Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday, Oct 25

 I have a habit of pretty much wearing my "heart" on my sleeve sometimes with this blog. I always have. I've been told that sometimes I just share to much about things that some consider personal.  Maybe I do... I don't know.  I've just always believed that if I can talk to you like I would a friend then maybe I could reach out and help someone along the way.  It's hard sometimes. Hard to find a way to reach folks who don't understand what it is to be a prepper. Hard to shape the words in such a way that just might enable someone who has never even thought about what it might be like to find their world suddenly upside down. And it is sometimes even more difficult to express what sort of challenges lay ahead.

We try (as preppers) to find the words that might make someone conceive the importance of devising a plan for you and your family that will work for you when things get tough.  And they ARE going to get tougher.  Are you ready? Is your family ready?  Can you do  what it takes to ensure your family's well-being?

It is difficult enough just to "BE" a prepper.  It carries responsibilities, not only for yourself but for your family and the ones you care about. Food, water, medical supplies and protection all have to be assembled.  Not only that but once they ARE pieced together one must have the skills and knowledge to put them to the best use possible. These things cannot be learned or taught overnight.  It is an ongoing process, a way of life. A predisposition for survival is not only required but will be absolutely necessary in the coming days.

Sometimes I feel that it would just be easier to quit.  Stop the preaching and begging and pleading for folks to just be ready for what is ahead.  To focus on family and  preps.  But there is another part of me that can't seem to walk away. And believe me when I say I have wanted to lay this down many times. But we need to keep sounding the alarm, to forewarn and forearm those who have not yet started to prepare.  Time is drawing short and there is still much to be done. I know that we are not as far along we would like to be right now. None of us are. There are so many things left to do.  We are living in interesting times. Prepping isn't something that is ever "finished". It becomes a way of life.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Puttering Around

Funny how time just flies sometimes. Finding the time for blogging doesn't seem to be on the top of the list right now.  I have to admire those of you who can keep it up as regularly as you do.  It seems that the longer I'm out here on our little slice of heaven the less time I seem to have for it.  Then again, I know that I've got to take advantage of these beautiful days while I can, because winter's coming and there will be much time for blogging then.  Anyway.... I hope you will bear with me for awhile.  I'm still winging it around here and the learning curve is larger than originally thought. (Go figure, right?)

As is the way of things, we've found a couple of surprises out in the garden.  It looks like some of the pepper plants might have survived the early freeze.  Last week we got out there and cut away all the frozen parts of all the plants .Well just the squash and peppers but.... anyway.  Not all the pepper plants were even worth messing with but there are a few that just might make it with some proper care.  It's probably too late for the squash to do much but amazingly enough some of it is now flowering.  The yellow squash has actually produced a few nice ones.  I'll keep my fingers crossed but anything we get from them now is a bonus.

   I know it sounds funny to say this because of having that super early spring, but I think we just might push for all squash to go in for a late summer/early fall garden.  I've still not seen one single squash bug on these plants. I'm thinking it just might have something to do with the temperatures but I need to read up and find out.  Plenty of time to check it out this winter.

  We are slowly getting the empty parts of the garden "put to bed" for the season. This might take awhile! LOL!  We'll also be going down to the neighbors for some more of his "mature manure" in the next few weeks.  Lots more to do in the fall around here (even without much of a garden left) than I thought. I don't know why that surprises me. 

The new doe is settling in well and she was bred this past Sunday. I'll keep an eye on her and my fingers crossed.  I'm not positive she's pregnant but will know soon enough!  She's still skittish, having been raised in a breeder barn but I'll have her literally eating out of my hand soon enough.  She might be a bit nervous now but I've got time.  I check them all twice a day anyway and have been stopping to talk to her and try to gentle her down some.  I might be crazy but I want my breeders to be tamed and as easy to handle as possible.  It might make it a little harder when they have to be "culled out" down the road but for the time being we are gong to be spending way to much time together for her (or any of them) to be to wild to handle.

There is so much around here that just didn't get done during the summer because of the heat. (The lack of a truck didn't help much either.) I haven't even touched the list of things that I need to get done out in the barn.  It sort of became the catch-all in the past year. Not that I didn't expect it to since so many of our things are rotated in and out of the RV. It might be messy out there right now but at least everything is under cover and I pretty much know where most everything is. (Except for the two boxes of winter clothes that contain my long johns n stuff.) The goal will be to get it all organized over the cool months.  We'll see how that goes.

There's so much more to talk about but I've run out of time for now. I've got pepper jelly and pickled peppers to can today. I've been procrastinating on getting them done.  I've been putting it off and putting it off but if I don't move soon I'll end up loosing the peppers.  That ain't gonna happen!  We are out of bread so I need to remedy that as well.  OH NO! We are out of cookies too.....hmmmm...... Cookies just in time for a cool front moving in.   <(~@~)>

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

First Freeze of Fall and a New Doe

The shock of the weekend has finally worn off.  We had more record breaking weather around here. ( Honestly, I could do without it- what ever happened to normal? )  We had two mornings with temps down around freezing here.  That's not supposed to happen for another dang month!  Needless to say, I think most of the squash is toast.  Same for the okra, beans and peppers.  I really hate that.  We were starting to get yellow squash, acorn, patty pan and butternut.  It seems the squash bugs don't care much for the cooler temperatures.  We hadn't had a single one munching out there.  I was SO excited.  Now, not so much....  I know it's just one of those things that happen but I sure was hoping for some sort of fall garden.  Of course now that the damage is done the weather is back to normal and will probably stay that way for awhile.

