Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Garden Work

It still may be February but spring is definitely in the air around here. We have been working every day trying to get the garden ready for planting.  As this is the first time the ground has been tilled and planted there is much to be done.  Mars has tilled the rows and we've pulled out grass and tilled and repeated.  The soil test came back and our ph is good but could use a little boost in nitrogen and phosphorus.
  We are lucky to have access to the neighbors horse manure pile.  So Sunday morning Mars got up and went down and picked up a couple of truckloads. The great thing is that he was able to get the manure that had been there for several years.  Hopefully it won't be too full of viable weed seeds.  I guess we are going to find out soon enough.  So the day was spent spreading poop and tilling it in and raking it out again.

  Right now we are working on building up the rows and pulling out what weeds we can find. I figure the more we can get out of there now the better off we will be later on.  My back is killing me but I know it will be worth it when its all done.  We are kind of working against the clock right now.  Lots of stuff that I want to get in the ground in the next two weeks and the drip irrigation isn't  in yet.  Heck, it hasn't even got here yet. I'm waiting for the UPS truck to show up today though!! 
  I did get the small beds planted this weekend though.  Two and a half beds of onion sets, a few broccoli plants, some carrots and some leaf lettuce.  Check out this cool idea.  I cut small rings from a toilet paper roll to mark the new plants. It really makes them easy to spot.

  Then to keep the cat and dogs out Mars put up a hotwire around the bottom of the beds.  MissKitty has an awful habit of following me out in the garden and walking between my legs and all in the beds trying to get me to pet her.  I'm guessing she found out the hard way about the hotwire.  I was in there the very next day and she was on the outside of the fence meowing at me but she wasn't about to come in.  I guess it works! Boy was she ticked off!

    I've got some plants started in my homemade peat pots and have them in the baggies.  Again I got a little bit of a late start but I have high hopes.  I made the peat pots out of toilet paper rolls and use MMPaints "baggie method". 

  I wish I had done that sooner since the first seeds I started really didn't do all that well.  I'm afraid we are going to have to buy most of our tomato plants this year.  But live and learn. It's all part of the learning process.  I've been working on a planting calendar too.  I'm one of those folks that has to have things written down to remember it.  
  We are a little later than I wanted to be getting the potato's in but we are still within the "window" on them so I'm hoping that will turn out.  Again, this is a first so there's bound to be a learning curve.  This is one reason I think folks should put their skills in action.  You can't just read about something and think that when SHTF you will be able to jump out there and do it. Reading and doing are two totally different things. You actually need to DO it before hand. Same thing goes for all skills.  There's always a learning curve and you want to be on the right side of it.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's Coming, Are you Ready?

I've been sick the past few days and have yet again neglecting blogging.  I haven't even felt like sitting at the computer to read. Besides, other than the blogs I love to follow, all I can see in the news makes me even sicker.  We are coming into troubling times and if you aren't getting ready for them or don't see the need to.... all I can say is "Good Luck".   Cause you are goin' to need it!

 Lots of folks in this country are already starting to feel the pinch. It's getting harder and harder to make that paycheck go as far as it used to.  If you think things are tough now, I suggest you buckle up tight and hang on folks. The rising price of gas in this country is getting ready to skyrocket and with it will come the rise of most if not all commodities.  Of course our "Commander" in Chief is telling us there is nothing he can do about it, there is no "magic pixie dust or magic wand" (his words not mine) and that it will be a LONG time before we may see prices go down.  Yeah, ok...  What I get from that is that gas ISN'T going down and we might as well suck it up and deal with it.

When gas prices rise that dramatically you can be sure that the price of everything that is not locally produced is going to rise.  The cost to transport things across the country will naturally be passed on to us.  Food, clothing, household goods etc...  You name it.  It's got to go up. 

If there is anyway in the world possible I would suggest that you start spending every dime that you can possibly squeeze out and start doubling your prepping efforts. Fill up the "holes" in your preps while you can still afford to.  If you aren't a prepper, well.... you might wanna hurry up and start.  Things are getting ready to get real hairy in this country and if you aren't ready then you are going to miss the bus.  Shoot you won't even be able to afford a ticket....

