Monday, March 29, 2010

Cheap Giggles

This makes about as much sense as any of the other "stuff" they are pushing down our throats...Grab some popcorn and  TURN DOWN THE NOISE

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What A Day

Wow! What an interesting day!  To be honest I have spent most all of it in front of the computer following the Government raids on the militia last night.  Things are going to get interesting soon folks. I won't go into my thoughts on this other than to say... Keep your ear to the ground and your instincts intact.

Mars finished up making the beds for my herbs today. Bunny poo has been tilled in and ready to "grow"! He talked me into taking the peat pots out of my baggies and insert them right into the dirt.  Don't say a word!! It was one of those things were I just had to trust him.  So I did!  Grow plants grow!!
Things will turn out just fine. But all is well with the baggie experience as I have a back-up.  Mikey (from the APN Chatroom) has graciously volunteered to continue the experiment.  He had started some seeds in little clay pots yesterday morning and saw the "baggie" thing last nite.  So he now has some started with that method and has promised to share his results!  Thanks Mike. I can't wait to see the results.
I am going to cut this one short... I'm running out of steam tonight. Way to much to think about all day. More to surely follow tomorrow!  I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and hope for an even better month ahead.  Plant something, go for a walk, catch a sunset, wish on the first spring star you see tonight.  My wish is that we will all be safe and happy in the coming days.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunny Saturday

I don't know what happened but somewhere a few days ago I put up my 200th post.  I  was going to say something about it but forgot.  Kind of like I forgot to mention my 1st year anniversary in the the blogosphere last month.  Oh well, maybe next year right?

Things are moving right along at the Pioneer Living Homestead.  The onions are starting to come up and the potato's are peaking out of the dirt as well.  No signs yet of the carrots but I bet it won't be long.  Yesterday 3 different types of lettuce were planted.  Along with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach and pinto beans. There are 30 tomato plants set out and more to go in if I understand correctly.  I will have to take some pictures.  This garden is MASSIVE. I have never been involved with one this big and so its truly going to be an adventure.  Much more to plant in the next few days and weeks.
Mars made chicken and dumplings last night for dinner.  Well he got them started anyway.  Then he asked me "What about the dumplings"?  Since I was sitting at the computer chatting with a friend on IM, I went to my favorite recipe site looking for a easy and quick dumpling recipe.  Then it hit me.  Why in the world was I searching on a recipe site when I had a surefire answer just a few keystrokes away??  So I hit up my friend with the question and sure enough she had just the information I needed!  Easy and quick and bound to go into my food rotation now!  It took all of five minutes!

                          Egg Dumplings

1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
Seasonings to taste. Salt pepper, herbs of your choice.

Drop them in the boiling liquid with a butter knife and cook till done, stirring occasionally so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Excellent Chicken and dumplings for dinner last night.  Thanks Mars n MMpaints ( Self Sustained Living)Life is better when good food is added to the mix!

I need to get some bread started today. While I am at it I think some tortillas would be good.  Breakfast  tacos sound like a good Sunday morning start!  I'm finally back to not buying bread from the store now that we are settling in.  As a matter of fact I haven't been to town in about 10 days.  Wow!  Guess you can say I don't get out much these days.  To be honest, I am loving it.

The one thing I miss though is the old smoker pit Mars had in Texas.  It was just about worn out and so it didn't make the trip with us.  We are both huge fans of outdoor cooking.  Especially in the summer!  The only pit we have now is the little one Mars made a few years ago.  It's a cool pit and works wonderfully.  I suppose you could call it a two person pit.  Its just big enough for a  couple of steaks or a few burgers or whatnot.  It's also portable and has been on many trips with us!  With that being said, we don't have anything large enough to do things like ribs or whole chicken, etc...  Mars has an idea he wants to try and is planning to  build a smoker.  I can't wait to  see how that will turn out.

On another note, I will be contributing to the Oklahoma Preppers Network.  John (Pioneer Living) said that as I am now living in the state I should at least help out!  I told him its hard to get the Texas out of a Texan.  That's when I was reminded that we only live about 35 miles to the border!  So be sure to stop over and check it out if you get a chance.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Herb Garden

What with the moving from Texas and the getting settled in here, I feel as though I am way behind the curve with starting my gardening this year. Which is seriously funny when you stop and consider the massive garden that is going in here at the Pioneer Living Homestead. There is almost two full acres of  garden space that either is now or soon will be planted with a wide assortment of vegetables.  I got a look at the garden map yesterday and I was almost overwhelmed!  Its BIG folks... As a matter of fact, it is so big as to need its very own post. (I promise I will get to it)

And even though all that will be taking place, I wanted a little spot to grow some herbs and such. 
 Mars is going to till me up a little spot by the house for a kitchen garden.  Well, I guess you would call it more of an herb garden.  I started some seeds this week and I feel better already!  I've got quite a myriad of things. There is sage, oregano, sweet basil, parsley, cilantro (a must for salsa and pico de gallo) rosemary, thyme, chives, marjoram and even some lavender. I still need to start some dill but I will just sew that right in the ground.  We shall see what comes up!  

