Thursday, March 31, 2011

Are We There Yet?

I swear these past couple of weeks  I feel like a kid who is waiting  on Christmas morning.  We are signing the contract for the land on the 20th of the month.  After that I guess I can call myself a landowner.  Now that is a first for me! I'm SO excited!! I hope I don't bore you to death talking about it.    Once the contract is signed we can start getting some things out there. There's alot of things that we can be working on while I'm waiting on that dang back pay check.  It shouldn't be more than about six weeks or so.  Then we can afford to move the RV out there and live full time on our very own land!
     I'm hoping to find someone in the area with a tractor that can come and brush hog the place.  And then to plow up a good hunk of land so we can get started working on the garden. It shouldn't be too hard to find someone with a tractor willing to do it. Heck, if all goes well, we just may be able to get some sort of a fall garden in this year.  Wouldn't that be awesome!
     One of the things I've always wanted to do is to raise asparagus. I'm talking about a BIG bed too.  I know that it takes a few years to get it started which is why I've never tried growing it before.  I didn't want to have to leave it behind at some rental place.  The same goes for planting some fruit trees.  Peaches grow well around here and are one of my favorite fruits.  I'd like to plant a couple of plum trees too but I haven't checked out how well they will do around here.  Other fruits we would like to take a shot at are blueberries and blackberries.  The blackberries could be set out all along the fence on the east side of the property. 
     We are  going to be getting some chickens and rabbits this summer. Which means we are going to need a chicken coop and some rabbit hutches. If we can't find what we need off Craigslist and such then Mars will have to build them.  I figure once we get out there things will move pretty fast at first. It will be a real blessing to be able to kind of "jump start" several projects that are now in the planning stages. We have figured that if we are real careful with our money we should have no problems getting most things done.
    Another thing on one of the lists is to get to work on the old pole barn that is out there.  It's going to need tin for the roof and the sides.  I'm thinking we can probably find what we need off Craigslist.  That way we will have a place for the rabbits and a storage area too.  It's approximately 20 x 30 so it is plenty big enough. That's also where I would like to eventually put in a summer kitchen.  It would be great to have a place to be able to prep vegetables from the garden and to can them up right there. A counter space, sink and a stove.   I have all that on a list somewhere as well!  :o)
    We are still trying to figure out what kind of chickens we want to raise.  A friend suggested checking out the Rhode Island Reds and so I've been doing a little reading about them.  We might just end up with a mixed lot, who knows...  The "big" plan is to raise chickens for meat and for eggs and rabbits as another source of meat.  I know that rabbits can be a bit expensive to feed but if we are only raising them for the two of us we shouldn't need more than 2 does and a buck that would have to be fed full time. The kids would go into the freezer.  We've also been thinking about a couple of goats. It would be nice to have fresh milk for drinking and for making cheese.

A person could live just fine with a nice garden full of veggies, a few fruit trees, some milk,eggs and cheese, and some meat from time to time!
                   ~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts on The Land

