Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

                                                                   ( picture courtesy of

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Ramblings

  It is hard to believe it is already Memorial Day weekend.  Where in the world does time go?  It has been an interesting 3 months here at our host's homestead.  When we first got here the weather was still on the cold side and now its worked its way to hot.  Not as hot as Central Texas but enough to qualify as hot.  Especially the last week or so.  It's finally creeping into the low 90's some days.
  I'm feeling a little "homesick" this weekend as it has always been one for great BBQ with good friends.  Now that I think about it, we haven't had a cookout since we got here!  Weird for grilling has always been a weekend ritual. 
  I'm sure that the menfolk are glad that all those trees and treestumps  that had to be removed were done back in March. Sure wouldn't be a good time right now to have to do that sort of work! Neither would building the vegetable stand.  It won't be long now before some of the vegetables will be ready to begin harvesting.  The garden has really come back well after the hailstorm we had a few weeks ago. Most of the melons and some of the squash had to be replanted but it was still early enough in the season that it was still possible thank goodness.  Mars and John planted around 300 tomato plants and 300 pepper plants after the storm.  They are all looking pretty good.  Most everything recovered and is looking good.  It looks like our host's harvest should be a good one after all. 

  Mars is building a new rabbit hutch for the "dinner rabbits".  It's coming along well and is being made from mostly wood recycled from around the homestead.  I have to give the man kudo's for his carpenter skills. Of course he's got years of experience and knows what he is doing but I still find it fascinating to watch.  One day, soon I hope he will be using his skills on our own place. 

  I'm still waiting to hear about my disability checks.  Apparently there were some blood tests that Social Security didn't receive when I transferred my case from Texas to Oklahoma.  I had already had them sent to the Texas office but no one seems to know what happened to them during the transfer.  It really threw things back a bit as they are the most important determining factor in my case.  They couldn't locate my files in the computer.  Apparently, because my diagnoses was made back in 06, they were put into "hard" storage rather than into their computer.  The good news is that the files have been found and are in the process of being received and reviewed by Oklahoma.  Bureaucratic BS abounds.  It shouldn't be too much longer now.  I certainly hope not anyway as things are getting really tight here.  

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Wonderful FoodSaver

First thing I need to do is to apologize for my post yesterday.  Somehow I erased the first paragraph and a half.  I didn't even realize it until late last night.  Sorry for any confusion there. I figure I will just leave it as is for a reminder to self... Self check your dang posts twice silly!

I found an article I wrote awhile back over at the American Preppers Networks Forums.  Its a great place to find some good prepping information as well as a great place to find answers to most anything.  The folks there are wonderfully friendly and there are no "dumb" questions other than the ones you don't ask.  Stop on by and check them out.  I don't think you will be disappointed.

I love my FoodSaver. My hubby bought me mine as a Christmas gift. (I know, he's romantic like that! ) Truth be told though we both really wanted one and they were having a sweet deal thru the survivalblog last year. (And free shipping)
There are tons of ways to use one of these wonderful tools! The one most people are familiar with is the use of bags to freeze meats, veggies, fruits, anything you want to keep air out of.
I had to flip my freezer recently and found several packages of different meats I had put up last year around this time. Still as good as the day it was sealed!
Our FoodSaver came with two rolls of bags, a vacuum hose, a wide mouth jar sealer, and a large and small canister. Well it wasn't long before I discovered how expensive the bags can get. I'm pretty particular now about what I use my bags for. But the use of jars really started getting my attention. If the lid's are good and you get a good seal you can put up all sorts of stuff. I use my old canning lids for this and they work just fine. It also recycles those old lids.
Just think, you can open a fresh can of coffee, pour it in a jar, seal it up and it will retain its freshness. We don't drink alot of coffee ( I know....weird ) so vacuuming it makes good sense.
If you looked in your fridge right you have an onion or peppers or some veggie in a plastic ziplock? You know you do. I use jars to seal up all those type things up in jars and set them in the fridge. They last at least twice as long stored in jars. I hate tossing out fresh veggies because I didn't use them fast enough.
Another wonderful thing to store with the FoodSaver is cheese. I hate it when my cheese starts to mold. Put your bulk cheese in jars and vacuum seal them after each use. You would be amazed at how long cheese will keep like that. With no mold either! I even put up my leftovers in jars and seal them. Again, they keep longer.
I use jars to help with food rotation as well. I have buckets of things stored and when I need to get into some them, I don't really need the whole bucket. So I will fill a jar with dry milk,yeast, or sugar, or salt or "fill in the blank" and reseal the bucket. Then I vacuum the jars after each use.
Eventually you run short on jars!
So here I was using all my widemouth canning jars for storing dry goods. I didn't have (and still don't) a small mouth jar adapter. It set me to thinking. I went surfing the net and finally found a solution. And not just ANY solution. I found a way to not only seal my smallmouth jars, but almost any jar that has a rubber gasket for a lid. Like your spaghetti sauce jars, jelly jars, peanut butter jars. Anything with the rubber seal on the lids. It doesn't matter what weird size lid it is. Even Pace picante jars with their weird shape can be used. The secret is......the large canister that came with my "package" deal. You can buy these separately at their site. You fill your recycled jar, put the lid on it, place it in the large canister and vacuum the air out of the canister. Release the vacuum and take the jar out. The lid should be concave and sealed. It works great and I don't have to forfeit my canning jars. Just be sure to check your jars for a good seal while doing your pantry check. I have found that sometimes,even when using regular canning jars, they sometimes loose their seal. Therefore, I recommend using bands on your vacuumed jars. You don't want a surprise when you go looking for that jar of dried carots!
There are tons of other uses for the FoodSaver, but I will save that for another time!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Little Known Obama Care Approved Liberal Procedures:

Little Known Obama Care Approved Liberal Procedures:

1. Thin Skin Grafting: Yes, tou too can have Obama-like thin skin. Medicare approved thin skin grafting ensures every patient they can whine and cry anytime they are challenged--just like our president!