I am using the "baggie" method for starting the seeds.  I learned about it from MMpaints over at Self Sustained Living last year and it worked out well.  All you need are seeds, peat pots, and baggies.  Place the peat pots in warm water till they are moist and plant your seed in the peat pot.  Then place the peat pots in a baggie and seal the baggie.  It makes its own little greenhouse.  Give them a sunny spot in a window and watch them grow! I have found that if you put 4 pots per baggie it tends to keep them stable.
I will keep ya'll posted on the results.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

This and That

Imagine this Texas Girl's surprise on Sunday morning to wake up to a few inches of snow on the ground!  It snowed all day too.  Beautiful!  Not having grown up around snow it was a treat.The next day the snow was gone and the sun was out! That being said- I couldn't bear to live with snow   all winter long.  There is a reason for living in the Southern part of the United States!  Hats off to all of you who do it year in and year out. 
I made some banana bread.  You know... just to warm up the house right?  I finally think I have my recipe down on this one!

On the way back from retrieving the last of our things, we stopped in a little town called Pittsburg Tx.  There is an orchard and produce farm there that uses plasticulture to grow strawberries.  We just had to stop and chat with him for awhile.  A very nice man who was happy to tell us all about his set-up.  I may have to head back over the border when the strawberry's get ripe.  I'm dreaming of strawberry jelly and I may have hit the "honey-hole".

John shot a hog on Sunday and he and Mars cleaned it and let it hang over-nite in the cold air.

  Monday morning they butchered it and it now resides in the freezer.  It is open season year round on feral hogs here. More to come I am sure!

I got to watch a baby chick hatch a couple of weeks ago and got it on video!

I am easily amused....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Attorney General Abbott:

Sunday, March 21, 2010
Attorney General Abbott: Texas and Other States Will Challenge Federal Health Care Legislation
Following the passage of the health care legislation, the Texas Attorney General provided the following statement:
“The federal health care legislation passed tonight violates the United States Constitution and unconstitutionally infringes upon Texans’ individual liberties. To protect all Texans’ constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation’s founders, and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government, the State of Texas and other states will legally challenge the federal health care legislation.”
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

Saturday, March 20, 2010

High Tide

I have always loved the ocean. It would be impossible to count the hours I have spent just sitting on the beach. Watching the seagulls drift effortlessly on a breeze looking for a flash just under the water. Then the headlong dive to the salty water for a morsel.... And  the triumphant return to the sky, to drift yet again, watching for that flash of light.  

There is comfort in the aroma of salt air. Undeniable proof that life has come before us and will follow long after we are gone.  It is a smell you can  taste on your lips and feel on your skin .  I can't think of another smell (a good one anyway) that has that ability.  

When I was finally old enough to drive on my own I would take off to the beach alone.  When downtime was needed, it seemed it was the only place to find real peace within myself. A place for reflection. I used to drive down to the ferry and ride across to the Bolivar Peninsula. From there you can drive for miles and miles on the beach.  Find a nice cove or sand dune, look for shells while walking the beach in search of driftwood for a fire.  I spent some soul searching in front of those fires at night.  The moon and stars shining so brightly you feel you could just reach out and almost touch them. The sound of the wind and the waves gently crashing like a lullaby. The warmth of the fire burning and the feel of the salt air on your skin. The feel of warm sand between your toes as you drift with the waves ,and feel the tides pushing or pulling you toward the answer you were searching for.  Sometimes the answers came....sometimes they drifted to me after leaving but the ocean always seemed to have the answers. 


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Adios Austin

Well, we are officially moved away from Austin!  I can't say that I will miss it one bit.  The place has become so over populated so as to make it difficult to even get around anymore.  We made the trip back for the last of our things still in storage.  To be honest, I am happy to be away from there. We left early Sunday morning and took the "old" rural route through the little Texas towns.  Anything to not have to drive through Dallas again.  What a nightmare that town has grown into!

It was a nice drive.  The dogwoods are blooming now and the crepe myrtles are beginning to show signs of spring colors too.  As we headed southward I saw the Indian Paint Brushes blooming on the side of the road.  A sure sign that spring has sprung!!  I've noticed up here the "spring" flowers are daffodils. They are everywhere and just beautiful. I have to keep reminding myself that I am more than 300 miles north now. I might actually see more than 3 seasons up here.  In Texas there is Cool, Hot, and Hotter than Hades!

