Saturday, April 28, 2012

So Out Of The Loop....

I am hopeless, apparently.
I spoke to an old friend by phone last night, and in the course of the conversation she asked if  I had watched the latest season of a popular t.v. show. I told her I had "heard of that show", but had never watched it.
She was aghast.
I didn't watch the Academy Awards...I saw the names of the folks nominated and the movies...but the only movie I went out to see last year was "Contagion".
When I see a celebrity's name in the news...I usually don't know who they are talking about. I do know the name Kim Khardasian, but only because her family pimps out that girl everywhere. (And I read about her in that "Rent a Celebrity" story earlier this month)
I watch ONE network tv show...."Grimm". Fantasy escapism, but done well. I watch "Bones" and "House"...but in reruns on AMC, TNT and USA networks.And only watch if it is an episode I haven't seen yet.
I have even backed off on watching History Channel and stuff like that. Just don't have the time anymore!

The only young actress I know the name of is Mila Kunis...and that's because she was on "That 70s Show" and in "The Book of Eli". Lindsay Lohen...never saw anything she was in, but I saw many news reports about her court appearances.
Other than that, I don't know the name of anyone in "Young Hollywood".
I am so out of touch.
The Girl and The Boy in residence can name dozens of actors and actresses. They think it is funny that I have no clue about anything concerning "modern pop culture".
I am totally clueless.
I can't operate an i-pod, i-phone or whatever "i" thingie is most popular right now.
My video game expertise ended with Tetris.
I can't figure out lap top computers. I have the same old clunky desktop I have had for years.
Fashion? I am more liable to laugh at the latest fashions rather than want them.
Cars? Latest models don't impress me. I would rather have a beat up old pick-up from the mid 60s to mid 70s than any of the garbage I see out on the road. Everything on new cars is so computerized. Who can work on those? Remember changing the oil YOURSELF? Shade tree mechanics?
We have a clunky old tv in the living room. The Girl has a flat screen she got for Christmas last year, but I have no clue how to operate it. I mean, I understand the remote...up to a point.Off, On, Up and Down. Got that. Then there are "Video Input 1", and 2 and 3....and what the heck!?
The Oldest Daughter, away at college, has a Kindle or Nook thing.
Just give me a book! No off or on buttons, etc.
Even in the kitchen I don't go with modern appliance.
I use the microwave only about 2 or 3 times a reheat something.
No food processor. I do have a blender, though! But I use my mortar and pestle more.
I currently have a gas stove, but I daydream about having a wood stove again.
I think I was born in the wrong century.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hey, Guys...Do You Know SciFi?

SciFi Chick is a very cool lady She is living the dream on her own little parcel of land in Oklahoma with her fella, Mars.
Here's her blog, Bacon and Eggs
But even when you are "living the dream", a nightmare can rear it's ugly head....and for her and Mars, it did.
Check out this blog from Kymber over at Framboise Manor
If you don't feel like clicking...I'll put the gist of it here:
 SciFiChick has been a very dear friend to me for years. years ago she was my canning partner!!! i learned with her how not to blow up quarts of tomatoes all over the stove and ceiling. for several years now, she has been to me a sweet friend, always filled with encouragement, always a smile on her face, always a source of much laughter.

she and her husband moved out to the middle of nowhere only a year ago. the progress that they have made since getting there is nothing short of amazing. and if you want to laugh your guts out - go and see this post about her "barn" - oh that one killed me and jambaloney!!! Sci and her husband, Mars, are no strangers to hard work!

but they need our help! they need our financial help!

a few days ago, Sci flipped their truck. she suffered a few minor injuries, but her dog, BB, who was riding in the back did not, PTL! Sci and her husband live on a small, fixed income and fixing the truck, and/or replacing the truck is not something that they can do right away. did i mention that they live out in the middle of nowhere, don't know any of their nearest neighbours (who are quite far away) and that the truck is their only form of transportation?

Sci - if i could, i would buy you and Mars a second-hand truck right now! but i can't. i can, however, hit the donate button on your blog and send you $25. i know that there are few others that follow this blog that can afford a $1, $5, $10, $15 or a $20 donation. i also know that some of my friends cannot afford a monetary donation and to those friends, i request that you keep Sci and Mars in your prayers - i know that you will!
SciFi had a wreck. She is okay, but that truck was their only transportation. If you have a few extra bucks laying around in your paypal account, donate! Let's get Scifi and Mars up and running again!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ya Gotta Be Kiddin' Me!

