60

12. Clearance and after season sales.  Buy your next years Halloween stuff on November 1st same with Thanks giving and Christmas.  Buy your bathing suit when Wal-Mart has them for $2 or $3 instead of $25 the next year.  My latest score beginning of summer I bought my daughter several pairs of jeans and long sleeved shirts for $2 or less at Wal-Mart

13. Factory Company stores: I buy my Little Debbies at their company store.  They have boxes that are damaged for 50 cents a box.  I buy Simmons Chicken battered and ready to fry 5lbs for $5.95.  The Allens store always has their canned goods way cheap also.

14.  Grow your own food and can it yourself.  You can get alot of veges from a $1 pack of seed.  You do not need acreage to do it.  Containers on a patio will produce a bunch.

Well that's not all but its a list long enough for you to get the idea.  Oh also if it breaks research and maybe you can fix it yourself rather than paying someone to do it!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Welcome to our new beasties... Bacon Monster and Pork Chop

Well here they are.  Hubby and I have been working hard for a couple weeks to get them a pen ready and a house.  Finally I found piggies for sale at a good price and close to home.  My daughter and I went in halves on these too little porkers.  My grandson named one "Monster" So I am calling him "Bacon Monster" and the other "Pork Chop" to always remind the kids exactly what these guys are for and it isn't to get attached to.

They are 12 weeks old right now and we are planning on taking them to the butcher this spring.  One more giant step toward self sufficiency and swearing off the Wal-Mart grocery shelves!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Update on Quacks babes...An orphan chicken and a blind goat

The chickens that my duck hatched did not fare so well.  Only one has survived and because it is an "only child"  it is spoiled, his name is "Bitty Bird" thanks to my 4 year old grandson. I had to take the two remaining chicks away from her after she almost drowned them in a puddle, only one of them survived.  He lives in our barn with our blind goat.  Yes thats right BLIND goat Sonny.  Some friends of ours are going out of the country so we adopted their pet goat who is totally blind.

The two have become friends.  It is almost a symbiotic relationship.  The chicken sleeps on top of the goat.  He chirps if another chicken or something gets too close to the goat and if he starts chirping Sonny the goat gets up.  Every time I go out to the barn and Sonny is laying down, Bitty will be on top of him.  I have seen at times when Bitty is being chased by another chick he will fly up and sit on Sonny's back and go for a ride.
Bitty bird on top of Sonny

They share a feeder.  I tried to take a picture but Sonny moved before my phone could snap it.

This chicken has become so tame it is almost irritating.  If you are out in the barn and sit down to take a break he will jump up onto your lap and then up to your shoulder he goes.
Bitty taking a break

Bitty standing guard
One time I was out in the barn and a bigger chick started picking on Bitty.  He flew up caught the back of my shirt and climbed all the way to my shoulder then started chirping loudly in my ear like he was telling on that other chick.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Industrial Food: What are they feeding us?

You have heard the old saying "You are what you eat".  The big food companies have to keep their foods stable for a very long time so they add preservatives.  For people like me that have a list of allergies that can not go on one page without making 2 columns that can be a BIG problem.

I have never been able to eat much cheese.  It makes me itch if I eat alot of it.  Now keep in mind I am not allergic to dairy products.  I am however allergic to a multitude of antibiotics and specifically ALL of the "Mycins"... If the name ends in "mycin" then I can not have it.  The same goes with "cillins".  Before I started making my own cheese I bought cheese from the store just like everyone else.  Now that I am making it I can eat it.  Store bought cheese has "Natamycin" added to prevent it from molding.  They all have it.  Here are 2 different brands bought from 2 different stores.  The first is the label from a bag of shredded cheddar from Sam's Club and the second is a block of cheddar from Aldi.

Please note the front label on the bag:
It says "Natural" My natural cheddar has 5 ingredients:
Annato coloring (natural coloring made from the Annato tree)
Mesophillic starter

Obviously my definition of natural and theirs are worlds apart.

Now here is another point to ponder.  We live in a world of "super bugs" created by the over use of  antibiotics.  One of them is called VRE "Vancomycin resistant enterococcus"  This bug is resistant to all of the "mycins".  Allergies are treated by making us "resistant" to the things we are allergic to.  This is accomplished by giving us very small amounts of the allergen over a period of time.  So my ponder point is this.  Could the resistant strains of super bugs have been created by these small doses of antibiotics in our food?  Mycins in our cheese?  Cillins in our meat?

