Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time Off

I've been having computer issues in case you wonder about the lack of posts lately.  I've still not figured out what the problem is.  Frustrating to say the least.  I can't even boot the thing up now.  So it may be slow and go for a bit on the posts... I hope I can figure it out but I am not overly optimistic at this point.  Which of course sucks as we have become quite accustomed to each of us having our own computer.  I cannot imagine how this sharing will go~  first time in years we have had to share one.  Wish me luck!

Mars and I decided to have some down time together this weekend.  We just needed to get away from the BS.  So we went camping!  I had to work Thanksgiving but was off Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  So we loaded up the gear and headed to a little lake about thirty miles from here.  He brought up the idea about eight in the morning and we were packed and gone by ten.  Including finding someone to feed the animals!  You know how it is when you just up and start tossing things together?  Seems like there is always something that you overlook once you get where you are going? 

I am happy to  tell you that we didn't forget ANYTHING!

We had a great time.  It was more needed than I even knew.  I think sometimes you just have to step back and breathe.  Take a look at your situation and do some soul searching. 
I came home with a whole new attitude!  We discussed quite a few things and have both come to the conclusion that where we are now is not really where either of us want to be.  No, we aren't gonna divorce!   We are just both tired of the rat race we are running.  I see big changes coming  but I don't know just yet what they will be. Whatever they are...I am ready!        

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sweet Potato's

I've been in a bit of a "blog fog"  lately.  So many things going on in my personal life and in the world in general. I've been feeling distracted and  I have been feeling pulled in so many different directions. The economy is tanking. There's no denying it.   We are feeling it right here in our own living room. I am now  officially "underemployed" and believe me, I'm not the only one. There are bunches of people out here feeling the pinch. (or the vise)

Has anyone noticed the way people are shopping in the grocery store?  They are actually are taking more time looking at the options and looking at the labels.  Looking for the best deal their crumbling dollar can buy. They used to just toss it off in the cart as they were walking by.

Things are getting tight folks and it's just getting started.  

I started getting a little depressed.   I had to actually stop and ask myself ...what in the world am I thinking?  Now is NOT the time to step back from trying to build your preps. Aren't I the one that has  ALWAYS advocated thinking small preps if that is all you can do?  That one more bag of beans is one more than you had last week?  That sale on sweet potato's for 19 cents a lb?  Sweet potato's dehydrate well.  5 bucks spent would net you a little over 25 lbs of taters.  Money well spent!

You CAN live on beans and rice. Its not anyone's first choice I am sure. I'm lucky.... I personally love beans and rice. But a daily diet would soon become boring.  I need to keep reminding myself to stick to the basics.  Cause the basic's are probably going to be the ones that  save your life.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hey...I 'm Just Saying

My version of Sunday Morning Funnies....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stuff I Learned as A Kid

I learned alot of things from my grand parents.  I lived with them off and on for most of my younger life.  They taught me things that I didn't even realize I was learning.  Things like honesty, integrity, and work ethics.  That a person's word is their bond. That if you don't have the money for something you actually have to save for it. Things like that.

I also learned alot of other cool stuff from them both.

  My granddad taught me how to tie my shoes.  That comes in handy to this very day!!   He taught me how to dig for worms and how to fish with them.  He taught me how to use a hoe and how to identify weeds in the garden.  He made me practice that one! (alot) 
I learned that all the scraps in the house went into the compost barrel daily and I took them there. I learned how to shell peas.  It was mandatory!

When I was around kindergarten age I learned that if I got up REALLY early I could have breakfast with granddad which he always cooked before work. I learned that biscuits, squirrel, and gravy was a wonderful meal. Those breakfasts were always special.  I tasted my first quail and venison during those early morning hours. And that despite what my grandmother said.... coffee with lots of milk and sugar were GOOD.

He taught me how to pick dewberries and to watch out for snakes.  He always said if we were careful not to eat too many of them off the vine that Gran might make us a cobbler! 

My Grandmother taught me amazing things as well.  One was that if I went picking dewberries with Granddad.... not to let him eat them all off the vine so she could make us a cobbler!

   She tried to teach me alot of things that didn't quite "take hold" too.  Quilting, crochet, and sewing. She is a wonderful piano player and taught both my aunts to play.  She failed badly with me but hey she tried! I did get my love of music from her.  The music wasn't a total wash at least.  I learned to play guitar.

When I was thirteen my grandmother asked me what 3 colors were my favorites. Green, yellow, and orange were my choices.  A few weeks later she presented my with an afghan she made for me.  I loved that afghan.  It is one of the few things that I still have from back then!

 Well, last night we got our first freeze here in Central Texas.  I went looking for another blanket and .... you guessed it!  There it was! 