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

Monday, February 20, 2012

Finally, back!

On one hand I feel that I should apologize for not checking in this past week. On the other hand I was so busy that things couldn't be helped.  I suppose you could call this an update on the progress of our little slice of "heaven".  At this point I'm thinking that any and all things I'm getting ready to tell you is almost "bragging".  It's been one hell of a good week. 

 The weather is the only thing that hasn't been co-operating.  Dreary cloudless skies that spit out cold wet precipitation regularly.  I know we need the rain. Boy do I know we do, but things need to dry out enough for us to get the fertilizer (horse poo) worked into the soil.  The forecast looks good though and we just need a few days of sun and we should be good to work the garden.  Anyway.... it's coming on time to plant around here and I'm getting "itchy".  I know that this year is probably going to be a learning experience and the soil needs to be "conditioned" but I still have some pretty high hopes for a good garden season.  LOL Mars says that if we plant all that we have planned - something is bound to come up!  Now THAT is a positive attitude!

I have news! Really big news! (well for us it is anyway)  We are now officially raising chickens.  Sweet, yes?  I don't know what kind they are but I'm prone to guess barnyard mutts, courtesy of our neighbors.  He's been telling us that when we are ready he'll be more than happy to give us a few chickens.  Well, finally, last night was the night.  After a wonderful cookout of some awesome Mexican food (authentic bwt) we went out to the barn and proceeded to do some chicken rustling!  We had taken a cage down to transport them in and before long we had our very own chickens.  Now, I might remind you that part of the "deal" with the chickens was that we would take a couple of roosters off his hands.  I took him literally at "a couple" and we came home with two pretty roosters and 4 hens.  Of course he was quick to tell me that we could have more roosters whenever we want them.  They don't butcher anything down there so there seems to be quite a few plump roosters that might need a "hot bath".  LOL

Anyway.... we brought them home and they settled in pretty well.  They have been free range chickens till now, so they weren't real happy about the pen.
They were looking for an escape hatch.... I'm sure they will settle in soon though. Its not like chickens have very much grey matter! 
This morning when I went out to feed them I just had to stand there looking and grinning. We finally  actually have our own chickens.  Out of our "plan" for our little set up this is a real big deal.  That makes 2/3's of our livestock in the barn, so to speak. Coming soon... Goats!  
Anyway.... There have been several other big things ( to us) happening around the homestead and I promise to try and post more frequently.  We've just seemed to be on the road alot this past week, which isn't really what either of us like, but what with getting ready for the chickens to come to their new home and grocery shopping and working on the things around here  and ... and... Yeah, you know what I mean!  

I have lots of things to share with you guys and a cool give-away coming up soon to so stay tuned....
Oh, and anyone want to venture to guess what kind of chickens these are?  I'm clueless.  BUT I know one thing.... one of them left us a pretty green tinged (kinda) egg this morning. Can you believe it????   Our first EGG!!!!  I'm a danged chicken farmer now!! :D

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Greenhouse Space Saver DIY

I think I have come across one of the most clever and inexpensive ideas I've seen in years. You have to check this out!!! 
 Coach House Crafting on a budget: Greenhouse space saver plus milk carton recycle

Isn't that cool???? Inexpensive and most anyone could do it. I could start plants in it or even use it to grow my herbs in!  Hmmm... I'm going to have to show this one to Mars and see if we can rustle up some wood for one.

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

Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow Day!

Winter had shown up again.  I am still so new to snow that I haven't lost my love for it.  It also helps of course that here we don't really get much of it and it doesn't really last all that long.  On the other hand, I am about to go stir crazy being in the RV.  I'm starting to miss the sunshine yet I know that in a few short weeks spring will be here.  

The poor Lilly's and daffodils are a bit confused.  

But you have to admit that there is something beautiful about a snowy day, sunshine or no sunshine!  