 I was able to put up another 10 pints of pickled peppers the day before the freeze. Then there was picking all the bell peppers that had started coming back after all that heat this summer.  I ended up with one and a half 5 gallon buckets  of them.  Most were still pretty small but I'm cutting them all up and drying them.  It's been a good year for the peppers. I've been able to dry several quarts of bell peppers and will have two or three more once I'm done with them.  I've put up sweet n spicy banana peppers, pickled banana peppers, banana peppers and jalapeno mixes, jalapeno slices for nacho's, whole pickled jalapeno's, habanero's . and all sorts of variations of them all.  Oh and hot pepper jelly too.  I was sure hoping to be able to make some more of that this year. 

I went today and picked out another doe.  There's a woman down the road a ways that has quite a business selling rabbits, chickens, eggs.turkeys, milk and meat goats and who knows what all else.  She's got a cool place and was happy to show me around.  I almost came home with some guinea chicks but common sense prevailed at the last minute! LOL  I'd really like to have some guinea's but we aren't set up at the moment to take care of chicks.  I'd need to rig up a light and a cage for them and I'd want to have that all good to go before bringing home more critters.  The doe is a nice looking rabbit, good coat, eyes ears, nose etc.  I was happy the lady had this litter ready to go.  They all turned 5 months old today so I should be able to start breeding right away.  I feel like I'm so far behind where I wanted to be at this time.  BUT everything happens for a reason.  I just never seem to get the memo!

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

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Rising Prices/ GMO Alert

Wow, talk about a change in weather!  We got down to just above freezing for the past two nights.  It looks like some of the squash took a bit of a hit.  It's not too bad and I'm hoping it will bounce back.  The weather is supposed to get warm again after tonight. I guess it will give me a little time to drag out the winter garb.  I sure could have used my flannel pj's last night!

I had to go into Little Big Town to do some grocery shopping and hit the Feed Store for chicken feed.  The feed cost has gone up almost a dollar a bag again this month.  The grocery shopping was just as depressing.  Prices are rising rapidly and I just don't know what folks are going to do in the coming months.  I'm trying to do all I can to stock up now but I'm feeling more and more like it just isn't enough.  I guess we are all going to just have to ride this one out to the end.  I sure wouldn't mind being able to do a big bill of groceries though.  I'd like to think that I'm pretty good at planning  out my shopping trips.  I know what I'm going to get before hand.  I usually know (within a few dollars) how much I'll spend.    Prices have already risen enough that I had to "trim" my frugal list.  All I keep thinking is that this is just the beginning....

There was a study put out a few days ago concerning GMO corn that I found horrifying. Have you seen this?    

(NaturalNews) Eating genetically modified corn (GM corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto's Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death. That's the conclusion of a shocking new study that looked at the long-term effects of consuming Monsanto's genetically modified corn.
The study has been deemed "the most thorough research ever published into the health effects of GM food crops and the herbicide Roundup on rats."

"Scientists found that rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females."
 It goes on to say: "The animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. The researchers said 50 percent of males and 70 percent of females died prematurely, compared with only 30 percent and 20 percent in the control group."

Nice huh? Did you know that over 80% of all corn in the US is genetically modified? Some say that the percentage is even higher.  This stuff is already in our food chain. It is in widespread use all across the country.  The FDA doesn't even require that it be labeled.   Russia has stepped up and recently said they will no longer buy GMO corn from the US.    
California is trying to get legislation passed to require that all foods containing gmo's be labeled. For once I think we might just follow their lead.  

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Over

I was just looking at the calendar and realized that, other than garlic, the planting season is done here for the year.  Wow.  Time flies when you aren't looking! It's over... Until January of course!  Then we can think about next spring.  Those babies you see in the picture are now starting to lay eggs.  I still can't get over how cool it is to have babies born right here on our place.  I'm looking forward to more.  I'm still hoping for baby bunnies and to add a couple of goats eventually!
I almost started fussing at myself when I started to think of all the things that I "could" have planted this year.  Then I figured it's best to be grateful for all the wonderful food we HAVE grown this year.  

Besides, next year can only be better.I will have to admit that all in all I think we did quite well for our first year here. Even though the garden  was the largest either of us have had in the past, it produced well for the first year. Much was learned out there this gardening season. 
  I wasn't able to put up as much as I had originally hoped to.  Much was learned about that too. I just know that next years canning will go much more smoothly and much much faster with the high pressure propane stove my mom sent. (Thanks MoM!)  I need to be sure to tell her one day that she gives "good gift".  Always has..  LOL
The good thing about a new garden is that with proper care you know that next year will be even better as the soil improves.  Shoot, in a couple of years we might even get all the dang Bermuda and Johnson grasses out of it.  (Yeah, I know.. Dream on right??  lol )

 So in looking back  I must say that was some of the best money we've ever spent (other than a tiller of course) on the garden. The system that Mars put together worked great all summer.  The irrigation tape is rated up to eight years too so I guess we'll wait and see just how right or wrong that is.  And so for around $2oo we have a watering system that should last for a few years.  

Of course there are smaller parts involved that might need to be replaced in time but that is to be expected, heck all the valve parts are plastic.  The parts are pretty inexpensive (read cheap here) but have to be ordered by mail if they are needed.  If you would have told me 5 years ago that I could get so excited over something like a $200 irrigation system I would have straight up laughed out loud.  Funny how things change over time isn't it?

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