I dreamed of being a kid again last night fishing with my granddad and picking flowers with my grandma. Under that afghan, as I slept, I could feel the warmth of unconditional love surrounding me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guest Post

    Hi everyone!
 Dean in Az here,sharing a few idea's with the bbq lover's!
  Just to give a little bit of my background,I worked my way thru college in restaurant's,mostly bbq,as I love it
     That being said,most of the bbq cooking show's I see disgust me!
 "take a rack of rib's,dry rub,throw on fire".....God,gag me!
  Now, I was a head cook in a major midwestern restaurant thru college.That was 30 yr's ago.
   One thing I learned was that the tougher the meat,the slower you cook it.And steam was the best,as it surround's the meat evenly,without drying it.
      My wife and I took my parent's out for they're anniversary,to Tony Roma's..the best BBQ joint,right?
    I about barfed! If you have to chew the meat off the bone,it's not cooked!!!!! Really,as a half azz cook,I was embarassed! I ordered some carolina sweet rib's or such....sorry,my dog's don't chew they're food that much! It was really embarassing!
      So,let's do BBQ right!
     First off,most people think BBQ is meat smothered in sauce...WRONG! It's all flavor! If you need the urge to chew,make jerky!
     My rib's fall off the fact,it's difficult to even pick up with tong's,done properly!It should fall off the bone! Yes,you hear that all the time,right,it never will on a open flame.
     So,I'm going to share my fav recipe.Sci,I hope you try this before posting,to confirm it!
     Pork rib',no prob
    1 can of fruit cocktail,or 2,depending on how much rib's
    1 large bottle of your fav bbq sauce
     Drain the can of fruit...I prefer fruit cocktail,but peach or pear's work as well.Mix half and half the juice with bbq sauce,use as a marinade.Save the fruit for later.
     Marinade as long as possible,as the acid in the fruit will cook the meat.3
    When it's time to cook,ooop' time is about 1 to 1 1/2 hour's,put into a deep pan,with a veggie steamer tray,add a couple cup's of water,then cover with a tight fitting lid,or foil.Stack the rib's alternating,so the steam can circulate around.After about an hour,add the fruit over the top,and let it soak in.If you can't pull a bone out as clean as a whistle,it's not done!
   Now,if you want to do this as a party or a meal....serve over a pork fried rice,or an asian noodle dish. Have the rest of the marinade warmed up for more sauce,if needed.
   Sci,let me know what you think,I have another idea waiting!
    Dean in Az

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hey... I'm Just Saying

I have never been a part of the "Credit Crowd".  We have never had a credit card.  Mars is the same way.  If you don't have the money for something or can't save, barter or work out a payment plan - you don't need it.  I realize now how weird that might be for some people to understand.  That's how we were both raised.  

Mars and I may not have much but our  "house" is paid for, the trucks are paid for and we don't owe anyone anything.  There is alot to be said for that kind of freedom. Not to be under the burden of a mortgage or owe thousands of dollars in credit card bills.

The problem that a person runs across when you have virtually no debt (other than the monthly bills) is that you have no credit.  And you can't get credit unless you owe someone.  So therein is the rub. Who would have thought that being debt free could be an issue all its own?  We want to buy some land.  We have no "credit".  What to do? 

All I can think of is to continue looking for owner finance type things and hope that eventually something will work out.  I suppose I just get frustrated from time to time that we haven't found the right situation yet.

When it is ment to be I'm sure we will find the right "fit".  Just a place to put the trailer on, some room for a good size garden, a little room for some chickens and some rabbits. Not a whole lot to ask for in my humble opinion.

Now that is our version of a little piece of heaven! 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why Not Can

I can't believe I forgot about the pears I bought on Friday.  I was planning on canning them over the weekend.  One thing led to another and somehow it just slipped my mind.  Until today.  
That was when the DH (forever after dubbed Mars- old gameroom nickname).  Well he asked me when he came home from work today what was I going to do with the pears. 

Once I looked at them I was sad to see that they were over ripe and I probably lost two pounds easily.  The original plan was to can them in syrup.  Now the pan has changed just a bit.  I have pears in the slowcooker to make pear butter with.  See, everything works out, if only you try thinking a little out of the box.  Bacon and Eggs right?


I've been doing some thinking lately about trying to start a part time business.  A good friend put a bug in my ear this weekend.  I have been thinking about it ALOT.  Actually, it had crossed my mind a few times before.  But she is so sure I can do this that her enthusiasm has actually inspired me.  I ran it through a few others in the APN chat the other night and got amazing responses.

We both follow the Frugal Canning. I didn't know that before!  She's got a great site and alot of good information.  She also gives private canning lessons. 

Why couldn't I do that?  I feel confident enough now to be able to can most anything. I've made a point in the last few months to become as proficient as I can be at it.  My fear factor is gone (well I haven't canned meat yet) and I have done alot of research to make sure that I won't kill anyone or make them sick! 

Teaching a few people to put up pickles or jelly or tomato's would be a breeze.  And it would be fun too!  I could really hit home with the "whys" of food storage as well.  Offer other classes as well for pressure canning and dehydrating?  Sing the praises of being prepared for anything!  Shed a little light and a little knowledge.