Once again I am reminded why I wanted to move far enough north to be able to enjoy ALL the seasons.  And still far enough south to enjoy them without freezing to death! LOL!!

As you can see, we only got a couple of inches this time around.  No roads closed and we are able to come and go.  Not like I really want to go anywhere though.  Going into town is still not very high on my list of things I like to do these days!
Anyway, after my last couple of posts, I thought I would "lighten up" just a bit.  The world is becoming a scary place and I'm just happy that we have found a little bit of peace and quiet to turn to.

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

Friday, February 10, 2012

They Are Coming

I'm not sure why the news surprised me. Nor am I sure why it suddenly feels as though I have been betrayed. More so than ever before. The news this week of congress giving an ok for DHS to go forward with the plans to have drones to fly over the U.S. has struck in me a deep dark chord.  It's not like I am naive enough to believe that I didn't know it would come to this.  The betrayal I feel is somewhat surprising to me though. I have watched as our rights and our constitution have been eroded almost beyond recognition over the past few years. With this news though, I think it has finally sunk into my head (and in my heart as well) just how bad things have become.  It seems the train has left the tracks and is now spiraling down into some deep cavern, plunging into a new dark future.  I'm not sure where we are going or even how long we have left anymore.  I can only hope that we can rise up out of the darkness and somehow find the light of liberty once again. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blog Roll Amnesty Day

I can't believe it's already been a year!  Gee, time flies when you are having fun. I stopped by my friend Busted's place late last nite and there it was.... Blog Roll Amnesty Day. I absolutely love this whole concept.  Mainly because I get the chance to pass on some wonderful blogs to folks who might otherwise never run across them. 
   B.A.D. ( blog roll amnesty) was created by Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Al Weisel, aka Jon Swift.  Al passed on a few years ago but their creation of B.A.D. lives on.  
So here's the way this works.  You pick 5 (this is the hardest part) blogs who you feel deserve more traffic than they  get.  Actually, the rule is supposed to read "who get less traffic than you" but I'm taking a little "license" here. Oh, and another rule is... you can't say "But no one gets less traffic than I do" LOL.  
 The hardest part, for me anyway, is choosing.  I follow so many blogs that it's really hard to have to choose only 5.  So in no particular order at all here are my choices for this year.

First up is Mystic Mud.  This lady is just starting out on her blogging as well as her home in the hills of Tennessee.  Along with her 10 (yeah TEN) kids and her man, she's been sharing their ups and downs.  There is just something that touches me about her.  I can't explain it but... well you go check her out and I think you will see what I mean.

Another wonderful blog and one heck of a funny lady too.  (I just love funny people!)  Is Carolyn over at Krazy Acres.  Her homesteading adventures are hilarious at times but have so much to teach us all about humor and grace under pressure. And if you don't get a kick out of her goat adventures.... well... you just have to check her out!

OK, let's see.   The next blog I'd like to introduce to you is Duke over at Down Range Report.  I just truly enjoy visiting his place.  He's a Veteran and has a slant on things that is sometimes serious, sometimes funny, and sometimes seriously funny!  The man tells things like he see's them and you just gotta love that! 

And then there is Steven.  Standing Outside Looking In. This man is such a warm, friendly person and he has some moments of shear writing brilliance.  His place makes me and everyone who visits feel like they have come home.  He writes the blog mainly as a journal of sorts for his granddaughter.  Something for her to look back on one day. He's kind enough to share that with us.  Ohhh... just go on by and see what I mean.  And tell him I said hello!

Framboise Manor is a blog that my dear friend Kymber and her husband Jambalony write.  They have given up life in the big City and have moved out to the wilds of Canada.  Nicer folks you just can't find!  They bought some land and an old house that sit by a river.  I just love hearing about their adventures.  This was a big move for them both and they are having a blast carving out their homestead and living their dream!

I know that's five but there is one more that I would like to mention.  Brigid doesn't really fall into the category  for  B.A.D. but I would be remiss if I did not mention her blog.  She is a brilliant writer.  She writes about many things, including guns, hunting, cooking and life.  If you have never had the pleasure to visit her at Home On The Range , please do.  I have a feeling you will be as blown away with her talent as I am.