We rode out to the land this past weekend.  Spent most of the day out there just checking things out.  Have you ever been somewhere and just knew it "felt right"?  I'm happy to say that it feels like a good fit. There is much work that will need to be done but hey... what else have I got to do?  It fills me with joy to think that we can do just about anything that we want. And most of the things I've wanted to do for years are now going to be possible.  No worrying what the landlord will think or having to get permission to do something. Or doing something and having to leave it behind when you move.  The possibilities are endless.   And boy oh boy do I have some plans!  List's upon list's of plans! 
     The first thing we have to do is to get everything lined up so we can move the RV out there and start getting settled in. Which means that getting the utilities up and running are the first priority.  The only problem is having to wait for my backpay check to arrive.  I keep having to tell myself "Patience, Grasshopper".   It won't be much longer though, at the most another 6 weeks or so. 
      We rode out there again this weekend and took care of a couple of things.  We had checked out the well and the well depth while we were there before. The water's good.   It will need a well pump and pressure tank and all the stuff that is involved with that.  No worries though, Mars is extremely handy and knows just what to do and what it will take. 
     As a matter of fact we made the very first purchase of what is sure to many more.  I won a bid on Ebay for a well pump!  Got a great deal on it too. Saved over half of what they usually run for this one.   So I've already saved money that we have earmarked for the well!  Now if I can just keep that trend up we will be doing good.  The more we can save on getting  the lights on and the water running the more of it we can use for other things.
    I made some calls and got found out what it is going to take to get the electricity hooked up. We need to find a breaker box for the pole.  I keep hoping that we will run across a "deal"on one but no matter what it's something we are going to have to have.  All in all though it looks like what I had figured it was going to take to get all the utilities working was wayyyy off base.  But in a good way!
     One thing I'm noticing about Oklahoma is that the hoops you have to jump through to get things done aren't nearly as hard as doing the same things in Texas.  Which is fine by me.  There's plenty of other things I want to do out there.  The goal is to eventually be as self-sufficient as we can.  Heck, I would like to one day be able to not have to leave the place for a month or two at a time unless I just wanted to.
     I sent a soil sample off to the county extension agency a couple of weeks ago and we got the results back this weekend. The soil tested pretty good.  The ph level is good and it just needs a little love.  It isn't going to take much at all to whip it into shape. Some good compost should do the trick. 
     Of course it will take a little time but hey.... that is something I'm blessed with these days.  I refuse to look at this disability stuff with a negative attitude.  What good does that kind of thinking do for a person anyway? 
             ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Friday, March 25, 2011

List Making

Some of you guys may remember that I'm a list maker.  Not just a causal one.  You know, the person that makes an occasional grocery list?  That's not what I'm talking about.  I makes lists of all sorts of things. Lists of things I need to get done today, some for what need to get done later on. I make grocery lists, prep lists, lists of projects I would like to do. List's of what it would take to get those projects done. List's of list's!  And they are everywhere.  On backs of envelopes, in several notebooks, on old receipts, pretty much anything I can write on. Not to mention the cool gadget I have on my computer desk top.  Those "sticky notes" pretty much cover the screen!

 Some of the latest list's have to do with what all I need to do to get ready to move out to the land.  One of them involves cleaning the RV. Of course it is full of most all of our things. When I say full I mean that there is a small pathway  in the front and I can't even walk into the bedroom kind of full.  Boxes and buckets and food preps.  I've had to go through boxes and find the winter clothes and all sorts of odds and ends that I have needed to use over the past few months. We have pulled out tools and equipment for various projects.  You get the idea?  What that really means is that I have crap stuff sort of all over the place that needs to be repacked. 
Another list of all the cleaning that has to be done has been made.  Now I just have to try and get some of this stuff done. At first it seems overwhelming.  Which is why I have start the newest list(s).  If I can just break things down into smaller chores, it makes things seem to go more smoothly.  Kind of like the question "How do you eat an elephant?"  The answer, of course, is one bite at a time. 
~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

   Have you  ever heard the saying "You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take Texas out of the girl."?  I know for a fact that it is true.  Because what I am getting ready to say is hard.  Really  hard!  As a matter of fact, looking back I could never have imagined these words coming out of my mouth.  OK here goes.... It looks like I am going to be an Okie.  There, I said it. Of course I won't be saying it much but just for the record books I did say it once.  Some of you won't understand but Texans and Okie's are kind of like the big game of football... Army vs Navy sort of thing.
  I haven't talked much about what has been going on as far as looking for land lately. Maybe because I didn't want to "jinx" it by talking about it. Mostly because I just wasn't sure it was actually going to happen. I'm happy to say that now it is now just a matter of scheduling a meeting to sign the paperwork, hand over a check and have the contract notarized. It looks like the dream I have been dreaming for so many years is coming true.  I can't even begin to to express the excitement I feel. I am sooo excited!!  I never thought I would begin this new phase of my life in Oklahoma though...
    I wrote about the property we were looking at a few posts ago.  Just under an acre (0.917) with a well, electricity septic system already in place. Of course there is work that needs to be done with it all but the "big stuff" is in place!   It's out in the country but still pretty close to a "Little Big Town".  And just about 40 miles from "The Big City".  I wish it were a bit more remote but hey it is going to be just fine!!  We have one neighbor. The way the land is situated we should never have anymore than that.  We are bordered on three sides by hundreds of acres of public land, except for the little bit the neighbor has right behind us.  There are deer and wild hogs in them there woods!  I just may finally get my first deer. Now I know some folks have an aversion to shooting "Bambi" but I'm definitely not one of them. I'll be first in line for a nice piece of venison.
    It is going to take a little while to be able to move out there full time but we should be able to get everything together by the end of May. As usual it's all about the money. Thanks to Mrs. M (Mushroom) I have finally accepted the idea that things will work out the way they are intended to work out. Once we get the utilities working we can move the RV out there and....
    Have I mentioned how EXCITED I am yet??  So another chapter of life begins. Hang on to your hats folks.... this should be quite a ride!
           ~~~ Hey.... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm Still Here