Why Not Can!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Great Visit

We had a wonderful visit this weekend with some fellow preppers, 
YeOldFurt and his wife Hoss Boss!  It was really refreshing to be able to sit face to face with someone who is aware of the situation that surrounds us today.  I hope we visit with them again soon! There has been some discussion as to a Texas meet-up in the spring.  We will be making that one for sure, maybe sooner as well!

The were kind enough to grace us with 30 fresh eggs while they were here.  I have them in the dehydrator right now as a matter of fact.  

Hoss Boss and I have been playing with an idea for me to start my own busisness.  I'm really excited and will let you all know more as things progress.  I'm pretty sure I should be able to get it off the ground.  I just need to do a little more R & D.  

Well the cats are meowing fiercely in need of their dinner so I will make this one short.

One last thing, if you have the ability to meet up with other preppers in your area, make an attempt to get together with them and get to know them.  It could help save someones life down the road!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

What a Night

I should be ashamed of myself, really, I should.  I also should have a hangover, really , I should. 

Thing is..... I'm not ashamed nor am I hung over!  LOL  We walked down to the neighbors house last night and I had to be driven home!  (I suppose I should be blushing here) I think I lucked out somehow as my heads just a little foggy this morning. Not even worthy of an aspirin.   We haven't really been anywhere in awhile so it was a lot of fun just getting out of the house and visiting with friends. DH had to walk back to the house to get the truck to take me home. We had a wonderful time, even if the DH had to pour me out of the car when we got home!  
I will do a "real" post later guys!  Till then.... just remember ...sometimes you just have to let your hair down and dance like no one is watching!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weird Dreams

I had dream last night that has plagued me all day. I have never been one to dream to much. When I do I hardly ever remember them.  This one was different.

I dreamed about detention centers.   In the dream though it was more like some sort of relocation center with large housing units which would house 20 or so people each.  They had communial living areas including a kitchen.  There were blocks and blocks of these "houses". Kind of like a subdivision.  The difference was that there was a sense of "darkness" there. An aura of evil. That feeling that something or somone was lurking just out of sight.

At first I was alone.  I wandered around all over the place, checking things out. I noticed I had my purse with me (which turned out to be my BOB) and did a quick inventory.  I remember feeling relieved that I had brought it with me.

The next thing I remember was hearing voices.And someone with a bullhorn giving orders.  I looked out a window and saw armed men in black (just like in Pa) herding people along the road. People crying and calling out for their families.  Some of them were wounded and bleeding.  The police would stop upon entering each new block and pick people out of the crowd.  Those people were then divided into smaller groups and assigned to a housing unit.  One woman resisted, she was weeping and said she had to find her husband and her child.  They shot her in the head.

This was when I knew I had to get out of there. Somehow I managed not to get caught leaving the area. (Hey, it's a dream remember) I was walking in the woods and heard noises, so I slowly crept up to get a peek. 
There were 5-6 armed men sitting under a tree discussing what they thought their next move would be.  I "knew" these men were the resistance.  About that time I stepped on a branch and they all spun around with rifles raised.  I stood there like a dear in the headlights.
  And then I woke up.  How did you sleep last night?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Puttering Around the House

I got a few things accomplished today even being plagued with some serious back pain.  Most of the time I can just work through it as it is a constant in my life 24/7.  Sometimes it flares up. All you can do is keep on keeping on because life sure isn't going to slow down and wait for me to catch up!

I went into work on Friday and found that they were tossing out some tomato's that had gotten too soft to use the slicer on.  The first thing I did was to load them up and take them home.  Waste not want not, right!  Anyway, when DH saw them the first thing he says is "Those are some weird looking tomato's". 
He's right. Compared to home grown these don't even really look right.  Kinda pinkish as opposed to the deep red we have become used to.  But hey they were free and I don't walk away from free often!  
I cooked them down last night.  I added some home grown basil, some garlic and a bit of salt.  Then I let them sit overnight.  
I also cut up another crockpot of apples yesterday for some more apple butter. They cooked overnight and the smell in the house this morning was wonderful.  I really ought to get a bigger crock pot. I could make larger batches.

 Ours is one of the smaller crockpots which works for just the two of us.  I have to buy things like roast and whole chickens with the size of the crockpot in mind. It also means there aren't usually many leftovers when I use it.  I mean there's plenty for a couple of meals but its not big enough to make "extras" to put up. Not something high on my list of priorities but if I run across one in a thrift store I think I will scoop one up.  I'm still waiting patiently for another dehydrator.  It will happen.... you watch!

Anyway, today I processed the apple butter and the tomato sauce.  I'm officially out of jelly jars now. I got 4 jelly jars and one pint of apple butter and  two "free" jars of tomato sauce!  
One other thing I did this weekend ( Besides watch U of Tx kick some okie butt) was to dry 5 lbs of chopped onions.  Who knew that that many onions would fit in that jar?  I was impressed.... and yes I know, I'm easily impressed!

So how was your weekend?