Sunday, October 30, 2011

What Would You Say?

I'm getting really tired of the sun finally creeping up at almost 8 in the morning.  It just doesn't seem "right" to wake up and realize that the morning is already half over.  Of course there is always the other side of it too.  The sun doesn't set till just after 6 right now.  I always have trouble adjusting to the sun setting an hour earlier.  But even so, I'm always happy to see Daylight Saving Time come to an end.  So next weekend time will go back to normal and I for one will be happy  to set my clock back to  "regular" time.

  The North East got pounded with a freaky snowstorm that has dumped up to two feet of snow and bad weather on millions of people.  This is an unheard of thing to be happening so early in the year.  Millions of folks are out of power and they don't know when they will be back online.  Wow, I sure hope that folks were ready for it.  Those who have prepared for an emergency will be fine, but I can guarantee that most of those millions out of power WEREN'T ready.  THIS is one of the main reasons that folks sould be prepared.  Think about it.  Would you be able to stay warm in your home without electricity?  Would you have some sort of lighting?  Being cold AND dark sounds like it would really SUCK, ya know?  Would you be able to prepare a few meals?  Would you even have meals to prepare?

 I was chatting with a new prepper just last week who is struggling to get her husband to see that prepping is something they needed to be doing.  I know it is a prevelent problem among many preppers.  Those folks who know that they need to be doing something and yet their family (especially the "significant other")  can't or won't listen and just doesn't understand the need.  I always feel blessed that I have never had to deal with that situation.  Mar's has been "awake"  for years and for that I am grateful.  While chatting with this nice lady the other day she said that during hurricane Irene she had actually hoped that they would get hit with some of the weather, be out of power for a bit.  I know that sounds extremely odd to some people but I totally understood what she was saying.  If they were to actually "experience" an emergency situation then maybe she could make him understand how important it is to be prepared for a disaster. 
The reason I bring this up today of course is that monster of a storm that hit the North East last night.  I was thinking about this woman and wondering if they are going to be ok during all this.  I'm pretty sure that the "emergency" that she was hoping for is upon them now. The electric companies are saying that they have no idea when they will get the power back on for the millions of customers sitting in the dark.  And I wonder if that nice lady I was chatting with the other day is going to use this "weather event" to help her husband understand why she wants to be prepared.  And of course I wonder if this will be the "event" that will make him "Come over to the Prepper side". 

Another problem she said she was having was that if she bought something for "putting away" that the kids and the husband would eat it all up. I was joking with her and told her to start with basic bulk stuff like beans, rice, oats, sugar, flour...etc.  That way they are going to have to learn to cook if they want into the preps!  Maybe once they get used to seeing those bulk items in the pantry, an extra can of tuna or ham might just make it.  Having no experience with a partner who isn't into prepping I sometimes find myself at a loss as to what to tell them. 

I try so hard to make new preppers feel welcome in the chat rooms I go to.  Most all of us do.  The more who are prepared the fewer we will have to worry about later on.   I know she was new to prepping.  She had all the "earmarks" of a new prepper. The problem I have (and this is just me I'm sure) is that I never know exactly where to start.  Everyone is at a different "level" of understanding and I don't want to come off like a smart azz or a know it all. (Or like know nothing AT all) I feel like I have a responsibility to help if I can though.  I've seen people who come off like they know all the answers and actually scare off people who are interested or just beginning to prepare.  It makes me want to reach out and just smack them upside the head.  Folks who are just starting out are usually nervous, vulnerable and looking for a place to begin.  Personally, I think that I have a responsibility to help when I can, not "show off" and talk down to folks who are looking for answers. 
 I have a question for the folks out there that are already prepping.  How do you treat a new prepper?  Do you feel the need to kind of take them under your wing? Or do you just wish them the best and move on? 

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

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writer's Block?

Sitting here this morning with my coffee, I watch the rain fall gently as I enjoy the fall colors out my window.  I love mornings like thisIt's quiet and just a little cool out but I am armed with coffee and my fuzzy slippers.  I tend to put the day on hold for just a bit longer on mornings like this.  

I've been avoiding talking about what all is going on in the world around us lately.  Not exactly like me to keep my mouth shut but things have escalated to such a ridiculous level that even if you only listen to your TV and radio you can't deny that things are a mess. A quick glance at the headlines would (and should) tell you that things are spiraling out of control.  I'm done with the preaching.  Tired of trying to tell folks they need to be preparing to take care of their families.  If you cannot now see what is in our future I am not convinced that I could make a difference anyway.  
So....  I find myself at a crossroad.  I have been struggling with the thought of shutting down this blog.  There are tons and tons of prepper sites out there these days with more information than I can give here. There are great homesteading blogs that can teach people more than I have the knowledge to do. It seems all I can do is repeat what I have said in the past. The good news is that there has been a real awakening around the country in the past couple of years.  It gives me a bit of hope that somehow folks ARE beginning to see where we are headed. As a matter of fact I was really happy to see an article on  the Drudge Report yesterday that there has been a huge rise in the number of folks who are beginning to become preppers.  