2. Deer Eye Transplants: Inspired by Janet Napolitano, the deer-eye transplant guarantees the patient will have that 'deer in the headlights' look 24/7! Deer eyes are not functional for normal activities, so stay away from this procedure if you ever find yourself having to actually read a bill.

3. Disc/Spine Removal: This is the perfect addition for the patient who wants to bow to everyone he meets. Commies, dictators, sworn can bow, bow, bow...just like our president! Spine removal helps the patient to meet pressing problems by naming commissions, panels, and perfecting the use of the word 'blue ribbon.'

4. Journalist Muscle Relaxer: This 'journalist-only' procedure ensures that when stories of White House corruption pop uo, your hand won't. The mega muscle relaxing operation renders the right arm as saggy as a wet noodle. No way will your hand ever go up.

Hand Knit Wool Socks, Bisrolls, and No Bake Cookies oh my...

  Well, around that time I went through a "down" period.  You know the ones right?  I was having a case of the blues that I couldn't seem to shake.  And so this dear sweet lady decided that she would make those socks for me to lift my spirits a little. Is that not one of the nicest things you ever heard? I have not met Mushroom in person yet but I am looking forward to spending some time with her someday soon.  I am happy to have met her and even happier to call her my friend.  Thanks for brightening my day and more importantly for brightening my life Mushroom.

  Some of you know that I cheat when I make bread.  I have a bread machine and I use it all the time.  I have caught alot of static about my machine but  decided awhile back that I don't care!  I have been using it for a year now and if my memory serves me correctly I have bought store bought bread only twice. Both of those were purchased while in the middle of moving. Well yesterday I had a loaf in the machine and then...tragedy struck!  A power surge caused the dang machine to stop and then it wouldn't reset. Now I know I could have dumped it out and finished the bread by hand but it was already past its second rise when it decided to "reset" itself to start again.  Anyway, not to be discouraged, and not wanting to have the oven fired up for the 40-45 minutes it would have taken to bake a loaf, I improvised. They turned out kind of like a cross between biscuits and rolls.  They tasted fine but didn't "rise" to the occasion.  I think I will call them Bisrolls!

  In keeping with the theme of not wanting to heat up the trailer I made some No Bake Cookies as well.  Its the first time I have made them and I was pleased with the outcome.  Even without having wax paper they turned out pretty good.  Another recipe for my rotation!
If anyone has any No Bake "sweet" recipes they would like to share they would be appreciated this summer! It's officially to hot to bake.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Texas HoldEm

Have you ever played Texas Holdem?  It is probably one of the most interesting poker games out there.  I started playing a few years ago and absolutely LOVE the game.  There is alot to be said for the game.  And in a way its like a life primer.  The same rules can be applied to both. And the strategies can be quite similar.

We all start out with the same amount of chips.  It's how you take care of them and work with them that make the chips grow.  Some people are just better at holding onto them than others. Sometimes you have to be quite creative to make your chip stack grow. And of course, the object in the end is to hold all the chips isn't it?

You must always watch your position on the board.  You need to know where you are in relation to where and what you want to accomplish.    If you play out of position your odds of winning are not always as high.  As in life you should always try to be aware of just exactly where you are are. Is the time right to make that choice- that decision?  Would it be better to hold back a bit and wait?  Is this the proverbial Being in the right place at the right time? Remember - Position is a key to power if you just learn how to use it.
This goes hand in hand with betting your position. Sometimes where you are in life determines the decisions you make. If you are in a good place to make a move don't be afraid to take the opportunity.

Watch your fellow players.  Learn to "read" them. They will show you how they play if you are patient enough to watch and learn.  Knowing how others will act and/or react will give you an advantage in many situations.  Watch their body language, their tone of voice, how they hold their cards. (and how they deal with life)

In Texas Holdem when someone "looses their cool" its called going on  Tilt. This is something you need to avoid at all costs. This is where mistakes are made because you have let emotions get in the way of the game. Playing with a cool head will always be advantageous.  When someone goes on tilt you can use their crazy thinking to your advantage.  As in life, little things learned about others can teach you volumes about how they will react in some situations.

Unless required to do so NEVER show your cards. It keeps the competition guessing.  You don't want to show them what you were playing with.  This would give them an advantage in "reading" how you play and how you bet.  You don't want to give your opponents any ammo to use against you, because in poker as in life you can bet they will if given the chance. Always leave them wondering!

Bluffing is not cheating but you better be pretty dang good at it to come out ahead of the game. And if you get caught you have to be ready to pay the consequences .

Remember that pocket pairs may not always be as good as they appear.  Sometimes cards (situations) that you think are sure to be winners will be your downfall.  Play these cards with caution. Remember that sometimes you have to admit that they weren't as good as you first thought they were.

Sometimes it is better to "check" than to make a bet. You don't always want to let others know that you have a decent hand.  You want to keep them in the game with you if you can.  Remember, you're in this to win. Sometimes it is possible to "bring them along" with you  which means more money in the pot.  If you aren't sure where on the board the card that can beat you is, try making a "feeler" bet to see if you can flush it out. If someone has a better card they will probably play with you.  Its an easy way to find out who can beat you and you can adjust your hand (life) accordingly.

Don't chase cards.  Odds are if you don't have what  you need to  "make that straight"  you aren't going to get it.  Getting a gut shot straight is pure luck and can never be counted on. Chasing cards is is like continuing to hope that everything will work  out even when you already know there's little hope of it doing so.