We got into town Sunday afternoon and rented a trailer then headed back to the old RV Park to load the last of our things from there.  I had talked to a girlfriend last week who invited us to spend the night with her to save a few bucks.  Well, I called her probably three different times on Sunday.  She never called back.  I guess  we weren't as good friends as I had thought.  It made me a little sad but it p***ed me off as well. You find out who your friends are I suppose!  Everything worked out though as it usually does.  Our old neighbors invited us to stay with them and I am glad we did.  We had a great dinner and a wonderful visit.  Thanks again Karen!!

We spent most all of Monday packing up the stuff in storage.  About 7 hours later and with two very tired backs, we headed out for the last time.  Adios Austin!

We drove till dark and stopped in the little town of  Gilmore for the evening.  The plan was to pick up some sandwich makings from the grocery store and grab a room for the night.  Seems that we found the grocery store just as they were rolling the sidewalks up for the evening.  We found a Chinese Buffet open and grabbed a bite to eat....then off to the motel for a well deserved hot shower and some rest.  We even watched some TV!  We can't pick up any stations out in the Oklahoma sticks.  I have to admit though, I could have done without it. I really don't miss TV in the least little bit.  And Hulu has been getting a workout.  If anyone knows any other decent free sites for watching movies and TV shows leave me a comment will ya? 

The next morning (late) we loaded up and were headed out again.  I stuck my hand in my jacket pocket and found two fortune cookies from the night before.  Wanna know what they said?  Mine said
"You will soon be crossing sands for a fun vacation"  which is funny because the land here at the Pioneer Living homestead is nothing but sandy dirt!
The clincher though was when Mars opened his and read this.....

                         When one door closes, another will open.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Census How To's

I'll be gone for a couple of days.... We are going to get the rest of our things out of storage.  Till then take care and check out this Census Video.  It gives me a few bout you?

Friday, March 12, 2010

My New Solar Dryer

I can't really remember the last time I went to a laundry mat.  My mom used to call it a Washateria.  Things haven't changed much other than that though. I still hate it.  I used to be a pro at the laundrymat  routine.  Three kids and no washing machine makes one a pro pretty fast! These old tips and tricks still apply today.  

1. (and its number 1 for a reason)  NEVER EVER GO ON THE WEEKEND. 
There are only 3 truly good days to make the trip. Tues- Thurs.  Unless, of course, you enjoy screaming kids, waiting on machines to become available, fights over dryers, local gossip (ok this might be an upside LOL ) and Mom's yelling at unruly kids who are running everywhere wrecking havoc.
2. Always remember the quarters for the machines.  Yes, I know there are change makers in most laundrymats, but you can't be guaranteed they will be working.
3. Presorting your clothes before you go means less actual time you have to spend in one of these hell-holes.
4. If you have several loads to do (and who doesn't cause your in a landrymat for goodness sakes)  Start each load one at a time.  What I mean is if you fill the first load, do your soap stuff and drop the quarters in then move on to the next load.  Why you ask?  Ok, here's my theory.  By the time you start your last load and put away your soap and bleach and stuff it will be almost time for the first load to be done.  This way you can pull the first load out of the wash and into the dryer buy the time the next load is ready for the dryer. 
All of this of course is in the interest of getting in and out of the place as quickly as possible.  It's never been a favorite hang-out of mine anyway!
And if you want to get out of there in half the time....  Skip the dryer and take them home and use your solar dryer!

New World Social Order

I ran across this article today at the Market Oracle  and thought it was quite interesting.  A bit scary but a really good read.

Crashing Towards a New World Social Order  20212

I'll be back later with another post!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays

Its raining.
I am going to have to start taking my camera with me when I head out.  This morning, on my way to get a Post Office Box, I saw two wild turkeys just hanging out on the side of the road.
And last week, on my way back to la casa, I was witness to an interesting situation.  Interesting for me anyway as its not every day I wander up on a guy on horseback and another guy on foot trying to catch his horse.  I missed how he lost him in the first place!  Anyway as I came over the hill and started slowing down I realized I was spooking the horse.  So I just sat there for a few minutes till all was well and there were two guys on horseback again.  Ok, so I'm easily amused! But pictures would have been better.

I made my second batch of tortillas.  They came out alot better than the first ones.  I took you guys advice and let it sit and rest for a bit before rolling them out.  I also added a bit more lard.  They came out "bendable" which really helps if your trying to make a breakfast taco!  They also actually came out looking like tortillas too instead of Rosarch blobs.   Still needs just a bit of tweaking.Third times a charm I hope!