If you have allergies, I suggest reading carefully the backs of all packages.  Although that is not even fool proof as they are not required to put in everything.  For example many chickens are given Tetramycin in their water.  The chicken consumes the tetramycin then is butchered.  You will not see all of the things that the chicken has consumed prior to slaughter on the package only that it contains a chicken.

The only way to really know what you are eating is to grow, process and produce all of your food.  That is not possible for many city dwellers.  But even the cities have farm land around them.  You can go to the farmers market or get to know a farmer and buy directly from the farm.  You can inquire of their practices regarding what you are buying from them to eat.

Many states have laws that say you can not buy or sell raw dairy products. In Arkansas I can sell 100 gallons a month of goats milk.  I can not however sell the cheese or butter made from it.  And cows milk is right up there with illicit drugs.  The powers that be have put farmers that sell milk in the same classification as a meth dealer!!!  Write to your Governor and complain about those laws.  We should be able to buy what we want to eat and eat whatever we want to.  Our government has become so audacious in its control that it is telling us what we can and can not consume.  I think the worst one was New York saying you can no longer buy a large cup of soda.  Really???  I thought this was supposed to be the "land of the free"  Look at some of the presidential executive orders we are no longer free!  Look at laws on the books regarding food and farmers... Nope, Not free!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

technical difficulties.. my internet is down. be back soon

My internet was down for 6 days.  The satelite thing got fried... HHMMM we live in thunderstorm alley so go figure... My phone just was not cooperating with my blog.  The title was all I could muster.  I am back up and running now...

Boy will I miss the internet if our grid goes down!!!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Prepping on a dime... Or a nickel... Or nothing at all

Times are tough... VERY tough... Sometimes it seems like there is no way to be prepared when prepping supplies are so darned expensive... There are many ways though to prep without having to spend a small fortune... And for those of you that will just put it on a credit card, PLEASE think all of that interest you will be paying you might as well just take the cash and go use it to start your BBQ.  You would not do that now would you?

I worked as a RN for close to 20 years.  I brought home $3k a month or more.  I was in an accident and got hurt and can not work again.  My neck is now made of metal and I can not turn my head to look both directions to drive.  My arms constantly fall asleep because of nerve damage and I walk with a cane because of left overs from a nasty head injury...  With that said I had to switch really quick to a budget of less than $800 a month.  Because of that accident my preps got put into high gear.  It made a believer out of me in a hurry....

Here are some ways to prep on the cheap:
  1. Freecycle     So many people would rather give away items that are still useful.  You can find the group for your area by visiting www.
  2. Craigs list   This site also has a free items listing.  People will also sell things mighty cheap on here.  I recently purchased several hundred dollars worth of canning equipment for $100 and a brand new cheese press for $20 which would have normally cost me $50.
  3. Spring or fall clean up in cities.  This is the time when everyone puts out to the curb the junk they do not want.  Drive around and pick up what you do want... Many things can be re purposed into something very useful.
  4. Food pantry left overs.  Many food pantries get produce which will go bad if they do not give it away.  Call your local pantries and ask to be a "clean up family" Then you have lots of wonderful produce to can and preserve for free.
  5. Icing buckets:  These are food safe buckets.  Many of the bakeries will give them away.  All you have to do is ask.  This makes a 5 gallon food grade bucket free instead of $8 to buy one.
  6. Pickle jars, sour cream containers etc from restaurants:  These are quite handy for storing your food in and if you call your local food places you can generally get them free.  You also might be able to get leftovers if they have a buffet which can then be frozen or canned.
  7. Dollar stores: These places are a wealth of prepping supplies for a dollar.  The quality may not be great but hey a cheap band aid is better than no band aid at all!
  8. Make it yourself.  The Internet is full of plans for DIY things.  If you want a solar oven but can not afford the $100+ to buy one then make one yourself out of a cardboard box, black spray paint and aluminum foil.  Cost $5  Well bucket cost to buy $60 cost to make out of PVC and an old inner tube $5 or less if you can find the scrap PVC on the curb side.  Many times construction companies will throw away PVC, lumber etc and you can get it for free.  You can get an old inner tube from a tire shop for free if it is too torn up to be fixed and you only need a small piece.  Then the cost for the well bucket went down to $0.  The list goes on and on....
  9. Don't throw it away, Recycle, Re purpose, Reuse... My husband has asked me many times "why don't you just throw that away" Then down the road I would salvage a part off one thing that I saved to fix another or re purpose into something else.  He finally quit asking and now he won't throw anything away either unless it truly is just trash.  For example.  The net on our trampoline (the part you jump on) ripped.  It is no longer any good for the trampoline.  He wanted to throw it away.  I said no and turned it into free weed barrier instead of going to Lowes and spending $20 to buy some.  An old aquarium with a broken bottom became a planter.. A pallet became a very nice back porch that you can not even tell I used a pallet to build it...  I think you might get the idea...