So the question is.... do I really want to quit blogging?  The answer is obviously no or I would have done so already.  From the number of posts I've made in the last 2-3 months it is obvious that my "passion" for writing has changed.  There have most certainly been other things that I have had to concentrate on around here.  Getting ready to "do winter" in an RV in NE Oklahoma is the focus right now.  And of course the homestead calls for daily attention.  Heaven knows there is always something that needs to be done around here.  Believe me, I am NOT complaining.  I think I am happier here than I've ever been.  It is a dream come true for me.  It just doesn't leave as much time for writing at the moment. As someone said in a comment recently winter is on the way and that will certainly leave more time for blogging. 

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

Friday, October 21, 2011

" There is only so much you can say about prepping before you start repeating yourself.  It is the "doing" that will save your butt."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Sales

I've been working on preps as I can around here.  I hope you all have too.  This time of year you can pick up some good deals if you just pay attention. And next month most of your baking stuff will be on sale too, take advantage of the seasons. 

I've been drying onions this week since they have been on sale.  We eat onions in most everything and it irks me to no end to 1)  be out of onions  and 2) pay close to a dollar a pound for them.  So when I can find them on sale I will chop them up and dry them.  I'm hoping we will grow some next year but until we do at least I know we won't be out of them.  I've had folks tell me that it was cheaper to just buy them dried but I don't know.  I can get 5 lbs of onions on sale for under two dollars and it will make almost a quart of dried minced onions.  I can't touch that price if buying it already done for me.  Besides, I'm cheap.... errr frugal... and I like to do it so for me it's a winning situation.

I don't know if you have heard it yet but Jiff peanut butter announced this past month that they are raising their prices by 30% real soon. Other companies said they will follow suit.   So if you are a peanut butter lover like we are here, you might want to try and stock up on some.  I got lucky this past weekend and hit a 12 hour sale that had good peanut butter on sale for .99c a jar.  Of course there was a limit of 4 on them but I didn't let that stop me from heading back a couple of times!  The biggest surprise was when I got to the register and the kid asks me if I had a coupon for them.  I asked him if I needed a coupon for them and he told me no, but that he had coupons that he'd been told to give to customers.  Long story short I was able to get those .99c jars for half that!  Two for a dollar with the coupons!  Peanut butter cookies anyone?? 

Another good deal I ran across was on bacon.  I don't know about where you are but around here bacon prices are through the roof.  Getting up to $4.00 a lb.  So when I saw that 10 lb box of nice looking bacon for $15.00 I knew I was going home with it.  LOL!  Now I wish I had been able to afford more of it! 

 Anyway...  the point is that if you get a chance to stock up, now is the time... get it while you can!  Food prices are soaring and will only go higher.  What you stock up on today will be sure to cost more in the coming days.  Get ready for it folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride.
     ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Letter


I found this story and  just had to share it with you all today.  It touched my heart... 
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so, and she dictated these words:

Dear God,
Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.
Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.
Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, 'To Meredith' in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, 'When a Pet Dies.' Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Dear Meredith,
Abbey arrived safely in heaven. Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away.
Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.
Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love, God

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Can I KeepThis Weather Forever?? Please???

Yet again I have let days flow past with no thoughts at all of blogging.  The weather has been just gorgeous and I am truly enjoying this Fall season.  It is all new to me, this distinctly different season that folks in places other than Texas call Fall.  I am loving it!  The leaves are changing their colors but haven't begun to drop yet.  The rabbits are putting on their winter fur and gaining a bit of weight now.  I think they are as happy as I am that it has cooled down.  I was starting to worry that I might loose them in the heat this summer.  It is about time to see if we can "hatch" us some baby bunnies before it gets too cold.  It would be nice to have a few rabbits in the freezer this winter. 

The few things that I have growing in the garden seem to be doing well.  We've had some rain over the past couple of weeks that has really given it a push too.  I know that I haven't really been as involved in the garden as I could have been this summer/ fall but I really haven't had the time (or the weather) to devote too much time to it. I think the main thing I wanted to do was to just see how things are going to grow here in this dirt I now call my own!  Come spring we will get serious about the garden, but for now it's just kind of been an experiment and I really didn't have my hopes set to high on getting a lot out of it.  The soil needs some work but the "bones" of it are good.  It's a bit sandy here and so we will be working in some organic materials to help with holding the moisture in a bit better.  For now though, I have okra coming in (finally), turnip's growing nicely, radishes, chard and kohlrabi.  I also planted some late bush beans that are just now starting to flower.  I'm not giving much hope on getting many beans from them but they can only improve the nitrogen in the soil! 