Saw this story and just about flipped out:
Labor Dept. Wants to Ban Farm Chores for Kids

According to the article
A proposal from the Obama administration to prevent children from doing farm chores has drawn plenty of criticism from rural-district member of Congress. But now it’s attracting barbs from farm kids themselves.
The Department of Labor is poised to put the finishing touches on a rule that would apply child-labor laws to children working on family farms, prohibiting them from performing a list of jobs on their own families’ land.
Under the rules, children under 18 could no longer work “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials.”
“Prohibited places of employment,” a Department press release read, “would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

Look, as a six year old I helped my Granddaddy feed the cows and helped Nanny feed the chickens. I helped slop the hogs and played in the hay loft. At age 8, Granddaddy would let me drive the tractor!
I went to livestock auctions and saw kids my age and younger, leading their 4-H steers and sheep in proudly.
Read the article and see how many activities farm kids will no longer be able to participate in...and  think of all those family farms where kids grew up with good work ethics learned helping out their parents. Think of all the family farms that are dependent on every member of the family pulling their own weight, even the kids.
I knew a family of dairy farmers that had 6 sons. Those boys helped milked, cut and bale hay and did many other chores.Without their help, the farm would have gone out of business and the boys knew it. They took great pride in helping their dad and uncle.

This new set of regulations is an outrage. It is (in my opinion) yet another example of the federal government attempting to weasel it's way into regulating the activities of private citizens and trying to interfere in family life.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sold Max yesterday morning. YAY! The buyer is also interested in buying Gerte and Molly at a later date.
Also gave the guy a goat milking class and he did well.
I INTENDED to show him the "good, the bad and the ugly" of goat milking.
So, I started out with Champagne, who is a perfect lady when it comes to being milked. She trots over, gets in the milking stand and behaves like a perfect angel. As she always does.
So, there's the "good".
Yes, I am a GOOD goat!

Next, I get Lily. Lily, who I normally have to drag kicking and literally screaming onto the milking stand and have to have someone help me with so she doesn't kick or lay down, etc. She was going to be the "bad".
Lily trots up to the milking stand, hops up and is absolutely calm throughout the milking! Even with a stranger milking her! WTF!?
Fooled you! I was an angel in the milking stand!

Well, damn.
So, I go get Molly...the "ugly" on a NORMAL day. She has kicked me in the face, kicked the milk pail over, etc. Usually frickin' close to a rodeo when I milk her.
Nope. She is placid. Does not bat an eyelash, just hops up on the milking stand and cooperates in a manner she has never done.
Sweet, innocent ME?!? I would NEVER cause a problem!

ALL the goats acted like perfect angels!
Made me look just a little more of an idiot than usual.

I am thinking about giving goat milking and goat tending lessons. I am going to charge for giving lessons, but not too sure about how much to charge.
I figure I will only have up to 3 students per session. Saturday mornings....about 2 hours long. Each student can leave with a quart of milk that they milked maybe?
My son thinks $30.00 would be fair.
Besides the actual mechanics of milking, I would include :
Udder Care
Basic Hoof Care
Basic Feeding and Care of the goats.
When and How to Wean
What do you think?
Is thirty dollars for a two hour clinic/class fair?
Too high?
Too low?
I am horrible about pricing things, I usually under-price. But, I am afraid if I over price, no one will respond.
Help me out, much do you think I should charge for this!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Max is Sold!

Molly's remaining buckling, Max, has been sold! I put an ad up on Craigslist, and within 3 hours, I had sufficient response so I could pick and choose.
Here's Max as a newborn:
His twin brother, Morpheus, we sold to a petting zoo. And Max is going to be a herd sire! Yes, looks a little too little for that duty...but look at him now!
We didn't castrate him, as we had hoped to find someone that wanted one of our young bucks to use as a herd sire.
The gentleman that is buying him also wants a lesson in milking goats and wants to buy some goats milk  and some butter!
So, at 8 am tomorrow, I am giving an impromptu class in goat milking! I plan on using Champagne for my demo animal, as she is the best and easiest milker we have. I will also use one of our most difficult animals, Molly, so my student can see the best and worst of the goat milking experience!
I'll also show him how to filter and strain the mil and make his own butter.
I hope I do this well...the more people that know how to "do" for themselves and their families, the better!