So there you have it.  My picks for Blog Roll Amnesty Day.  Please stop by and check them out.  I'm pretty certain you won't be disappointed.  When I first started blogging, Busted was one of the very first folks to leave me a comment and make me feel like I wasn't just writing to see my name out there but was actually reaching someone.  He's a little "rough around the edges" but (I love that about him)  his outlook on things even if we don't see eye to eye sometimes.  He was one of the first people to put me on his blog roll and I can't begin to tell you what that meant to me. I have liberally use his thoughts here (and hope he or S.O.P.A don't get too upset!) to help me explain the BAD rules correctly.

I hope you all will get up off your butts and  participate in Blog Roll Amnesty Day.  You might not realize it but you really CAN make a difference in someones life. Even by leaving a comment on someones blog from time to time can make all the difference in the world. Just knowing that someone out there is actually listening to you and what's on your mind is a great thing.  

So how about it?  Wanna take a minute and have a B.A.D. Day???

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

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My American Truth

You have chosen to lay your hands upon me.  To invade all that is dear to me.  To reach out and tell me that the things I have always held near and dear to my heart are nothing more than the illusions you have created.  You seem to believe that it is alright that while you wrap your fingers around my throat, slowly tightening your grip, and watching me slip slowly into the abyss, to show others your strength.  That this is my cross to bear for all the things, both imagined and real, that this is what you see.  That this is my cross to bear because you feel the need to control me, to have me answer to a higher and more powerful being.   Something "larger" than me? Something bigger than what I can see?  That somehow you and those you find yourself helpless to resist can actually try to  make me feel that WHAT I am and WHO I am are less human, because you deem yourself  as something more?  That it is acceptable  to lay hands on a person that only strives to exist on  this earth with all the rights that you do? Even though all they wanted in the first place was to be respected. To not feel slighted or wronged by the unbearable measures you take to make them feel less "human" or to less "desirable"?  When a voice lifted up is meant to be heard, not stifled. Who reached out and touched you and made you "Stretch Armstrong"? Long stretchy arms that encompass all and yet can't hold a thing?  To silence me and dare me to utter another word for fear of reprisals?  "Don't say another word or I will make it so much harder for you"?  
Right now I have to fight not to feel that I am a coward.That I am not scared,... that I don't speak out...and that I don't protest.  I just let you do what you will with the rights that I KNOW I have.  I do this because I am afraid, because I feel weak, because I feel alone. Do I honestly think that this is how alot of the rest of America feels? 
Yeah, sometimes I'm afraid so.  I find that many of us hunker down like cowards rather than stand up to what is happening to our country.  It's an easier road to travel. We don't have to respect "Her" like we used to these days.  We don't have to honor those who laid down their lives before we came along, who fought and died so we could "bitch and moan" about how things are these days. Those fine men and women who died laying down their lives so we would have the RIGHT  to "bitch and moan".    But do we respect them... or her???  Oh hell no!
Don't you DARE grab her up by the throat and tell her "What must be done will be done"  to try and extinguish the fire that is in her heart.  Don't you DARE threaten her with what will "happen to her" if she doesn't bow down to what you think she should be.  This lady, America, is a fine lady, and she may forgive some of the injustices done to her (for the "greater good") but she will never forget where she came from... where her roots lay ....and where her heart stands.   Folks will say that "She asked for it.. that she deserved it...that she did all she could to make others treat her that way".... Just remember
You may judge her handlers, but you cannot be a judge of her heart.  There is so much in all of us, those who know that to judge someone by the actions imposed by others cannot possibly see into the heart that still lies beating in this great country.  It might be just under the surface, facing the lies and untruths they want us all to believe....But there is much still here.  It beats wildly in the Patriots that are awakening.  She cannot die. Let it not be said "She was good and strong, yet I failed her."  If she dies then we will surely all  die with her. And if she will stand then they will say "America, Long Live Liberty"

Friday, February 3, 2012

Starting Seeds

Seed Starter Update Below.  I'm not sure why this post didn't update.  Gee Thanks Blogger!!! 