Admit it when there is no way you can beat the board.  Folding is not always a bad thing. It is actually a smart move when you know there is no good outcome.  Besides, you  want to stay to play another hand right?

Some say that a good player will only play about 2 out of every 10 hands.  You should never try to play every single hand.  Be patient.  Wait for the right opportunities to come to you.  And when they do present themselves, identify them and be ready to move on them.  Don't let them pass you by because you weren't paying attention.

And there you have it.  A few tips that just might make playing this game we call life a little easier.

Monday, May 24, 2010

BP Sucks

Please take the time to read this one.

Frustration mounting over BP delays, lack of progress in Gulf of Mexico oil spill

By David Hammer, The Times-Picayune

May 23, 2010, 9:50PM
jindal.jpgView full sizeMATTHEW HINTON / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser points to an oil-covered pelican in Barataria Bay while talking to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal about the oil from Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday. VENICE -- On a Sunday of expanding coastal destruction from the Gulf oil disaster and little progress in containing it, frustrations bubbled to the surface from local and state leaders in Venice to federal officials in Houston and Washington, D.C.
Parish leaders and Gov. Bobby Jindal emerged from an afternoon strategy session at a Venice fishing harbor to complain about a lack of urgency from federal agencies and BP to address the oil washing into coastal marshes day after day.
Jindal said he supported a decision by local and Jefferson Parish leaders on Grand Isle on Saturday to commandeer about 30 fishing vessels that BP had commissioned but hadn't deployed to lay down protective boom as the oil came ashore.
The normally dispassionate Jindal even joked that he would go to jail with the mayors of Grand Isle and Jean Lafitte if federal authorities tried to stop them.
More than 65 miles of Louisiana's shoreline has now been affected by oil, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- more than the total sea coastline of Delaware and Maryland combined, Jindal said.
Meanwhile, in Houston, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar blasted the British oil giant for consistently missing deadlines it had set for shutting off the massive well leak still spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day.
"I am angry and frustrated that BP has been unable to stop the leak, " Salazar said at a news conference following hours of morning meetings with the company. "We're 33 days in, and deadline after deadline has been missed."
Salazar specifically cited the company's slow schedule for employing a "top kill" to block the oil spewing at the well head 50 miles off the Louisiana coast.
The plan is to use two 6-5/8-inch hoses to blast 16.4-pound-per-gallon mud into the choke and kill lines of the failed blowout preventer, in hopes of stopping up the four-story-tall device through which the oil is flowing.
Salazar noted that BP had originally promised to kill the well May 18. Five days later, it had planned to do it again, and then put the procedure off to Tuesday.
Now, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said Sunday afternoon, officials expect to wait until Wednesday to conduct the top kill, allowing engineers enough time to run tests.
As the well kill has been repeatedly delayed, rumblings have increased that BP is more interested in saving the expensive and potentially lucrative well.
U.S. Geological Survey Director Marcia McNutt bristled at that suggestion, calling on the gathered media in Houston to combat those perceptions.
"When it comes to containing flow or killing the well, whether you're a member of BP, others in the industry or the public sector, we are all united in wanting the same result. We all want to kill this well and stop polluting the ocean. We are all on the same page with that."
BP spokesman John Curry said Sunday the company plans to explain the top-kill process further in the coming days. He said it's still possible the company will need to shoot junk, in the form of golf balls and other debris, into the blowout preventer after the mud, and then follow up with more mud to completely stem the flow.
With each criticism of BP and the federal government's inability to force the company to move faster when oil is spotted coming ashore, local officials have started to clamor for President Barack Obama to federalize the disaster response under the Oil Pollution Act.
But Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, the national incident commander, reiterated on the Sunday morning talk a message he's been sharing almost since the disaster struck April 20: Industry, and not the federal government, has all the resources to deal with the leak 5,000 feet below the sea and as it comes toward land.
Baratariapelicans1.jpgView full sizeBOB MARSHALL/THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Oil from the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico seeps into a brown pelican nesting area in Barataria Bay on SUnday. Thousands of pelicans, along with some terns, roseate spoonbills and herons, are nesting on a series of small mangrove and grass islands on the eastern side of the bay. The fear is that if Obama federalizes the response and supplants BP, not only will it be more difficult to get the company to pay for the response efforts, but the federal government may not have the capacity to get the job done.
Landry of the Coast Guard instead announced that the federal agencies would double their oversight teams in hopes that more people will be able to push BP to muster resources in the right places as oil comes in.
Landry criticized BP for allowing some equipment that could aid in efforts to block or clean up the spreading oil slick to sit unused, even as oil is washing up onto the Gulf Coast.
"There is really no excuse for not having constant activity, " Landry said.
Landry, who spoke with members of the media after an aerial survey of the oil slick, said she had to pressure BP to use equipment and boats that had been prestaged in areas near the western edge of the oil slick. Some of that equipment went unused, in part because workers had been taking breaks because of the heat, she said.
BP was told to hire additional work crews to ensure equipment was not sitting idle, she said.
"Our frustration with BP is there should be no delays at all, " Landry said.
Of Jindal's complaint about a lack of urgency from federal agencies and BP, Landry said: "There is a sense of urgency, and there has been since day one. We have not backed off on this since day one."
The disconnect between state and federal governments was clear as Salazar trumpeted 1.73 million feet of boom and more than 1,000 vessels deployed on the front lines, while Jindal complained that during a boat tour of oiled coastline Sunday he saw only two vessels trying to protect the shore.
Jindal said 143,000 feet of boom sat in staging areas while oil damaged 65 miles of Louisiana coastline. It has been 20 days since the state asked for 5 million feet of hard boom, but only 786,185 feet of hard boom has been delivered so far, he said.
Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, along with Jindal and other parish leaders, said the White House's first priority should be granting an emergency permit to skip federal environmental reviews and allow coastal parishes to follow their 3-week-old plan to place dredged sand as berms between barrier islands so oil won't get into delicate marshes, something that wouldn't require any change in BP's role.
"The president has the authority to issue an emergency permit, " Jindal said.
"This is proof that the parish plans work, " he added, pointing at a picture of sand berm in Fourchon laid by Louisiana National Guard troops in four days that kept oil out of an estuary.
Then he pointed to a picture of a oiled pelican at a bird sanctuary on Cat Island, off the coast of Plaquemines Parish, unable to fly or swim because of the oil, and another picture of pelican eggs discolored with brown gunk, saying: "This is the danger of not acting."
Jindal said the state identified "remote sites" away from the oil spill to dredge the sand for the berms and provided those to the Army Corps of Engineers a week ago to address the agency's concerns about churning up oil in the protective barriers.
He also said the plan has the benefit of providing lasting protection against future hurricanes.
But an angry Nungesser said the Coast Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and BP have been unwilling to listen.
"I am so disappointed in the agencies and BP that this continues to happen, " he said. "We are working a plan and we are going to save our coast, but not with the help of the agencies that are standing in the way."
In a crowd of angry parish leaders, no one was angrier than Nungesser. He said he wasn't buying Allen's explanation of why the federal government couldn't take charge of the whole response immediately. He called out Allen personally for what he called a lack of leadership from federal authorities.
"He needs to step up to the plate and be a leader, " Nungesser growled. "How has he not enacted every option at this point?"
As frustrated as local leaders have been with the federal Stafford Act that governs FEMA's response to hurricanes, they are even more bewildered by the response structure created by the Oil Pollution Act.
They say their response plans have been stymied by a circuitous command structure that makes it difficult to get their ideas and concerns to anyone with any authority.
"One frustration is the amount of time it's taking them to respond, " said Jindal, who said that parish presidents would report oil coming ashore, but at times had to wait 24 hours for BP to respond because they needed to get higher-ups at the Coast Guard on the case.
"The parishes may get a sympathetic response from their liaisons at the (Unified Command Center), the Coast Guard liaisons, the BP liaisons, but those liaisons don't have the authority to get things done."
Jindal's suggestion was to have the Coast Guard place commanders with responsibility of directing resources in each of three vulnerable bays: Timbalier Bay in Terrebonne Parish, Barataria Bay in Jefferson and Plaquemines parishes and Breton Sound in Plaquemines Parish.
Meanwhile, Jindal said he would increase the use of state resources to "fill in gaps in the barrier islands." He said the state already has a permit for one dredging project, and it has another 40 projects under way using National Guard helicopters to drop sandbags or build Tiger dams.
As the oil came to Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle's shores, he said he thought of circumventing federal law and dredging himself, but thought better of it.
"You don't know how bad I wanted to go as a pirate and take that dredge and start blowing sand, " he said.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard's Landry said a panel of government and academic experts has been convened to establish a firmer estimate how much oil has been pouring into the gulf.
The government is also preparing an "armada" of research vessels to monitor the impact of the oil, as well as the chemical dispersants being used in an effort to minimize its effects, Landry said.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Landry were to meet with BP officials Sunday night to discuss a government directive ordering the company to use "less toxic" dispersants in the cleanup.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Adventures and a Sunbeam Mixer