Friday, April 20, 2012

I Do NOT Like It, Sam I Am....

I do NOT like the new blogger page and set-up. It totally threw me this morning when I found out I had been switched overnight.
Had a hard time switching my picture I put up on my blog. I try to switch that every week or so and it really made it difficult.
On what used to be my "dashboard" page, it no longer lists the blogs I follow so I can click on them and read I normally do in the mornings.
I know they have to be stashed somewhere. I just haven't found them yet.
Why do they insist on changing things when most everyone I have talked to was happy with the way it was!?
I guess I'll just have to plow back through everything and learn how to do this, arrange that, etc., until I get a handle on it.
Have you been changed over yet?
What do you think of the "new" blogger?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Left the Back Door Open...

...and got some company!
Okay, Nola...out of the window! And stop chewing the curtain!

"The gang of three" playing on the couch

Nola checks out the view from the couch

It was all fun and games, until Baby (our chihuahua mix) decided to challenge Nola. Nola is the smallest of the baby goats, but don't let that fool you!
A leap off the couch and BAM!

Baby is definitely over matched in this fight! carpet needs a good vacuum and the goats knocked over a waste basket...but those things don't matter when you have baby goats romping around the house!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Love/Hate Relationship With Online Shopping

I do a lot of shopping online. Mainly for "prepping" type supplies I cannot get locally or goat supplies.
I prefer to "Buy American" and I have found I can find so much more American-made stuff online than in local stores.
I look around on Amazon, Ebay, Etsey, and sometimes just do a duckduckgo search for the desired item.
I LOVE finding obscure items that I couldn't find locally this way. I HATE it when the shipping costs are more than the actually item!
Ebay is one of my favorite places to shop. Right now, I am going there and to Amazon and several cheese-making sites to find my cheese-making supplies.
Still, I agonize.
I really want to shop local, but when no one local has the item I need at a reasonable price or doesn't have the item AT ALL, what can I do?
I am willing to pay a bit more locally for an American made product, but the products I need/want, I just can't find locally.
Cultures for cheese-making and cheese molds are not a regularly carried item around here, lol!
After I find an item I am looking for and it happens to be on Ebay...ugh!
I end up going back and looking at it several times before I click to bid or buy on it. If it is an auction, I end up checking the listing obsessively to make sure I am not outbid.If it is "Buy it now", I end up checking the mail obsessively until it gets here!
Drives everyone around here crazy, lol!
The fella finally went and bought a Soda Stream. I put it together, reading the directions DOES help.
It is easy to use, but the sound it makes scared the bejeebers out of the dogs!
The root beer flavor (we got samples with the machine) is outstanding! And made with high fructose corn syrup! They have a lot of "natural" flavors.
But.....I am trying to get a bit more this morning I decided to make some flavors of my own....
(Yeah, I know you are thinking "Uh-Oh....")
We have a juicer. I decided to OMMPH up my morning juice with a bit of carbonation.
My carrot-pineapple juice...not bad.
Pomegranate-spinach, sweetened with a touch of honey...let's just say..... it needs work.
Real ginger with honey....REALLY good! Best ginger ale EVER!
I am sure I will have some more failures and successes... going to have to be careful with spinach in the future.
Also, if you get a Soda Stream...more carbonation than recommended...not a good idea.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a floor to mop.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Repost of an Old Blog Post

I decided to repost one of my posts from...oh dear heavens... three years ago (has it really been that long?)
Figured it would be appropriate for the season!

Cup O'Tea
No, this is not about the tea you brew on a chill morning to sip as you watch the sunrise. (I, personally, favor chai tea for that!)
This little blog is about MANURE tea.
Yes, tea made from horse, cow, goat or chicken manure.
( a whole new meaning to "one lump or two" doesn't it?)

Manure tea is one of the best things you can put on your garden.
Unlike *straight* manure, you can better control the amount of nitrogen and other beneficial minerals, organics and other goodies come in contact with your plants.

If you mix chicken manure into your garden, you may *burn* the roots of your plants, causing them to die or become stunted.
But, dump a shovel full into a 5 gallon bucket, fill that bucket with water and let it *steep* for a day or three, strain it and then you can put one cup of the *tea* per gallon of water. A *gentle* boost to your plants productivity and growth.