Be creative.  Learning to think outside of our boxes that our disposable society has put us in sometimes can be difficult to say the least... We have been raised with the mentality of "just go buy it".  We must train ourselves to think differently about it.  Once you can get your brain into a "what else can that be mode" it gets easier.  I look at things and can come up with many alternative uses.  My hubby calls me the "queen of McGyver". 

My motto "If they can then I can"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The state of our world... Are we going to get zapped? Are you ready?

Okay I don't generally blog on politics or current events but there is so much unfolding on the news right now. I usually try to keep my political views out of my blog...  BUT Every time I look at the news someone else has either blown someone away or are threatening to blow someone away. 

Are we on the Brink of WWIII???  All of our enemies are conspiring... Iran is threatening Israel, We are friends of Israel... China and Korea have made it clear that they will back Iran and we must by treaty back Israel.  China and Japan are fighting... Japans ambassador to China I understand was found dead... Will there be retribution?  Obama is talking about some kind of trade thing against China... (I just do not usually keep up with politics, I am much more of a math and science person, political mumbo jumbo is hubby's job)...Will they like it if he cuts any of their exports to us?  I mean really if you go to the store most of it is "made in China".  Korea and Iran will back China.  We will back Japan.. They have been our friend since we kicked their butts in the last war...  In fact they are one of our closest allies... Iran has already openly threatened our military bases in the gulf, but do you really think it will stay there?    And then heaven forbid there is that movie about Muhammed (forgive me if I spelled it wrong).  Everyone over there is going crazy and shooting people because of some silly movie.  I have seen many silly things being a parody on Christianity and I did not get offended enough to kill!!  Oh yeah thats right as Christians we "SHALL NOT KILL". So is our next world war going to be about religion?  I just wish everyone could play nice together in the sand box and quit fighting over the toys like toddlers!  Maybe we should just put all of the leaders into a boxing ring and then let them duke it out... That way there is no chance of collateral damage.

I have read that all of our enemies have EMP weapons of some kind...  This means they can blast one off and shut down our grid and kill all electronics.  I realize that the new fangled fighters and guided missle systems are cool and accurate but guess how much good they will be if an EMP weapon is used on us... We would be sitting ducks without even radar to see it coming...

I am not old enough to remember the last world war... I barely remember the Vietnam war and that stayed on another continent.  I do not think for one minute that they would keep it in the middle east... I believe that just like with 9/11 they would bring it here in a second and with the new weapons they have they would just knock out our power, detection grids and weapons and change our religion.

So I ask are you ready???  I will admittedly say I can still think of things I need to get.  I have a years worth of food storage, flashlights and batteries, a well to get water out of plus water stored, guns and ammo to protect us and animals a plenty to feed us BUT I am still lacking in several places

10 things I still need should our country get Zapped:
  1. Seeds to plant next spring should we not be able to buy any
  2. A solar generator or battery charger (12volt)
  3. An inverter to change DC power to AC
  4. I need to build a well bucket
  5. Iosat tablets in case of nuclear weapons
  6. a scythe to harvest wheat by hand
  7. More kerosene for heaters and lamps
  8. Pigs (I can not live without bacon and lard)
  9. build a smoker
  10. More ammo (hey everyone always needs more ammo, I went out and wasted 120 rounds of 5.56 yesterday playing with my AR)

I would strongly suggest everyone make a mental run down of your inventory and try to think of all the things you would need (not want, I have way more than 10 wants) should we get zapped!  Is any one else worried about us being caught in the middle of a war about religion? 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Using Mother Culture instead of Direct set for Cheese

There are 2 different types of cultures you can get for making cheese.

The first is "Direct Set" this is a predetermined amount of powder culture.  It is pricey when you have to use one packet for each 2 gallons of milk.  They cost $6 for 5 packets.  That is $1.20 for each 2 gallons of milk.  I make 4 gallon batches so that would be $2.40 for each wheel of cheese.