Well if you can believe it Mars actually went into Little Big Town with me today!  I think he's been off the Pioneer Living Homestead two times now since we have been here.  He's quite comfortable not dealing with the stores and the people and the traffic and such.  Like there is any traffic here!

I was once again reminded how different our lives are now.  I can with all honesty say that I don't miss Big Town one bit.  The hustle and bustle, all the crowded stores, the traffic that even during mid day is oppressive to say the least. The chemtrails that lace the skies daily there are more uncommon here.  Oh they are still here- but not every single day with layers upon layers raining down whatever poison they are spewing. We both are breathing better here as well.

We stopped in a Little Little town on the way to L.B.T. and had lunch at a little cafe.  Special of the day... Chili Dog (homemade chili with cheese and onions) with Fries and a drink.  $3.49 Not bad huh?  This is the first time we have been  "out" to eat since we came back up here from Texas. While we were sitting there watching the locals and enjoying a meal neither of us had a hand in cooking, we ran out of tea.

Oh and I don't know about where you are but where I'm from they don't ask if you want sweet tea or unsweet. It's unsweet and you add your own sugar. Here they actually asked!  I thought it was "interesting".  Anyway, I digress (again) .  The cafe started picking up while we were sitting there.  We ran out of tea and the waitress was busy.  I walked up to the counter with our glasses to see about getting a couple of refills, holding both glasses in one hand.  And NO not by the tops - by the bottoms.  Well out of the blue the lady at the counter asked me if I might be looking for some part time work. I guess I must have looked at her a little oddly because she said  "I see the way you carry glasses.... we could use a waitress who had some experience".  Apparently there is a shortage of "seasoned" waitress's in Little Little Town.  But then again there seemed to be a lack of customers as well!!  First time I've ever been offered a job I wasn't looking for.  And all because I can carry a couple of glasses!  Yet another reason to love small town living.  Oh and least I forget... I was wearing one of my customary Texas Longhorn tee shirts on top of it all!  These Okies are pretty cool.
We got into Little Big Town just after noon and drove over to the other side of town  (insert snicker here-took all of five minutes) to have one of our propane tanks filled. Between heating water on the stove and all the baking I have been doing lately we cruised right through that bottle in just under 3 months. The only reason I mention it is that in Big Town that same bottle would have lasted all summer.  Anyway,  we pull up and wouldn't you know it... they closed at noon!  We had missed it by about 15 minutes.  No worries though.  I told Mars I would just have to get it the next time I went to town.  About that time a guy walks up to see if he can help us.  I guess he works for the guy that owns the place.  No problem he says. "If you have the exact $$ I can fill it for you but the cash drawer is closed".  Amazing! And I'm still wearing my UT tee shirt too...