I prefer to use horse manure, sometimes mixed with a bit of chicken manure. The problem I have found with cow manure is many weed seeds pass unscathed through the bovine digestive tract and if you use *straight* cow manure, you will be mixing weeds into your garden soil! That will cause you problems and extra work later.

My method is this, regardless of whatever kind of manure I use:
Equipment Needed:
2- 5 gallon buckets
1 square of window screen big enough to cover top of 5 gallon bucket
Manure of choice

I put one shovel full (about 1 gallon) of manure in a bucket, fill to within an inch of the top with water. I give it a good mix or two (if you are squeamish, use a small long handle garden spade or fork, if not squeamish, use your hand and wash up well after wards), breaking up the manure as much as I can. The next day, I mix it again. Then I let it *steep* for another day.
On the third day, I put the window screening over the 2nd (empty) bucket and pour my *tea* into the 2nd bucket, straining out the solids.
The full strength tea is too strong for young seedlings, so you have to water it down. I suggest 1 cup *tea* to 1 gallon of water initially.
As your seedlings grow, increase the strength until you get to 50/50 strength.

Do NOT toss out the solids that you strained out! Use them one more time to make manure tea. After that, put them in your compost heap.

If you despair over finding manure for your garden, have no fear. Even if there is no farm nearby, there is still hope! Call your local garden Lowes, Home Depot. Wal-Mart (I hate that store, jus' sayin'), or your local garden nursery. Most carry cow manure in 25 or 50 pound bags. Just make your tea from that! If you just mix the manure into your soil, it is very expensive buying it from a garden center. But making manure *tea* is a frugal way to stretch the goodness of that manure for your garden.

Now, while you watch your garden grow, sip some chai tea and day dream about those lovely veggies...
Chai Tea Bulk Recipe:

* 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
* 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
* 1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
* 2 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
* 2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground cardamom


1. In a large bowl, combine milk powder, non-dairy creamer, vanilla flavored creamer, sugar and instant tea. Stir in ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 cup at a time, until mixture is the consistency of fine powder.
2. To serve: Stir 2 heaping tablespoons Chai tea mixture into a mug of hot water.


You may choose to omit the French vanilla creamer, and use 2 teaspoons vanilla extract instead. To do so, mix the vanilla into the sugar, let it dry, then break the sugar into small lumps. Follow the same procedure as above.

I got this recipe from

I have a much more complicated recipe for the mix I use...but I'll post that another bulk mix is more *from scratch* and doesn't use any white sugar for sweetening. I use honey.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wind Storm Aftermath

An ill wind blows no good.

Indeed, it doesn't.
At the height of the storm last night, part of one of the goat houses collapsed.
Unfortunately, that was the goat house that Ninas, Neala, Nola and Champagne and Gabby were spending the night in.
When it collapsed, it landed on little Neala.
By the time we got outside and got the goats out, Neala was dead.
I spent most of the night crying.
That little doeling had endeared herself to everyone here.
She was a delightfully friendly and affection kid, always eager to jump in a lap and nuzzle. She loved to cuddle and was our "living stuffed animal" , as she would trot in the house and plop herself on the couch to cuddle with me or anyone else that was sitting there anytime the back door was left open.
I will miss her so much.

Neala was so precious. I will miss my little girl goat.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Well, That Didn't Last Long....

The sunshine this morning? All gone.
That weather front moving across the country apparently snuck in just enough to bring us a windstorm...which equals a sandstorm here.
Check it out:
Yes, the sky is BROWN.

Looking down the street. Normally there are mountains in view!

So, I am battening down the hatches here to ride it out!Take care everyone in the storms path!

Just Now...

A few Saturday pics of The Girl having a blast with the baby goats!
Coolest "King of the Hill" contest EVER!

Looks like Nola is going to win!

Nope...Neala is victorious (after knocking the competition off)
Game over..time for goat kisses!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rent....a Celebrity?