The second is "mother culture" This one is set up by making your starter then saving a "start" of it by freezing it in ice cube trays.  Then each ice cube makes another quart of starter.  The cost for it is $6 for 1 packet but then you keep using it over and over.  Out of my first packet I got 24 fresh starts frozen plus I made 4 gallons worth of cheese.  I have made to this date 20 gallons worth of cheese curd  So right now my cost is at $0.60 cents per 2 gallon batch and it will just keep going down with every batch I make.  I have 22 starts in the freezer so when I get that done used then my cost would be less than $.07 for each batch and then with the last batch I would refill my trays and start over even further reducing the cost.  After 2nd batch of cubes were used my cost then would be $.03 and after the third batch of cubes are used it would be $.01 for each batch.  After the 4th batch it would be basically free.....

As compared to direct set it paid for itself with the first quart.

Here is how to use it:

Sterilize your milk:  (Sorry no pics)

Pour 1 quart of milk into a canning jar and then put it into a pot with a rack underneath so the jar is not setting on the bottom of the pot and enough water to cover the top of the jar.  Bring this water to a boil and hold it there for 30 minutes. 

Cool milk:
Remove the jar and run cool water over it until the temp reaches about 70 degrees.

Add one pack of mother culture to cooled milk.  Replace the lid and shake it up.

Allow to ripen for about 12 to 15 hours.  You will know it is ready when it is thick like buttermilk.

See how it coats the inside of the jar
After it is done fill a clean ice cube tray with your starter and freeze the cubes.
Frozen cubes of starter
Place your frozen cubes into a freezer bag and label what kind of starter it is.

To make another batch of it repeat the above steps except add a cube instead of the packet of starter.

When you run low on cubes just fill another tray with your prepared starter and freeze.  This can go on indefiantely so you can see how the cost would actually become less than a penny after several batches.

Use your prepared starter within 1 week and you can store your cubes up to 2 years in the freezer.

To use the starter:

Place your milk in a large pot and add 5 ounces of prepared starter to each  2 gallons of milk and then allow to ripen for 60 minutes.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The self sufficient life and how to live it by John Seymour

I have to admit there are many books that I just absolutely love.  This one is definately one of my favorites.  It is the most comprehensive book I have found for the homestead.

It has everything from how to design a self sufficient farm to how to make bricks and everything in between.

Chapter 1  The Meaning of Self Sufficiency
This chapter describes the seasons and the cycles your homestead will go thru.  It tells how to design your homestead beginnign with the urban garden and ending with a 5 acre farm so that you utilize what you have available in the most efficient way possible.

Chapter 2   Food from the garden
This chapter tells you everything you could ever want to know about growing a garden.  What types of beds to use, what types of plants to plant in certain beds, diseases, pests andf how to deal with them.  It has an illustrated area with pictures of different plants.  It talks about seeds, harvesting, cultivation throughout the year and even an area on greenhouses.

Chapter 3 Food from Animals
This chapter has information about pretty much any barnyard beastie you could want.  Tricks to raising them, breeding them, butchering them.  It talks about the different breeds and what things they are best suited for.  It has illustrated how to's on butchering, cleaning and cutting up the carcass.  Basically if it is edible and from an animal this book explains it in this chapter.

Chapter 4  Food from the fields
This is the chapter all about fields... Clearing, cultivating, sowing and harvesting grains, root crops and hay.

Chapter 5  Food from the wild
This chapter is all about wild game, wild plants, wild fruit, wild nuts and mushrooms.  Basically if you did not plant it or raise it then this chapter will tell you about it.  Don't know how to butcher a rabbit?  It's there complete with illustrated step by steps...

Chapter 6  In the dairy
Everything you need to know about the dairy side of your farm.  From how to plan and lay out a cow shed to how to milk and continuing on to how to make butter and cheese.

Chapter 7  In the kitchen
This chapter deals with all aspects of food storage and preservation.  Along with some really nice recipes.  It has plans for a storage room, how to can, how to freeze, making pickles, making jelly or jam, making bread, and so on...

Chapter 8 Brewing and winemaking
That title is pretty self explanatory.  It is about making beer and wine.

Chapter 9  Energy and Waste
How to build an outdoor toilet (yep a neccessity of survival).  Alternative energy sources are explained in detail.