The only other thing on our to do list was to check out the thrift store for some books for Mars.  He's already gone through the last 5. Well as luck would have it I spied a garage sale, hit the brakes and went to check it out.  End result - Box of Books $3.00. Oh and that really cool old Sunbeam mixer in the picture?  $2.00 and it works great!  I just couldn't help myself.  I have always wanted one and so now there is one more appliance to find a place for in this tiny RV!

So for some this may have been just another trip to town, but for us it was a great adventure day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fuzzy Butt

I'm taking the day off folks.  I'm in a funk and don't want to spread that stuff to all of you guys.  No one wants to hear it, so you're safe for the day.  I'll be back to my old self soon I'm sure.  Just tired of bad news on top of bad news! So before I show my fuzzy butt.... Check back tomorrow!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Potato Soup?

Would you look at the size of this potato?  I think it's probably one of the biggest I have ever encountered.  That's not a plate it's sitting on either....that's a 5 gallon bucket! We could eat two or three meals from that monster.  I've been trying to figure out what in the world to do with it.  I'm thinking I could make a whole pot of potato soup with the thing.  Hmmm.... anyone have a good tater soup recipe?
 It is raining cats and dogs here today.  We have probably had a good 3-4 inches so far and its still coming down.  I don't even want to think about what all has been water damaged in the "storage".  I've been trying to get things put away as best I can so I guess we shall see how it all ends up. 

My friend Mapdude and his lady went to look at another property for us.  I really like the looks of this one.  Approximately 8 acres with water, electric, and phone lines to the property. The lands pretty level as  well. Tons and tons of trees too.  Tons of ticks too from what Mapdude told me. Owner Financed and the price is right.  It's out in the boonies too.... We have been looking at property on line in Arkansas for a couple of years now and this one is probably has the most potential yet.  We shall see.... We will definately be looking at this one when we go up there in a few weeks. It's my first time buying land so I'm a bit nervous.  I wish I knew the ins and outs a bit better but its not Mars' first rodeo so I'm sure we will be fine. Here are some pictures they took of the place if your interested.

The Gulf Coast oil spill news just keeps getting worse and worse.  There are alot of questions that should be answered but no one is talking. 
BP and Coast Guard Threaten to Arrest Journalists for Covering Oil Polluted Shoreline in Louisiana

Coreexit is Killing the Gulf

1 Month Later, Numbers Just Get Worse

Jindal: The Day We've Been Fearing Is Upon Us

This thing stinks of something much bigger than "just" an accidental oil spill.  Call me crazy if ya want... wouldn't be the first time!! I read a comment on Ye Old Furt's blog that has haunted me and still does.
 The last sentence read
 ..."If the ocean dies, we die.  They may have killed us all."                                                                   Coyote Prime

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rabbits and Stuff

Miss Kitty made her first successful rabbit hunt yesterday.  She brought up a 3-4 week old jack rabbit to the yard.  Mars took it away from her but it was to late.... she had already played it to death.  The noise that cat made until he gave it back to her was pretty impressive.  Now if she could just up the size on the rabbits she brings home we could be in business!  Speaking of rabbits, Mars has been "remodeling" one of the hutches for John.  One of the girls is getting ready to kit soon and needed her own place.  So he is building new doors and nesting boxes on the hutch.   All the material is recycled from around here so the only cost on the project is his time.  It's looking good don't ya think?

Have you been cooking with your long term food storage much lately?  Once in awhile I like to just check it out and see what I can come up with.  Last night we had a great Pasta Salad.  The one "fresh" ingredient used were radishes from the little "herb" garden and a bit of onion bought in Little Big Town.
All other veggies were from my dehydrated stash.  Carrots, celery, tomato's, and green peppers. A 5 ounce can of chunked ham, some baby shell pasta and a bit of ranch dressing.  I will definitely be making this one again.  So what is one of your go-to meals from your long term food storage?

I recently became aware that thrift stores in different parts of the country vary greatly.  Mars and I are both avid readers. Him more so than me.  The man can zip through 300 pages in a day easily. And once a book is read he won't ever read it again.  Yes, he retains things well.  Anyway, I have always used thrift stores as one outlet to "feed the book beast".  Until now.  I was in Little Big Town and finally located a couple of thrift stores.  Imagine my surprise when I found first of all that there aren't many used books to be found and secondly that they price books differently here.  I have a few thoughts on that but most are pretty much better kept to myself.  Wouldn't want to offend the locals!  I found a few books and went to the counter to ask how much they wanted for them.  The man told me that the Big books were $2.00, the medium sized books (novels...etc) were $.50 and the little books were $.25.  WTH?  They price books by the thickness?  I suppose there are things in this world I may never understand and this is definitely one of them.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sheeple To The Nth Degree

If you never believed that there are people out there who are so brainwashed that they believe Obama personally pays their welfare checks to them check out this clip. This takes sheeple to a whole new level.. OMG  I cannot even begin to tell you how this type of thinking just blows me away.   Our public school system cranks them out daily apparently.  With this sort of  thinking it is no wonder the state of Our Beloved country is under attack.  This is what the  PTB strive for... this level of ignorance?  Well it certainly worked in this case!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Hail From Hell