Saw this story and started laughing
Rent a Celebrity!
So people spend huge amounts of money to have a "celebrity" come to their party.
It got me to thinking, though...what "celebrity" would I want to come to my house?
Michael C. Ruppert came to mind. I'd love to have an indepth conversation with him about the ills that have beset our country and how we can help each other through the difficult times ahead.
Also, Patrice Lewis, SciFiChick, Phelan, James Dakin and, generally, most of the bloggers I follow!
Now, I know most of them don't consider themselves "celebrities", but to me they are! They inspire me, make me think, give me ideas, entertain me and I consider them friends, even though I have never met them in person.
Ruppert is probably the only real celebrity type celebrity on my list!
I would love to sit down with any of these folks just to talk, wander out to show them my goats and other critters. Maybe bake some bread with them, or show them my new cheese making stuff.
What "celebrity" would you like to invite into your home? (I swear, if any of you mention Kim Kardashian, I will email you a smack on the head!)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Four Lost American Ideals

I strongly suggest everyone wander over to the American Preppers Network page and read this.

Also, watch this:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Another Wednesday, More Weirdness

I like doing Wednesday Weirdness.

Here's a couple more things weird about me:

1) I am allergic to country music.
Seriously. Don't laugh. I get migraines, then I throw up and feel horrible for hours.It grates on my nerves. For days after having to listen to it, I am cranky and out of sorts.I once quit a job because the management changed the Muzak from easy listening/soft rock to nasty country mixed with equally noxious country gospel music. UGH! I tried for about a week, but it was too damn much.
When I was younger and living in a 2nd floor apt., I had a room mate. He was an okay kinda guy, but he liked country music. Since only MY name was on the lease and I paid 75% of the rent, I told him he could listen to his vile music his room...wearing headphones. I came home from work one day and he was blasting some country music on my stereo. In the living room. I did what any reasonable person would do. I opened a window and tossed the stereo out.
Hey! It was MY stereo. And he had defiled it by putting that nasty music on it! Besides, I had a new stereo on lay-away. (But my room mate didn't know that).
In case you think I am the "odd man (or woman) out", not so. Three of my sons, an ex husband, my mom and a couple of friends are the same. Country music literally makes us ill. Most of us like rock, jazz, classical, Celtic (I know, country music from another country), trance, metal, etc. But country music is absolutely banned in our homes, cars, etc.

2) I would rather deal with pain than take a pain-killer. I can't stand the *fuzzy* way my head feels when I take them. I have had some serious injuries/accidents in my life, but turned down pain killers offered by doctors for injuries. Also, most of them make me a little nauseous. Strongest pain killer I take is usually aspirin. I won't take Tylenol. I know it was originally created to be a rat poison. Besides, the few times in my life I have taken it, it knocked me out. Most OTC meds knock me out. Cough syrups, sinus meds, Tylenol, darn near all of them send me into a mild sleep coma. So, I just avoid them OR substitute something natural. (Ginger & honey mix for coughs, etc.).

That's my weird stuff for the day.
In other news...
I am planning on rearranging a few things outside for the summer.
I think I am going to turn the milking does pen into my milking parlor, freeing up the patio for more patio type activities. I'll take a few pictures of the before and after and maybe the process of changing over. It makes sense to me to do this, as I can store hay and feed in the goat house there as well. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Has a Lap Goat!

We have discovered that when anyone goes outside and sits down in the patio chair, one of the kids absolutely HAS to jump up in your lap.
Neala, clambering up

Neala, jumping down

Neala on the milk stand, getting ready to leap on my lap

Nola, not sure if she should follow. She didn't.
So, now Neala thinks people are her own personal jungle gyms!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Get In Line, Ladies!

Quirky fowl behavior here at Frippery Farm!
The chickens have a coop with nesting boxes. Lovely coop, comfy boxes.
However, they all prefer to wait until I let them out of the coop and then they race to a spot behind the pallet we stack hay and feed on. They stand in line to lay eggs there! Oh, sure, I might find one or two eggs in the actual coop, but the girls consider this little area, wedged behind the feed pallet and a cinder block wall THE "perfect" spot!  One day last week, they deposited a total of a dozen eggs there!
A few eggs in the "perfect" spot

Gloria taking her turn

The line, with Pender being the bouncer. Dolores looks impatient!
The peafowl are breeding! Although Pericles is not fully mature (he is only about 2 1/2---3 years old, full plumage happens around 4 to 5 years old), he is doing his darnedest to impress his ladies!
"Check it out, Ladies!"