Sorry, it's been a few days since I've checked in, but you know how it is... Life sometimes gets in the way of writing here.  For someone with very little going on in my daily comings and goings there have been quite a few little things going on.  Spring is definitely here!
The garden is coming right along.  All the seedlings, except for the tomato's and peppers, are now moved from the greenhouse and into their new home in the garden. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, some turnips and carrots are all doing great! We got some beans planted and more turnips along with some beets and swiss chard.   Mrs.M's boat is all planted. Along with the transplanted turnips and carrots we have some radishes and spinach in there.  I just love Mr's M's boat idea!  What a great way to recycle an old boat AND have a raised bed full of goodies!
     I am still having some troubles with getting the pepper plants started.  Not a single one of them have sprouted yet. I'm still hoping that they will though.  We planted several different types so I can rule out the seeds not being any good.  I'm pretty sure this is where the "patience" comes into play. 

    The tomato's, on the other hand, are going like gang-busters. They are right on track to go in the ground when the soil warms up.  A while back I thought that maybe we could make a little extra money selling tomato plants.  That's kind of how we ended up with over 60 plants! Now I don't know if I really want to sell them.  Of course there is a little problem about where the heck we are going to put them all... Oh well, I suppose I'll just play it by ear.Things have a way of working out most of the time. 
    Mars and I are the only ones who eat tomato's around here so I could easily put enough of them up to have a years worth. I'd like to put up some tomato sauce, whole tomato's, spaghetti sauce, etc.  I want to dry some too.  Did you know that you can make tomato sauce and paste from dried tomato powder?  It's also easier to store since it takes so much less room. Besides, with very few exceptions, most all vegetables can be dried.  I am trying to avoid filling up the freezer with them.  We only have a little one and I don't want to waste the space with veggies. I keep hoping a cow will  "fall out of the sky" and into my freezer!!  I want to have room, just in case ya know.... 
.  I've been trying to hone my baking skills lately.  It's really working out well too.  Or it appears to be since stuff disappears almost as fast as I make it! Today I tried my hand at making dinner rolls. They turned out really great, even if I do say so myself.   In a way I'm going to miss winter time.  It just gets too hot to bake  in the summertime. Especially in my little trailer. We have been talking about making an old fashioned "summer kitchen" when we get moved.  I really like the idea and don't think it will be too expensive if we can find most of what we will need through Craigslist and the like.  A sink with running water, a bit of counter space and a stove to cook on.... yep, it could work!  I could do my canning and baking out there. Oh and dehydrating too.
  Speaking of dehydrating, I went garage sale shopping this weekend.  I found a good second dehydrator.  It's an older model American Harvester -Snackmaster with 4 trays and has a thermostat and a bottom fan. I payed all of $2.00 for it!! With the trays my mom sent me for my birthday I can have them both running. (still thinking about all those tomato's!) One thing I've figured out about dehydrators is that most folks don't use them much. There are alot of folks that will buy one or get one for Christmas, make a couple of batches of jerky and end up  in a garage sale or a thrift store. 
           ~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One Year Supply of Food Storage Under $300

 A years worth of food storage for under $300! Yes, you read that right.  How does expanding your food storage with literally hundreds of meals for around $300 sound?  I think I may have found one of the best kept secrets around for pumping your food storage up REAL FAST and REAL CHEAP.