I am elated to tell you that the roof is on the barn!  We couldn't work on it this past weekend because of the wind, but it died down on Monday and now we have ROOF!!  I'm overjoyed, and now I can start to get some things that have been on the back burner all summer done. All things happen in their own time I suppose.  I'm hoping to have some pictures up soon but I have to get that done on Mars' computer since I'm still missing the cord to my camera.  My guess is that it is in one of the boxes that need to be moved out to the barn.  I'm still looking....
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday Already

We've been puttering around here working on a few of projects, one of which of course, is the barn.  It's slow going but it IS going!  Since it's basically only one person working on it sometimes the work seems to be going slow.  But it is coming along just fine. One last section and the roof will be done!  It just needs the tin on it now.  The problem is that wind and those big sheets of tin don't really go well together.  The tin just want's to take off sailing!  I'm not sure but I think the wind is supposed to die down in the next few days.  Until then, there are plenty of other things to get done around here.

Part of the plan is to use some of the old cedar trees that need to be cut down for poles for the corners of the chicken coop. It's time to get them cut now since coop building time is coming soon!  The coop will be built on the right side of the barn, using the side wall as part of it.  I'll take pictures of it as it goes up.  Hopefully I can get them posted here eventually...

There was a sale last week on arm roasts at one of the local stores here.  Nice looking roasts for $1.99 a pound.  Now I don't know about where you live, but around here beef has been over $3.00 a lb all summer so to see some at that price was great. I picked up 10 of them and wish I had been able to afford another 10.  I'll use these for all sorts of things, besides your standard roast.  Stew meat, chili meat, stir-frys, etc all come to mind.  I do know that I feel better having it in the freezer.  Beef is going to be a real treat soon with the rising prices in the not so distant future. I've really been trying to get our freezer full before that happens.  It makes going into the winter feel much more comfortable!  

I am hoping that by this time next year we will have vegetables from the garden dried and canned for the winter, rabbits and chickens in the freezer (and maybe goat too) and eggs from the chickens as well.  Wouldn't that be an amazing thing! 

Speaking of goats, it seems the more I read about and research them it seems the less I know.  Seems they can be as complicated or as easy as the persons writing the articles. It almost makes me nervous to attempt to raise them. But I really want to be able to have access to fresh milk and to learn to make goat cheeses.  Cow's are out of the question here as we just don't have the room or resources to raise them and so goats just seem to be the natural choice.

I'll keep reading and Mars will keep working on a place for them.  We were able to get some field fence for the pen area that is in the plans.  I sure wish I knew how to show you all what we have planned as far as the lay out of it all.  Maybe I should have tried learning how to use "Paint" so I could "draw" it for you.  Oh well, another skill that probably won't really be necessary in the coming days.... LOL !!!

There is so much going on in the world right now.  Things that should have us all concerned. It seems to me that things are starting to get more heated up and more ready to spill over into some sort of sticky mess.  Like when you are making jam and it starts to get hot and the bubbles start creeping to the top of the pan, threatening to boil over on your stove and leave a mess that takes much hard work and elbow grease to clean up.  Yeah, that's the feeling I'm getting from the overabundance of bad things going on all around us.  The list is much to long to go into it all but folks, things are getting ready to become interesting and getting closer and closer to home. Stay alert, pay attention and prep like you have never done so before. 
      ~~~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~~~

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I know it must seem I have faded off into the sunset lately, but I really am still here.  I've been kind of regrouping and getting over the heat of the summer while taking advantage of the beautiful fall weather.  We have been working on things around here and trying as best we can to get ready for winter. I've also been considering the path that this blog has taken and the path that I myself am on. Blogging had to take a backseat for awhile. To be honest I haven't quite known what to even write about anymore.  Burnout?  Maybe.

   Since the beginning of this blog my focus has mostly been on prepping for the uncertain future.  Lately I've had to do some serious thinking about the way things have changed for us.  Why? Because now my focus has turned in a bit of a different direction.  I haven't tossed in the "prepper towel" but am now having to do some serious adjustments.  Funny, I never even thought about the changes that would naturally have to take place once we finally got to our "destination".   I've been so focused on "getting there" I needed to take a little time to get it through my head that things will be forever different now.  A dream has been realized and a new stage of life has begun.  I know it sounds silly but .... there is a big difference in planning it and actually doing it.  Now, don't read anything more into that than there is.  I'm ecstatic to be on our land.  The prepping focus has naturally had to change a bit.  Heck my whole life has taken a "bit of a change"!! 

Some of you are probably thinking "Wow, It sure has taken her awhile to get used to the idea" but you have to realize how long it has taken to finally get here.  And once here all the things that had to be done so we could actually live here comfortably.  Without Mars it would have been impossible.  His being a "jack of all trades" has saved our butts tons of money we didn't have.  From fixing a well that had a pump stuck down about 80 feet and hooking up the water, digging ditches for the waterlines and installing them, wiring up the breaker box for the electricity and hardwiring to the house, locating the "lost septic tank" and getting the lines dug and hooked up, clearing land and tilling up garden spaces, and working on turning an old falling down structure into a real barn.
Things are settling down into a sort of a routine now that all that has been done.  Of course there are still at least a million other things to do, but I don't mind. We are finally on our own land and that is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
I guess what this post is really about is apologizing to you guys for not having posted more lately.  Sorry for the rambling ......

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