MMPaints over at Self Sustained Living sent J&C from Pioneer Living some of her wonderful homemade cheese.  They invited us over for a little cheese tasting.  We tried the Farmers Cheddar, Colby and an exceptional Caraway Cheddar.  They were all wonderful. If you ever wanted to try some cheese right off the farm stop by and see her.  She doesn't sell it but does accept donations.  She also has cheese giveaways on a fairly regular basis. 

Mars got the septic installed yesterday!  Thanks for the help John!  The first thing we did was to heat water and take hot baths!  Heavenly! Its the little things  that we should all appreciate in life.  And a hot bath is just the ticket.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chicken Little

Another beautiful day here! Springs just peaking its head out.  The excitement here today was watching a baby chick hatch .  It was quite a sight to see.  So since I am so caring and all that I thought I would share it with you!  Now how can you not be amazed at that?

Mars has been digging us a septic tank for the last few days.  The digging is almost done and then he will be putting it all together. The land here is very sandy and so the digging has been alot easier than it would have been.
One thing about being out here... no need for inspections or any of that legal BS.  So once he gets it all dug, he will set a 55 gallon drum in there and do whatever magic stuff he does and we will have a septic system in place!  When I say "do whatever magic he does" what I really mean is that I don't have a clue as to how hes going to do it.  I just know he can and he will!  

P.S That is the BBQ pit that Mars built a few years ago on the right hand side of the picture.  It's portable and has been with us on lots and lots of camping trips.  It's just big enough for a couple of steaks or 5-6 chicken legs or 4 burgers!  Perfect for the two of us.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Homemade Tortillas

I tried my hand at making tortilla's.   We both love tortillas and I can't just run to the store to pick them up anymore.  So if we want them I am going to have to make them.  They came out pretty good for a first effort. A bit stiffer than I wanted but I'll try adding a bit more lard next time and just lightly cook them the first time.

 On another note,  Pioneer Living has received a grant to do plasticulture on an acre of their land.  How cool is that!

What is Plasticulture?

Simply put, plasticulture is the combination of two words, plastics and agriculture. It is defined as the use of plastics in plant and animal agriculture. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, and it is worldwide in scope. These plastic products have numerous purposes. In short, plastics make agriculture more productive and efficient by cutting costs and saving time. They also conserve precious natural resources, such as water, nutrients, fossil fuels, and many forms of energy, especially sunlight. In some cases, plastic can be used to limit sunlight and retain moisture, especially in arid regions. Plasticulture also reduces competition from invasive weeds and insects.

  I found some pictures that might give you a better idea than I am able to do here.

It been  a beautiful day.  Sunshine and temperatures in the 60's.  The guys worked on removing trees from the field where the new pasti-culture will be installed.  Everything has to be ready to go in two weeks so they have been hard at it.  I still can barely wrap my mind around just how huge this garden is going to be.  Looks like its going to be one heck of a summer!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Little Towns and Small Cities

When I say we are out in the country I am not exaggerating.  There's a little town about 10 miles from here that has a small hardware store, a local owned grocery and a convenience store.  That's about it from what I have seen so far.  The grocery store reminds me of the family owned ones we used to shop in when I was a kid.  We were in there the other day just checking out what all they carried.  That was the first time I noticed that people seem to move at a slower pace here.  No one seemed to be in a hurry.  There were two little old ladies chatting in front of the meat section who were so involved in conversation they didn't realize that they were blocking the aisle. It was kind of like walking into a movie set from the 60's. 

  Over at the convenience store, while waiting in line, I learned that there is a Pie Lady in town.  She was taking orders for fried pies that she would make on Monday morning and deliver Monday afternoon.  Once again no one was in a hurry.  It took me almost 10 minutes to get checked out but now I know there is a Pie Lady!

There is a bigger town about a half hour away that has most of the things that you can't get in the little one.  They even have a ChinaMart Superstore.  It's probably half the size of the one I used to shop at.  While I was in there checking things out last week I struck up a conversation with a lady.  She was fussing about the prices and looking for bargains.  She lives way out in the country too.  She also told me that about once a month she goes to the big town of Paris, Tx to do her bulk shopping. Paris is about an hours drive from here. Apparently the ChinaMart there has much better prices and they don't have a food sales tax.  I had never thought about that before.  Being from Texas I have never paid sales tax on food.  I didn't even realize that other states did!  Sorry guys! 
Folks around here tend to do their shopping once or twice a month.
Just running out to the store isn't an option for us anymore.

And you know what?  That is just fine with me!