Thursday started off like any other day.  Unfortunately by late afternoon things took a decidedly bad turn.  A storm brewing on the horizon began to trek directly towards us here.  Strong wind and rain soon followed.  And then, the hail.  At first it wasn't really too bad (for hail anyway) just some pea size hail.  And then suddenly it morphed into a nightmare.  Golf ball size hail fell furiously for the next few minutes.  Mars and I were in the RV ,which took a pretty good pounding, just knowing that it was decimating the gardens.  And that it did.
John and Carrie lost alot of their garden. He thinks its wiped out.  I hope hes wrong.   I am trying to stay optimistic. Most all of the cold weather crops are gone.  The broccoli, cabbage, etc...  I feel horribly for them and can only hope that most of it will come back.  Everything took a beating.  We spent yesterday out there with scissors snipping off the broken branches and limbs.  I suppose we will know in the next week or so exactly how much will pull out of it.  I'm praying that the loss ratio will be less than what he expects.  I suppose it is in God's hands now.
I can't begin to say how deeply sorry I am that this has happened.  They have worked so hard and have had such high hopes for a productive crop this year.  And now... I don't know. 

One of the melon plants last week....

And today they all  pretty much look like this....(notice all the holes in the plasticulture)

The bell peppers before......

And after....

The tomato's......then

And now.....

I'm sure the beans and the all the varieties of peas will be ok. As to the rest?  I just don't know.
Oh and just for a little "added bonus" we were storing some of our things in a tent as this trailer is pretty small....

Notice the clothes on the line?  Yep.... they were in there too.
This picture was taken out our window... As you can see hail pretty much covered the ground.

I would ask that you all keep John and Carrie in your prayers as they try to recover from this devastating stroke of nature.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Acts of Kindness

You know, I still find it amazing that in this virtual world we are lucky enough to find friends, acquaintances, and like minded people.  In this way I have been blessed.  I have "met" people from all walks of life and for the most part have been blessed by that.  Not that the virtual one doesn't have its share of ugliness and pettiness.  I suppose that is to be expected as well.
There have been many people that I have never met (and probably never will) who have deeply touched my life and my thoughts.  Others who have reached out with a kind word and a  (((Hug)))) when I needed one most. Folks who's words of encouragement have given me back my optimism about life.  I have been lucky enough to meet some of these people in person as well.  I have never been disappointed in meeting any of them.
Some of you know that we are currently staying at the Pioneer Living Homestead.  Their hospitality has been a blessing for us.  You can't find folks more down to earth than J&C. They have found their "place in the dirt".  And that is our ultimate goal as well. To find our own piece of dirt and our version of the American Dream.
That dream, for us, is a large one but not all that complicated really.  Just a piece of land where we can raise a few chickens and rabbits, grow a garden to sustain ourselves and grow new roots.  Neither Mars nor myself have grandiose ideas.  We are just fine living in our little RV especially if it were sitting on our own little piece of land.  Which brings me back to where I started this post.
A friend from the American Preppers Network chat room did an amazing thing for us last week.  Now first let me say that we have never actually met in person although I hope to someday soon.  We have been looking online for property for months and months now and found some land that we wanted to go look at.  Due to a shortage of funds at the moment we aren't able to go and look at it just yet.  Well, to my surprise and delight MapDude and his wonderful wife CntryJewell volunteered to make a drive and go look at the property for us!  They took tons of pictures and looked over the land as if they were the ones interested in it... Asked all sorts of questions of the realtor and gave us honest opinions on what they had seen.  Now let me ask you this.... Just how many people do you know that would do that for someone they had never even met?
And then there is my buddy Wolfe.  He's a computer whiz and a wonderful web designer.  This man has been volunteering his time and knowledge helping me start a website out of the goodness of his heart. I haven't been working on it lately but I know that when I am ready to move forward with it he will be there for me and will do what he can to help me be successful.  We will probably never meet in person as he and his lovely wife InnerRain live in Canada but I am proud to call them friends.

I have made real friends in this virtual world and feel blessed to have done so. There are so many that to name them all would be difficult.  I have learned much in the time I have been online and continue to meet wonderful unselfish people.  There are some who don't even know how much I admire and respect them and the things they share with us all on their blogs.  And so to all my "virtual" friends and acquaintances...  I just want to say.... Thank you for being there as well as here in my heart. I am truly lucky to know you all.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Gulf Of Mexico

I have been avoiding the subject of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  It is painful for me to think about the destruction of something so close to my heart, much less write about it here for everyone to see.  Maybe I have been waiting for it to hit my beloved Texas coast and until it did I wouldn't have to admit how horrible the damage really is.  I've been thinking though that it isn't a matter of IF it happens but when. The oil has now begun washing up on the Mississippi and the Louisiana coastlines.  Dolphins are washing up on the Mississippi shoreline and wildlife and aquatic life will be  affected for years to come.  That beautiful coastline will be a virtual dead zone for many years to come.  The Valdez Spill twenty years later is still felt in Alaska.

The long term effects of this spill are yet to be realized.  Already people are losing their abilities to make a living.  There will be a backlash of economic devastation to areas already hit hard in this part of the country.

The shrimpers and fishermen are already feeling the effects of this disaster.  What will become of them when they can no longer sail the coastlines to make their living?  Many of these folks have lived on the water for generations. Made their living from the sea. It is a daily struggle for many of them to eek out a living even during good times.  The hours are long and the work is hard.  How will they survive all this?  I don't have any answers... only an underlying feeling of despair for what is about to befall these good hardworking people.

And what about all those who depend on tourists to make a living.  I'm not just talking about the hotels and restaurants and charter boasts and businesses that depend on tourism to survive. What about the little guys?  The bait shop owners and the boat rental places?  The mom and pop stores that cater to those who come for a little fun in the sun?  Those little motels and RV parks,the bars, the fresh fish markets, most of which are family owned and operated? And then there are the good folks who make a living working for those businesses.  The waitresses, cooks, dishwashers, oyster shuckers, and even bartenders?  The maids and motel clerks?  You see, there is a far reaching effect that alot of people don't even consider.  If there are no tourists there are no jobs for thousands who have catered to the industry for years. How will they be able to stay afloat when there is no "floating" to be done?  