"Looks good, no? "

I think he got a bit tired out, lol!
And the ladies have responded! We now have a couple of peahen nests built by Persephone and Pandora...and Persephone's nest has eggs in it!
The weekend project of a new goose pen is complete:
Yes, a new home with a pool!
We went ahead and moved them in already. We carefully slid a large piece of  plywood under the nest and transported it intact to the new pen. Heloise and Xander LOVE their new pen...especially the pool! I think Heloise will continue to hatch her eggs, as she rearranged the nest and was setting the next morning.

So there's the fowl update this Monday morning!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Surprise!

The Darlin' Man came home with a surprise for The Girl's birthday (a bit late, her birthday was March 28th).
Rabbits! (and a ready made hutch to get started with)


Overhead view

Glamor shot of T-Bone

"I'm ready for my close-up"

"Why does she keep shoving that camera in my face!?"
Skillet is the girl and T-Bone is the boy. I have no clue what breed they are, but we do plan on breeding them for the purpose of having meat rabbits.
Other projects today:
Building a separate pen for the geese. Heloise is setting on 9 eggs. I am giving her a week more to hatch, if they are bum eggs, we'll move them to the new pen, if they hatch, we'll move her, Xander and the hatchlings to the new pen. I am giving her a total of 35 days for the eggs to start hatching.

Food storage Saturday! We bought some rice, quinoa, and other items for our long term food storage and today will be spent packaging it. Yipee! Love adding to my food storage!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fence Gap Equals Trouble and Headaches!

I was going to post some more recipes and some interesting (to me at least) stuff today....
Little Lilac found a gap in the fence yesterday and got out. Much to the delight of the kids getting off the school bus, they had a new playmate scampering around with them!
So...the goats are penned today as I go over the dang fence...inch by inch...trying to find where the little booger managed to squeeze out.
So...busy today, will post tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Weirdness

Since it is Wednesday, I decided to write a few of the weird things in my life and weird things about me, too.

1) I eat kinda weird. My two favorite sandwiches are: A) Peanut butter, banana and bacon on whole wheat, and, B) A whole wheat pitas filled with crispy romaine lettuce, raw sunflower seeds, sharp cheddar cheese, ham and Italian or Raspberry Walnut salad dressing.
Yeah...kinda weird. But both are so YUMMY!
Also, I eat ketchup with fries ONLY. Never with any other food. Just fries. And I rarely eat fries, so a bottle of ketchup lasts me forever.The only time I will eat a dill (sour) pickle is on a cheeseburger.And my cheeseburgers have to have mayo, lettuce and pickle ONLY. Otherwise, it is sweet baby gherkins. Which I LOVE.
The perfect hot dog for me has mustard, a little bit of raw onion, diced sweet gherkins or sweet pickle relish, and COLE SLAW. Gotta have that cole slaw on my hot dogs! Nothing else.
I only eat plain chips. No BBQ flavor, no nacho flavored corn chips, etc. P-L-A-I-N.
I like my doughnuts plain as well. No glaze, no sprinkles, no icing. P-L-A-I-N. Unless they are jelly filled. Then they can have a little confectioners sugar on them.
Picky eater much?

2) I don't watch much t.v. and what I do watch is not "the norm".
I like 3 "network" shows, but I usually catch them in reruns on basic cable or on my computer. House, Bones and, now, Grimm.
I have never watched Glee, Community, 30 Rock, or any of the other popular shows....I don't even know what they are about, except Glee is about a high school chorus (I think).
I do love Project Runway. And Doomsday Preppers. I watch a lot of shows on History Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery, Discovery Science, stuff like that. I watch Deadliest Catch. I do like watching some of the shows on the SYFY channel. And a couple on BBC America.
Same goes for movies. I love historical dramas and documentaries. My all time favorite movies are The Lion in Winter and Lady Jane. I also like really cheesy horror movies.

3) I am not afraid of snakes, spiders, etc. I used to be afraid of heights, needles and the dark....well into my 20s for height, into my 30s for my fear of the dark and I was 50 when I got over my fear of needles.
How did I get rid of my fears?
I met them face on ! I went sky-diving and bungee jumping to get over my fear of heights. I threw away my night light and forced my self to sleep in a totally dark room to get over my fear of the dark and I started donating blood to the Red Cross to get over my fear of needles. Sounds weird, but it worked for me.