Scotch Broth is  is a combination of grains and legumes and it provides a balanced and nutritious meal on the cheap!  "This particular combination is said to provide a balance of ALL of the appropriate amino acids required for a person." 

This is really easy recipe to "change" in countless ways.By adding left over meats or vegetables or adding dried vegetables to the mix you could totally change it up. It wouldn't have to be "the same ol' thing either!
The following is an excerpt from the forums at Timebomb2k. This recipe has been floating around the internet for several years but I don't think it has gotten nearly enough attention.

This is what you will need
4 x 22lb (or 10kg) rice. (Any kind will do).
2 x 11lb (or 5kg) kidney beans
2 x 11lb (or 5kg) barley
2 x 11lb (or 5kg) lentils (yellow)
1 x 5.5lb (or 2.5kg) green split peas
1 x 5.5lb (or2.5 kg) chick peas (garbanzo beans)"

( You will also need a total of 30 pounds of bouillon. You will add it to each batch as you cook it.  I think I will store both chicken AND beef bouillon. I added this into the cost and it IS reflected in the $300.)

Put the rice in a mixing container.Then add each of the other ingredients 5kg at a time, mixing as you go. (Use surgical gloves or you'll have no nails left, LOL!).
When you have all the other ingredients mixed in with the first two bags of rice, add the last two bags of rice and *REALLY* mix well or you'll get all rice on the bottom of your mixture."

Take 16oz of the dry mixture and put in about 6-7 quarts of water (with a nut of butter or a tsp. of olive oil to prevent soup boiling over) and add 3 tablespoons (or to taste) of powdered soup stock. We like to use chicken stock.
Then add any veggies, meat, & seasoning you like (if available). (We like to also put in lots of garlic) (DO NOT USE ONIONS - they'll spoil the mixture).
Bring to a boil and let simmer for two hours and you have enough soup for two days for 4 people.

On the second day you'll need to add some more water (it thickens in the fridge overnight) and another tablespoon of stock. Make sure to boil for at least 10 minutes the second day to kill off any potential bacteria, - especially if you are not storing in fridge, but just in a root cellar or like that in the event of no electricity in summer.

We make our own bread and have a thick slice fer dunkin' with a large bowl of this delicious soup and it serves as a main meal. You are FULL after just one (large size) bowl of this stuff.

Kids will usually only be able to eat half a bowl w/bread, or a small bowl, whichever you prefer. Adults will likely want a nice big bowl.

If there is any mixture left on the third day, just add the new mixture to it. You will need less of course, but you'll get to know how to gauge things as you go along catering to the requirements of your own little family."

"ONIONS>>>Re: onions... They ferment too quickly, and cut down the amount of time you can safely store already cooked soup.

Assuming there are no refrigerators etc., it's best to err on the side of caution and not use them in the soup. If you want to waste fuel and make your soup daily, then onions aren't a problem.

We LOVE onions in our house, and cook them by wrapping them in tinfoil, and putting them in the ever-burning wood stove for an hour. We put in some potatoes too usually, and have a meal of tatties & onions. They taste wonderful prepared in this way, particularly if you add a little butter or olive oil and some herbs when you take them out of the fire. This and some greens is all you need to exist except for vitamin B12.