Chapter 10  Crafts and Skills
This one is all about the other things like building, plumbing, how to make a brick, how to thatch a roof, how to tie different knots, making tools or how to make a basket.  Want to spin your own yarn and then weave your own fabric?  It's there along with directions on how to build the loom.  Want to tan a hide (and I do not mean the kind of hide on your childrens back sides) it is there.  Want to get sugar from beets?  The instructions are there....

The last few pages have further resources that would be of help in your endeavors to be self sufficient.  There are a ton of web sites you can visit...

It is my suggestion that you either buy or borrow this book.  You can get it easily  (click here  to go directly to it) on 

I hope you would find this book as enjoyable to read as I have.  It has even captivated my 11 year old daughter.  She got the idea  to build a teepee last summer out of hay..  Hers was obviously much messier than the book described, but it was fun... They camped in it and played in it for about 2 weeks until the wind destroyed it.  These pictures were taken after the wind had beat it up for a couple of days.  She used PVC as a frame that was tied together at the top with twine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Cheddar Experiment

About 2 months ago I made a wheel of cheddar. It was starting to look very dry so in fear that our cheese was ruining we cut it open.
The directions I found were "Old World".  It did not use wax but instead I mummy wrapped the cheese with cheese cloth.    I put a layer on the top and bottom and coated it with olive oil and then I wrapped a strip around the edge of it.  It was then put in my daughters basement to age. 

Cheddar wrapped in cheesecloth

Lipase is the stuff that you add to cows milk to make the cheese sharpen as it ages.  The more you add the sharper it will get.  Goats milk on the other hand is naturally high in lipase so I did not add any.  After only 2 months we had what could definately be deemed as a medium cheddar.  It was not far from being sharp...  The instructions had said to age it 6-24 months depending on the sharpness desired.

It took me many hours to make this cheese.  I had 3 hours alone invested in the "cheddaring" process.  This is where I allowed the curd mass to matt together then I sliced it and stacked the slices on top of each other.  I kept it warm and turned and stacked ever 15 minutes for 2 hours.  It is my understanding that this process allows the production of lactic acid.  That high lactic acid content is what makes Cheddar different than Colby.

Because the cheese had no wax the rind dried.  Even though we kept olive oil on it I still ended up with about 1/2 inch of dried rind that was un-useable.
You can see the dark hard rind all the way around

After cutting off the rind though a very yummy inside was exposed.  It has a nice texture which is kind of crumbly.  It was absolutely delicious.  I just hate the idea that so much of it went to the dogs.  Although they were definately not displeased with the idea.
Wonderful on crackers

So lessons learned:
  1. If I decide to invest another whole day to make cheddar then I will definately just wax it to age. 
  2. You do not have to age cheese made with goats milk nearly as long as cows milk cheese in order to obtain a sharp taste. 
  3. Must build a bigger cheese press so that I can make larger wheels of this one.
  4. Do not tell your family of cheese lovers that they can eat as much as they want or a 4 pound wheel will be gone in only a few minutes!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

HELP... With Goat horns... Any Suggestions???

Okay I am at a loss with my 6 month old Alpine doe.  We got her when she was 3 days old and bottle fed her.  Needless to say she is SPOILED and a big BRAT!!!  She and Jack were our first and we had no idea how to disbud them or the equipment to do so.  I have since learned how and have gotten a kid box and a X50 disbudding iron for our next baby.  Yes I have learned my lesson...

Here is my dilemma.  We have red wire field fencing.  Her horns are about 6 inches long and very slender.  She is getting her head into the 3rd from the bottom row of squares and then gets stuck and I have to push and pull the wire to get it open enough to get her head out.  Then the idiot walks down the fence 5 feet and sticks it right back in!!!!! This happens multiple times a day EVERY day!!! Today she got her head stuck on the neighbors side of our property and of course he was scared it would hurt her.  She really seriously thought God said Trains when he said line up for Brains and she did NOT want to go for a ride!!!!

I have read about using castrating bands to remove the horns, but I am not comfortable with doing it because I am afraid I will hurt her.  I have an elastrator and I have green bands I just need to hear from someone who has actually done this, how to and what the risks are.

If any of my readers have experience in removing or trimming horns and can give me good advice OR if anybody has any ideas what to do I would love to hear from you...  Just leave it in comments.  I moderate all the comments so if you do not want it posted for others to see just start the comment out with "do not post" and I will be more than happy to read and converse via email and NOT post the comment/email on the blog.

This is what I did for the time being to keep her head out of the fence... I now have a goat that looks as stupid as she acts....

Please and Thank you......