Seed Starter Methods

It's that time of year again!  Seed starting time for many of us. We can get some of our cool weather plants in the ground here, depending on the weather in about two weeks.  Exciting times! Anyway, I thought I would re-post this article to show you a few seed starting methods.  Of course there are many others but its a place to start getting your creative juices flowing! 
The following is a re-post from back in '10

There are lots of different methods to start your plants from seed. I wanted to share a few here with you. All of them work, and the choice is yours as to which method you like best. 

The first method I'd like to show you is the "Baggie" method. MMpaints @ Self Sustained Living shared this one with us on the forums last year.  This is my second year using this method and it works out well for me.

I like using peat pellets to start seed in.  You can pick these up at most any garden center.  They are relatively inexpensive and work quite well. You will need 5 items- 1. peat pellets 2. a shallow pan 3. ziplock baggies (the ones with pleated bottoms work best) 4. warm water 5. Seeds
Place your pellets in a shallow dish with warm water and let them soak for a few minutes until they expand fully.  Take them out of the dish and plant your seed in them. (one plant per pellet)  Place them in a zip-lock baggie and set them in a warm sunny window.  I have found that if you will put four pellets per bag they will stand more easily.

You should see results within a few days.  This creates a mini-greenhouse and eliminates the need for watering for awhile.
You can also make your own peat pots using paper towel or TP rolls.  Just cut them into sections and fold the bottoms up.  Then just fill with soil.  These are great because you are recycling and free! These will work with the baggie method as well.

Another easy way to start your plants is by using empty 2 liter soda bottles.  Cut the top half of the bottle off.  Poke holes in the bottom with section and fill with your soil mix.  Sew your seeds and cover with the  top of the bottle.  You may need to make a couple of cuts in the top half to get it to fit back on.
Now here is one that has me intrigued. I really want to try this one at home folks!  Ever considered using your egg shells to start seeds in?  This seems great on several levels to me. And talk about recycling and being bio-degradable!!!  Crack your egg from the top and save the shell.  Rinse it out and poke two or three holes in the bottom.

Fill with soil and sow your seed. You can place three in a 2 liter soda bottle or just set them back in the egg carton until they are ready to plant.   
Or just use the cardboard egg cartons and plant directly into them.

Ok, there you have it.  Some simple and effective ways to start your plants from "scratch"!  Let's get to sprouting!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WildBlue Sucks

Due to circumstances beyond my control we've been offline for the past week.  Once again I will repeat myself when I say WILDBLUE SUCKS.  I've never been so unhappy about an ISP as I've been with this company.  We have had nothing but problems since we signed up and the customer service is truly hit or miss.  Some "know the score" while others tend to treat you like a total idiot.  And honestly, after the past 7 months I've heard most every story they can lay on me. After awhile you get to know when you are getting BS stories or actual truth.   If I could be paid for the countless hours I've spent on the phone (and on hold) with this company I could afford to buy the goats we want to put out here.  I kid you not! LOL@ kid.  Unfortunately we can't just "dump" them and use someone else because ... wait for it... They roped us into a freakin' 12 month contract.  It seems I can't get out of it and so will have to suffer with these incompetent fools for a few more months.  I'm seriously thinking that our old air-card service would (and did) do a better job.  I suppose its my fault really.  I was so caught up into trying to save some money that I just jumped on their offer.  Now I'm regretting it again.  The problems we have had in no way  compensates for the $5.00 savings.  

Anyway... I'm back online and trying to catch up on all your blogs.  My connection isn't much better than dial-up though and so its taking quite a bit of time.  As I'm writing this I am waiting for the service tech to come out but I refuse to hold my breath as once again I've been stood up by them yesterday.  There isn't much I like less than to be told that someone will be out here between "12-2pm" or whatever and then they don't show.  So I sit here again waiting for someone to show up and this time I refuse to hold my breath.  Smurf Blue isn't my best color!
                            ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~