The recipe calls for the following ingredients by weight
88 pound(s) or 40 kilogram(s) rice
22 pound(s) or 10 kilogram(s) kidney beans
22 pound(s) or 10 kilogram(s) barley

22 pound(s) or 10 kilogram(s) lentils, yellow
5.50 pound(s) or 05 kilogram(s) green split peas
5.50 pound(s) or 05 kilogram(s) chick peas
165 pound(s) or 80 kilogram(s) Total weight

These parts are converted (by weight) as follows to arrive at one pound of broth.
08 ounce(s) rice
02 ounce(s) red kidney beans
02 ounce(s) pearl barley
02 ounce(s) lentils (yellow)
01 ounce(s) green split peas
01 ounce(s) chick peas (Garbanzos)
16 ounce(s) Total Food"

Along with the basic recipe there are also other suggestions to make this truly an excellent source for your long term food storage.  One thought that I had was that this would be a good way to have some "charitable" foods on hand.  You could package it into smaller containers (1 or 2 pounds)  and have a few meals on hand for the less fortunate.   Another idea would be to make up a batch and dehydrate it.  You would have a fast and tasty "Instant Soup". 
If you were to do this over 12 pay-days, and if you are paid weekly, - you would have a10-year food supply in just 3 months.  What a super way to "pump up" your food storage!          
       ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...~~~

Monday, March 14, 2011

Southern Peach Cobbler CORRECTION

Boy did I screw up!  A dear reader emailed me and had a question about the ingredients and the instructions.  Something sure didn't add up!  He was a little confused about it and I know I would be too!  When I doubled the recipe I forgot to change the instructions to the doubled amounttoo.  < hanging my head in embarrassment >  I have corrected the mistake and all is as it should be now.  I'm sorry for any confusion.  Dang!  I hate when that happens!!!
So thanks for letting me know.  It IS appreciated.  Chalk one up for the blondes!
             ~~~  Hey ...  I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Southern Peach Cobbler / Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Do you ever just stop and take a good look at how things in your life are going?  I thought I should do just that.  Take a few minutes to actually count my blessings.  Things sometimes seem so terrible all around us with bad news everywhere you look. I sometimes get so worried about all those things. The thing is that I can't help to change the world if I don't first take stock of my own life. Start from the inside and work my way out so to speak. I can't think of the exact words but it has to do with making your own house "right" first.

This past week or so there have been many blessings. One of the most wonderful things I have found has been the friendships found and formed through the internet. I am truly blessed. There have been a couple of things that have happened recently that I want to share with you all.  No worries, it's all good stuff~  I'll be posting about them in the coming days. Those of you who have your own blogs will understand how having something to write about is sometimes not so easy as folks might think.  More times than not I sit down and don't have a thing in the world to write about.  But other times,  when things happen "all at once"  , I get lucky and have all sorts of things going on!  Then all the sudden I get a bit behind on writing.  But like I told my friend Felinae,  I try to never let a good idea for a post go to waste!  lol  More stuff to come~~~

  Some of you guys who have been visiting here for awhile may remember my friends who live in Missouri. Morgan and Jewells  went to look at some properties for us last year.  They took a day trip and took bunches of  pictures while  tromping around thru the ticks and mosquito's and all manner of things.  Is that brave  or what?

Well, recently they took another day trip and visited the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Missouri headquarters.  I would love to see that place but I 'm happy to live vicariously thru them this time around. Especially when I received a package from them.  I have to admit I actually danced around like a kid at Christmas as I was going thru all the wonderful seeds they sent!  I was, and still am, overwhelmed at their generosity. Is that one of the coolest thing ever or what?  Thank you again guys!  You are the greatest!!  There are all sorts of things I have been wanting to grow and haven't been able to order.  < excuse me while I do another little happy dance >

Mars loves hot peppers.  Now I know lots of people say that and mean it, but I'm not talking just regular hot peppers like a jalapeno or a serrano pepper.  Oh NO... He likes HOT peppers.  Habannero's and chili piquine, "those" kinds of HOT.  He is one of the few people I have ever met that can eat a Habanero or some other pepper just as hot. Not just a little bite or two either, but the whole thing!   So he was really happy to see a packet of Chocolate Habanero Seeds.  As a matter of fact when he finished looking at all these wonderful seeds our friends had sent, he got up and headed to the greenhouse to start a few plants!!