I spent the first half of my life on the Gulf coast. I spent countless hours on the beaches and in and around those waters as a child and a young adult.  I've lived all up and down the coastline of Texas and even spent some time in Louisiana. Now I wonder if I will ever be able to wade fish for flounder and redfish again. Or toss a cast net for bait?  Or eat oysters fresh off the reefs armed with a good knife and a bottle of  Tabasco.

Of course most of this has not yet come to pass.  Unfortunately, I believe that it is only a matter of time.  Fishing and Shrimping have already been affected and I feel it is only the beginning. There is no way that that much oil spewing out into the Gulf will not have adverse reactions on the people and the creatures of the sea. 

(image from Google Images)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Homegrown Tomatos

  Ain't nothing in the world like homegrown tomato's. 
This has always been one of my favorite songs as well as a favorite musicians.  Hope ya enjoy it!  Have a great day.....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Prepared for Disaster?

We had some serious weather here in Southeastern Oklahoma yesterday. The National Weather Service reported about 10 tornado's touched down.  Five people are dead and dozens of injuries have been reported. Lot's of people are still without power today.  Heavy winds, rain, and hail.  Everything you need for a recipe for disaster.  From watching the radar we barely missed some sheer force winds.  We were lucky.

One thing became quite clear last night.  I am not prepared for this type of emergency.    We don't have television here, which used to be my first source of information for bad weather. The FM radio stations here did a poor job of covering events and I was unable to pick up a decent AM station.   We do not have a NOAHH weather radio.  Trust me, its on the list now. (At the top of it) And lastly, even though we did not loose internet connection throughout the evening- I had no idea where to find more detailed information than the ability to watch the radar. That I can fix.  I can be more informed for the next time.

I have always been freaky about weather.  It probably stems from my grandmother and my mom both being  weather watchers.  Growing up on the Gulf Coast hurricanes and squalls were common events.  As far back as I can remember when there was bad weather the women in my life would be glued to either the radio or the TV and would ride out most storms without getting up except for the personal call of nature.  Ok that's an exaggeration, but not by much.
For the last several years I lived in Central Texas. We lived just down the road from Jarrell, Texas when one of the worst tornado's ever reported demolished the entire town in 1997. The weather for miles around was chaotic that entire afternoon and evening.  The fear of another F5 tornado striking in the area was a real one. Several smaller tornado's were reported that day as well.  One of which touched down less than a half a mile from where I worked at the time.  There were 20 confirmed tornado's that day. We were informed and had evacuation plans.  Others were not so lucky.

I suppose what I am trying to say here is that I should have been prepared this time and sadly was not.  There is no excuse for that.  There is also no excuse for not being more prepared the next time something like this occurs. We were lucky this time.  We might not be so lucky in the future. This is why we prepare.  I learned a valuable lesson yesterday.  Things could have gone horribly wrong.  We dodged the bullet this time but might not be so blessed the next time.  Are you prepared for a natural disaster where you live?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Dehydrating Eggs (DIY)

Being the cheap errr.. frugal person that I am I am always looking for a less expensive way to do things. I was checking out dehydrated eggs on line last year and was amazed at how expensive they are. So I set out to find a cheaper less expensive way to do them myself. The #10 cans go for around $17.00 and have on average 80-90 eggs per can.(plus shipping) That's about 7 dozen eggs. Which comes out to a little over $2.00 a dozen. Pretty expensive don't you think? And so I set out to try my hand at doing my own. Now let me add my disclaimer right up front,ok? The USDA does NOT recommend doing this at home. 

Drying your own eggs is quite simple really.  There are two ways to do this. Most people who do their own scramble their eggs first and then dry them.  I personally don't care for the re-hydrated flavor.  Maybe it's just me because I'm pretty picky about my scrambled eggs.  I like mine on the softer side of scrambled and cooking them first just doesn't work for me.  So I decided to try doing them raw.  This method works for me because I can use them for more things than the cooked ones.  Including making soft scrambled eggs! 

The method is simple.  Beat your eggs really well and pour into your fruit roll up trays.  My trays will hold 6 eggs each.  Turn your dehydrator up to 165 degrees and let them dry until they are done.  Mine take an average of 16-18 hours.  When they are done they will be hard and all pretty much in one big piece.  You have to sort of  "pop" them out of the trays.  They will be hard and yet a bit  "oily"  to the touch.  Then I put them in the blender (because I don't have a food processor) and powder them up as finely as possible.  I store them in glass jars and seal them up with My FoodSaver.  A quart jar will hold about 3 1/2 to 4 dozen eggs.  I have some that I put up last September and upon checking them today I found they are still good and storing well.  To re-hydrate them I use one tablespoon of egg powder to two tablespoons of  water.  Let them re-hydrate for about 20 minutes and stir well. 
You can use them for scrambled eggs, omelets, dredging chicken and other fried foods and baking.  When using them for baking you don't need to re-hydrate them.  Just add the powdered eggs to your mix.
Some of us aren't able to raise chickens and so this is a great way to add eggs to your food storage.  And for half the price of buying them online.  When SHTF eggs will be a nice addition to anyone's food storage.  Even if you don't have chickens!!
Sorry I don't have a picture of our breakfast this camera batteries are dead. And yes, I need to stock up on more batteries.... hey... it's on my list!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

DIY Smoker on the Cheap

Mar's finally couldn't stand not having some sort of smoker.  As I have often said in the past we do most all of our spring and summer cooking outdoors.  It's just to hot to cook indoors, especially in an RV.  When we moved we didn't bring the old smoker with us.  It served us well for several years but the fire box was beginning to rust out.  We did bring some of the parts though!  We brought the grates and the door (which has a working temperature gauge) because you just never know when you might have a need for something like that right? 