There's some of my weirdness.....and if I see any weird stuff to post later today, I will!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do You Have Daughters? READ THIS!

Puberty at age 10. The New "Normal"?
This article is scary. Is it the hormones in our commercially raised beef and chicken? Is it the formula they are fed as infants? Is it the plastics that are houses are filled with? The chemicals we mop our floors with, spray on our furniture, etc.?

Read this article please!

Let's Hear It For Lentils!

Lentils are wonderful. I make them plain and serve them with a nice curry poured over them or add them to soups and stews.
If you haven't tried lentils, why not? They are fairly inexpensive and good for you. A great addition to your food storage, as well, as they store well.
From Wikipedia"

With about 30% of their calories from protein, lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp.[4] Proteins include the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, and lentils are an essential source of inexpensive protein in many parts of the world, especially in West Asia and the Indian subcontinent, which have large vegetarian populations.[5] Lentils are deficient in two essential amino acids, methionine and cysteine.[6] However, sprouted lentils contain sufficient levels of all essential amino acids, including methionine and cysteine.[7]
Lentils also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%).[8] Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods.[9] Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish.
Lentils also have antinutritional factors, such as trypsin inhibitors and relatively high phytate content. Trypsin is an enzyme involved in digestion, and phytates reduce the bioavailability of dietary minerals.[10] The phytates can be reduced by soaking the lentils in warm water overnight.
Lentils are a good source of iron

Lentil Soup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes or 5 or 6 chopped up fresh tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups dry lentils (I use green lentils for this, but orange ones or red are fine, too)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced OR Swiss Chard thinly sliced (no stems, just leaves)
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste
 In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery; cook and stir until onion is tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil; cook for around 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in lentils, and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for at least 1 hour. When ready to serve stir in spinach, and cook until it wilts.

Lentils can be used a meat substitute in your favorite chili recipe, or cooked and drained and pressed into a loaf pan to make a loaf similar to meat loaf.

Give it a try!

Lentil Loaf 

  • 1 1/4 cups  lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 6 slices  bread, torn into small pieces
  •  3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable broth or chicken broth (or 1 veggie or chicken bullion cube dissolved in one cup hot water)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley or 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs OR, if you want to be creative, try pretzel crumbs (seriously, I tried this and it was yummy! Just whirl up a few pretzels in the blender)
  • OPTION, 1/2 cup shredded cheese. I usually use sharp cheddar or pepper jack!
  1. Combine lentils and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 40 to 50 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups cooked lentils, bread, eggs, broth, tomato paste, basil, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, paprika, parsley, olive oil, peppers and onion. Spread into prepared loaf  pan.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes. Top with grated cheese (if desired). Sprinkle top with dry bread crumbs, and continue baking another 10 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

What I've Been Up To and Harsh Realities of Farm Life

Well, on Saturday we butchered Gustav. One harsh reality of farm or homestead life is, if you are a meat-eater, you end up butchering animals.Animals you have petted. Animals that made you smile as they romped around. Animals that you may have helped birth. Animals that you knew personally.
It's a lot different than buying meat at the supermarket.
The Girl took him from his pen and we had prepared a site out of the hearing and sight of the other goats. His mama, Gabby, bleated as her kid was removed from the pen and his twin, Gerte, bleated and ran around the pen trying to find a way to follow. Gustav was her favorite playmate.
After the slaughtering, the Girl came in crying. It was more than she expected.
But after a bit, she "soldiered up" and returned to the butchering table and helped cut the carcass up.
We have goat in our freezer now, in neatly wrapped packages. I plan to fix a Greek dinner this weekend with some of the meat.
While we are talking about "harsh realities", here's another one.
You like traveling and taking vacations?
Don't plan on it if you want to farm/homestead.! Look in the phone book...see any listings for cow sitters in there? Chicken sitters....goat sitters?
I didn't find any such listings, either!
Animals don't take days off. They still need to be fed, milked, watered, have their eggs gathered, etc.
Sure, you can ask a friend or relative to watch the farm while you are gone...but think about it.
Do they know how much to feed? Do they realize that the goats will sneak out the gate anytime they see it open? Do they know the places the hens hide their eggs? And many more details that you know that you can't possibly put down in notes.
You obviously can't go in the Spring when all the little ones are being born. The last couple of months when the mama's are pregnant can be a bit dicey, so their out. So, from March to May is basically a no-go.