 There are carrots, beans, peas (real southern one's) brussels sprouts, spinach, celery, turnips, okra, cantaloupe, watermelon, 4 different kinds of neat squash.  I know I'm missing some stuff, but you get the idea.  Jewells and Morgan really did send some wonderful varieties.  < Doing another happy dance here and singing "You Guys Rock" >

We put out some of the seedlings we had started this weekend.  The cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, broccoli, and some of the lettuce are in the ground now.  We started some radishes, spinach and some more carrots too.  I'm not sure but I think Mars is out there planting some beets right now.  It was on his list anyway.

I was craving something sweet yesterday and decided I'd make some sort of dessert for dinner.  I was thinking about cake but I ran across a recipe that sounded a whole lot like one my Mom used to make.  The recipe is called Southern Peach Cobbler.  It's one with what I call a "drop" crust.  < I know, I make up my own words and phrases as I go along! >  I still have some peaches that I canned a couple of seasons ago so I figured they would be great for this.  Man, was I ever right!  I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9 x 13 pan.    You might want to half the recipe but it disappeared so fast I probably wouldn't recommend it!   I also used a full teaspoon of cinnamon instead of the 1/2 it originally called for. This is a super recipe and it's one I will be making again for sure. 

                               Southern Peach Cobbler

  • 16 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
  4. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes. 
I know when you first look at this, it seems like alot of ingredients, but if you really look at it there's really not that many!  This is SO easy to put together and OMGosh is it ever GOOD.
Sorry I didn't get any pictures of it.  Honestly, I didn't even think about it until it was about half gone!  Yeah, it's good!!

                                 ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Friday, March 11, 2011

And the Award Goes To .....

One of my absolute favorite blogs is written by (in her own words) an "In your face ...from an opinionated rural north Idaho housewife".  I've been reading her stuff since she first started blogging.  Patrice also writes for the World Net Daily. As a matter of fact, that is where I first ran across her.  She is one of the first blogs I read when I do my daily (well mostly) reading.  She covers all sorts of things. From prepping, gardening, canning and homeschooling, to her views on the world, complete with  wonderful pictures. She writes with an honestly that I love. If you haven't checked it out   Rural Revolution is awesome.

Well,  you can imagine how utterly shocked I was when I was mentioned in one of her articles!  Not just any article either... but one that awarded me with The Stylish Blogger Award!  I was (and still am) just thrilled and honored beyond words.  Yes  I know that is hard to believe but for a change I was speechless!  She had received this super cool award from the guru of survival blogs, J.W. Rawles and passed it on to little ol' me. (and 14 others)  Kind of like "Six Degrees of Separation"  LOL.  And to be given this award by Patrice is probably one of the highlights of my blogging "career".

Of course, with the award comes a couple of requirements. This is one of the reasons that I have been dragging my feet about getting this post finished.   I had to do a couple of things. A couple of  hard things actually.  The first thing I am supposed to do is to list 7 things that you might not know about me.  Have you ever had to do something like this?  It reminds me of those psychological questions they ask on some job applications.  "What is one of your best traits?"  "What would you say is your  greatest strength" Or any of those stupid questions designed to make you search for the answers within.  I can't possibly be the only one who hates abhors can't stand these.  Ok ok  this isn't as bad as that bad but you get the idea...
It took me quite awhile to put this list together. Since I'm pretty up front here (on the blog) and I share all sorts of stuff others would consider private so I really had to think about this for awhile!

1. I am addicted to hard candy.  Almost any kind of hard candy.  My favorites are peppermint and cinnamon. I'm not saying I really like hard candy. Oh No!  Check my pockets at any given time and chances are good that I have some on me.
2. I don't text.   I figure if I need to get a message to someone I can pick up the phone and actually hear a real voice on the other end of the line.
3. I have never colored my hair.  Unless you count putting lemon juice on it.  Hey!  It was supposed to give me "natural" highlights...
4. I used to play in a band.  Not only that - I even got paid to do it!  It was alot of fun. Back in the day...
5. My very favorite treat is an ice cold Pepsi (in the bottle) and a 3 Musketeer's.   Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it! That is one treat I really miss since I gave up soda's.
6. I drive like a grandmother.   I don't speed (much), I stop at all lights and stop signs and look both ways twice before entering an intersection.  Then I step on the brakes and look again!!
7. I owned a Skink.  Stop giggling and read the Wiki description.