So what can you do with a smoker door, some concrete tiles from the old patio, and an old metal trashcan with a rusted out bottom, a bit of old sheet metal and a some ducting pipe? 

 Pretty ingenious isn't it?  And it works well too!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Okie Heaven?

I was going to post yesterday but something my Mom used to tell me made me rethink it.  She always said if you don't have something nice to say....well then just don't say anything!  And so I didn't.  What a difference a day can make...

  Oh and just when you think old cowboys are all rough and tough....  they will turn around and bring you wildflowers. Pretty aren't they? 

    When we moved up here I opened a checking account over in Little Big Town.  No big deal really although they did want my drivers license and something to prove my address.  Ok , got it... no problem.  I recently received a letter from them which said that they didn't have the information on record and to please bring it in so they could have a copy.  Excuse me?  You had the information.  What happened to it?   Where did it go?  So now they expect me to rush right over and supply them the "required" information.  Needless to say I am in no hurry to do anything except move my paltry little account to another bank.  If they can't hold onto my information how the heck am I supposed to let them hold my freaking money?  GRRRRR

    John and Mars had helped the neighbors with some field work and helped load up a cow for market last month.  Today he comes to the door bearing what appears to be about 50 pounds of beef.  Man you just have to love country folks!  T-Bones, chuck roasts, arm roasts ,hamburger, sirloins and beef ribs.   Oh, and John tossed in a fryer rabbit as well.After watching "Food, Inc." I feel much better knowing where all this actually came from.  If you haven't seen it- you really should.  I've also got a couple of dozen fresh eggs in the fridge.  I've been wanting to make a pound cake with a recipe I got from MMPaints  Man,  I think we died and ended up in Okie heaven!!!

I made spaghetti and meatballs last night for dinner.  I cooked the sauce all day and I have to say it turned out to be some of the best I've ever made.  Sorry I don't have a recipe though.... it just sort of evolved into a good thing.  Served with fresh spinach and garlic toast it was wonderful. 

Mars has built us a smoker.  We are both really into outdoor cooking and have been missing the old smoker we left back in Texas.  I've got some pictures and will get them posted soon.  Pretty ingenious actually!  I can't wait to show ya'll!

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's a beautiful day here with temperatures headed to about 85.  We didn't get the rain that was predicted for the weekend either.  Well it rained a little but not enough to skip watering the garden.  I'm sure glad the big garden has its own watering system or we would be having to water 24/7 and its not even hot yet!  The radishes are ready!! And boy are they good. 

Speaking of water... have you heard about the water outage in Massachusetts?  They are actually  fighting in the stores over bottled water.  This should make you consider what would happen if SHTF where you are.  It also is a great reminder for us all to keep on prepping like there is no tomorrow.  Hey who knows what tomorrow will bring... and if it brings something bad how ready are you?  It might be a good time to do a little inventory and see what sort of holes you might have in your preps.  And then work on plugging some of those holes up as best you can.

Our little "herb" garden is doing well. Only its not much of an herb garden at this point.  Some things didn't come up and so Mars has been putting other "things" where they were.  So there are now some squash, cantaloupe, brussel sprouts and who knows what else he's put out there.  It will be interesting to see what we end up with.  The tomato's are doing good.  When we plant tomato's we start by burying about 80% of the plant.  It makes for some really sturdy plants.  As there seems to be a lack of "pollinators" around here Mars resorted to being "IT".  You just take a q-tip and lightly touch around the flower and then touch the next one... and so on and so on.  It works!  Another thing to remember if your tomato's are blooming is to water at the base of the plant.  You don't want to "rinse off" the pollen!

The oil spill in the Gulf will most certainly hurt the environment for months if not years to come.  If you like those little cans of shrimp and crab and other seafoods it might be in your best interest to stock up on them now while you can  A. Still find it and  B. Still afford it.  Just a thought.

Hey... I'm just sayin.....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Brownies and Down Time

   I try to post regularly... I really do. Its just that sometimes I just needed to take a little time and "regroup".  I've been feeling a little burned out lately and just needed to take a couple of days off.  A 9 x13 pan of wonderfully delicious brownies later I am feeling back up to my old self!  (recipe is at the bottom of the post)

  To my surprise when I logged in the first thing I noticed was that there are missing links and pictures that were there just the other day.  I don't know how or why but it seems strange to me.  Especially since all the missing pictures and/or logos are preparedness ones.  Has anyone else noticed anything like this?  I am in the process of re-posting them so bear with me.

  We have baby tomato's!  I'm so excited.  It's like the spring version of Christmas  every year to see the first of the veggies bearing fruit.  A precursor of things to come soon.  This year will certainly be different as we are lending a hand at the Pioneer LivingHomestead.  It won't be much longer now and things will be in full production in the garden.  With that comes the harvesting and canning and drying of vegetables.  I've never been involved in a garden this size before and so it should be quite a summer.  The vegetable stand is coming along nicely too.

On another note, I received a great award from my friend char_char ! Thank you so much!
"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…"

I'm passing this along to:

A Homesteading Neophyte
Self Sustained Living
Double Nickle Farm
Coffee With The Hermit
Small Farm Girl

   I didn't have the confectioner's sugar and so opted for no frosting.  I also doubled the recipe since my 8" pyrex dish was broken in the move.  Dang.... to bad I had to make a whole 9x13 pan.  :)

Best Brownies  (All Recipes)


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
  4. To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.