High Summer is out...especially if you garden! Have to make sure it's watered and the bugs don't chew up your veggies. Have to keep a constant check on the livestock to make sure they have plenty of water and to make sure they haven't picked up any parasites.So, no trips in June, July or August.

Then you have Autumn. Well, that's harvest time for gardens, making sure you have enough hay and feed to get your livestock through the Winter, etc.Also, breeding some of your livestock. So there goes Septemeber, October and most of November.

Welcome Winter! Surely you can get away for a week or two to visit family or to warm up in a tropical climate then! Uhmmm...probably not...feeding livestock and making sure they are snug and warm in their barns and stalls is paramount.Also, planning next season takes a lot of time and energy!  So, there goes December, January and February!

Then there are the day-to-day surprises that crop up to fill your time! Downed fences, roof leak on the barn, storms that come through and knock down a chicken coop, your tomatoes all ripening at once  so you spend many a late night canning, etc.
I can assure you that cows don't know when your birthday is, goats don't care about Christmas and chickens never take Sundays off!

We always leave someone at home. If we go out to dinner, or a movie or do anything where several members of the family are going to be involved, someone always stays home.
It sucks, but that is the reality!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

We Live in a Sick Society, Part 4....The Cure

Curing our Sick Society

In my own opinionated way, I have laid out what I think are some of the "illnesses" (real and/or figurative) our society suffers from.
The cure?
The cure is not an easy pill to swallow.
WE are the only ones that can effect a cure.

Step One:
Take responsibility for your own health.
That, by the way, is the ONLY step.
That means that if you are ingesting in any way anything you KNOW is unhealthy for you, STOP IT!
Smoking, drinking to excess, white sugars, too much fat, etc.
Shop as organically as possible. Garden, raise livestock for your table if you can. Buy local. Use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning whenever possible.Get as much plastic out of your home as possible.
Look into herbal medicine for everyday aches and pains. Avoid OTC medications as much as possible.
Exercise. Even if you have difficulty doing so, exercise at least a little. Then a little more, every day, do something physical.
Watch less t.v. Move your t.v. OUT of your bedroom! You'll sleep deeper and longer without it in there!
Question your doctor. Don't demand antibiotics for every sniffle! Always ask for treatment options that do NOT involve medication. If your doctor is the type to use his prescription pad at the drop of a hat...find a new doctor.
Eat more salads. Eat more vegetables. Try to have at least one or two vegetarian meals a week. Eat more whole grains.Eat more beans.
Cook from scratch all you can. Bake your own bread, make your own tortillas.
Pack your lunches for work. Pack your children's lunches for school. Better yet, if you are able, home school!
Cut your portion sizes.Get a water filter or water filter pitcher and drink more water.
Drive less, walk/bike more.
Read labels. I'll say that again...READ LABELS. Know what you are eating, what you are feeding your family, what you are cleaning with, etc.
Do all of the above for your children as well!
Give your kids healthy options for snacks. Involve them in gardening, take them to the Farmers Market with you, let them help in the kitchen. 

Make decisions with your wallet. DON'T buy Monsanto products. Try to stay away from the "big box" stores.
"Buy American" is not just good for country, it is good for your health. Other countries do not do the inspections and have the quality control we have in this country.
Again, check those labels! For example, many of the canned vegetables on Wal-Marts shelves are grown and canned in China.They use pesticides and herbicides not allowed in the US. Honey in many groceries is a "blend" of honey from several countries. Sometimes it contains HFCS. ONLY buy local honey! Much produce, meat, honey and fruits that come from South America are similarly suspect. Argentina and Brazil have allowed Monsanto to run agriculture in much of their countries, so many of the products from those countries are GMOs or have fed on GMO corn, wheat, etc.

I know, I know, it seems like a lot to do to reclaim your health.
But once you take the first few "baby steps", it becomes second nature. I have not completed all of the above myself, but I am working on it!
I read the labels. I avoid doctors, OTCs and chemical cleaners. I buy organic and/or local as much as I am able and we are in the process of banishing sugar from the house.
We garden, raise livestock and have home raised eggs, milk and meat.
I have just started getting rid of all the plastics and petroleum-based materials in our home...that's a VERY tough one, by the way!
Take a first step, even if it's a baby step.