Now the second requirement for receiving this award is to pass this award on to 15 fellow blogger's who you believe are deserving of this award.  Now come on... This dang award is getting harder and harder to earn.  Yes, I follow alot of blogs. I think they are all great, if I didn't I sure wouldn't be taking time to read them!   I personally think that each and every one of them are "worthy" of this award.  I have no idea how to pick them. I don't want to keep giving the same shout outs to the same people I have picked for other things in the past. So I am going to try and pick ones that are NOT on everyone's radar. I'm not sure some of these folks even know I'm alive but maybe they will now.  So when you go check them out could you say hello for me??  LOL  And so, without further ado, here are my picks in NO particular order at all.  Cause you know I can't get anything in order....

A Homesteading Neophyte

Simply Living

Double Nickel Farm

Sally's Country Home

Wretha's Adventures Living 100%  Off  Grid

She Chef...Cooking Up Words and Wonders

Maggie's Urban Survival Blog


Dizzy's Wanderings & Wonderings

Waiting On The Other Shoe

Country Bumpkin

The Last Frontier

Shade and Sweetwater

Self Sustained Living

Between You, Me, and the Fence Post

So there you have it. My 15 picks for the Stylish Blogger Award.  Check them all out. You won't be sorry.  I promise!  And thanks again Patrice.  You really made my week!! (month,year)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

All We Can Do...

I've been doing some thinking lately.  No! Wait!  Stop laughing!  I do it occasionally and contrary to popular belief , it doesn't hurt all that bad.  Oh who am I kidding, it hurts alot!
When I started writing this I had no intention of going off on a rant.  The best laid  intentions and all that....

Like most everyone else I have been watching what is happening here on the home front.  Folks, it's not looking to good.  You would have to be blind not to see it. The ponzi scheme we call modern banking is finally coming to an end. It is only a matter of time before our dollar is worthless. We have a good start on it now!  Our money buys less and less and the cost of living takes more and more. Poverty is on the rise. We have shipped our jobs overseas and they are not coming back. 

Our civil liberties have been  dismantled and stomped all over.  Our food is being genetically altered to the point that it is becoming  unsafe to eat. And if that isn't bad enough the price of that poisonous food is increasing daily.  

People who worked their entire lives paying into Social Security are now being told that their money will be taken from them in order to pay down the debts that the government has placed on their shoulders. If that isn't bad enough it is now being called an "entitlement".  As if they should somehow be ashamed to receive what is owed to them.  And yes I said OWED.  

The main focus of this blog has always been about self- sufficiency. About following dreams and hoping to make them realities. Prepping isn't just about making sure you have all the "cool" toys and do dad's. It is about having the things you need to live a life with as little intervention from others as you can.  Being prepared for the things that come your way. 

Since money for physical preps as been nearly nonexistent lately, I've been trying to follow my own advice.  I've been doing a lot of reading.  Learning about things that I hope will help us when we move out to "the land". I'm trying to gain more knowledge.  I've been reading up on chickens and rabbits again . Making lists, trying to stay busy.   I don't know how much time we have but I want to do as much as possible to be self reliant in as little time as possible.

  I've been hearing alot of folks worrying about the way the world is falling apart.  There may not be much time left before the proverbial S hits the Fan.  All we can do is to be as ready as we can.  The level of stress  so many folks feel  under these days is tremendous. It seems that almost everyone I talk to feels like something is about to break wide open.  A finger can't be laid on anything specific, just a general feeling of unease.  I personally am going to try to keep the stress to a minimum. My stressing about it sure isn't going to make anything better.   As someone said  "All we can do is all we can do.
                        ~~~  Hey I'm Just Sayin' ...~~~

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mill vs Tiller

Wow! Another week is close to being over!  It seems that one minute time is just dragging by and yet when I turn around all the sudden another week has zipped by.  I still haven't figured out just when time started doing that. I mean I can remember as a kid everything seemed to take forever to "get to".  It was always "One day when I grow up I'm going to <fill in the blank>"  Or thinking that an eternity had passed waiting for Christmas morning.  These days Christmas is here before the Thanksgiving turkey gone. Do you ever wish that you could just go back and feel as if the first day of summer would never get here?  

    Anyway.... Mrs M bought herself the kitchen mixer that she has been drooling over for quite awhile now. It's one of those Viking Mixers. Top of the line. Cadillac of the mixer families.  The thing is a real workhorse and I'm happy for her.  Actually I am happy for me too! You will never guess what happened to the old mixer... oh wait..,I guess you can now!   LOL 

     Yep, she was kind enough to give me her Kenwood Chef Major.  Is that awesome or what??  It's an older mixer with absolutely NOTHING wrong with it except some of the paint is peeling off the base.  600 watts of pure mixing power.  It makes kneading bread child's play.  It also has some very cool attachments.  There is a meat grinder and sausage stuffer. So now I can add some more things to my list of want to do's. 
    Oh there is also a pasta maker. I've been wanting to learn to make pasta for ages.  I hear folks talk about how easy it is but I've always been a little worried about getting it right.  No more excuses for that anymore either.  Hog Heaven Baby!  Of course I'm going to have to wait until we get moved to do most of this stuff but hey... the way time is flying by that's just right around the corner, right?

All of this kind of brings me to the next thing I have been thinking about.  I have been wanting a grain mill for years now. I really want to be able to grind my own flour and cornmeal. Not so much because it's so much healthier for you (although it is) but because it is cheaper err.. less expensive to buy grain's and make your own.  Another thing to consider is that storing wheat is a much better alternative to long term storage than flour is. The shelf life of flour is pretty short.  A year or so is about as good as it gets before the flour goes rancid. You can store wheat for 30 years or more. Not that I plan on storing it that long but it's nice to know it won't go bad in just a year or so.

I've talked to lots and lots of folks, trying to get as much information from them all as I can about grain mills.  I've weighed out the pro's and con's of Electric vs Manual ones.  I've done all sorts of studying different mills and I finally picked the GrainMaker Mill.  There is some good information on different type's of grain mills under the testimonial section.  I thought it was pretty well written and seems to be well researched to. So if you have been wondering about the differences in Manual Mills check out the link  "Grain Mill Comparisons".  

I found out that they have a lay-a-way program.  That would help ease some of the pain of  spending over $4oo.oo. The problem that I ran into was that the GrainMaker is soon going up on their prices.From what I was told, the new price is going to be close to double what it is now. So I had to make a decision pretty quickly or I won't be able to take advantage of it.  So I gathered up all my information and had a talk with Mars.

Well it turns out he had something he wanted me to think about as well.  He want's to buy a tiller. Since one of the big things we are planning  on doing when we find "our land" is to garden, we are really going to need one. The garden we want to have just can't really be turned by hand every year.  Well... I suppose it could but .... what a lot of work.  He has been looking on Craigslist for a used one since tillers are not cheap! So after a little discussion we decided that instead of the grain mill that the tiller would be the better purchase for now.  Sometimes you just have to decide what is more important in the scheme of things.

And so now... back to the Kenwood Mixer. It seems that they make a grain mill attachment for it.  (You didn't really think I would just give up on a grain mill that easily did you?)  The only problem is that it looks like one will be hard to find. They stopped making the mixer a few years ago but I have found some places that still sell attachments and spare parts. The kicker is.... they sell them in the UK and don't ship to the states. 

The Kenwood used to be made in the UK. Then Rival started making them for a couple of years here. Then they quit making them at all. Something to do with the quality really going down after they moved here.  Anyway.... I figure if I can find the grain attachment I will just buy one of them.  It would sure be alot less expensive even though it won't be a Manual Mill.  So if anyone of you guys know where I might be able to find one I would sure appreciate it if you could let me know. Things will work out the way they are supposed to, right? 
                    ~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Tell me you didn't at least smile?  Come on, how can you NOT!  Have a great day!

            ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~