Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Little Culture Shock....

So, having decided that here in The Great North Woods is the place for me, I have fully immersed myself in working here, living here, being here.
Having lived in a lot of places, but mainly in The South, I was interested in the customs/superstitions surrounding holidays and other notable dates *up nawth*.
Down South, it was ham or turkey on Christmas. Here, anything goes basically. Usually family tradition or preference. Lasagna, prime rib, roast beef, meatballs, etc.
I can deal with problem comes with the supper you fix on New Years Day.
Folks up here had never even heard of Hoppin' John!
Hoppin' John Recipe
You absolutely HAVE to have Hoppin' John on New Years Day. And collard greens.
I mean, who doesn't have that on New Years?
Alas...I am even having problems locating a can of collard greens up here!
I will also make southern fried cabbage ( a favorite of mine anyway, regardless of the day!) and cornbread! Gotta have cornbread!
After much investigation locally and a an hour so of googling, I have come to the conclusion that north of the Mason-Dixon Line, there are no traditional New Years Day foods!
Talk about *culture shock*!
The only recipes or suggestions I found were all SOUTHERN foods that apparently have been appropriated by these Yankees. Black-eye Peas, cornbread, collards, etc.
So....going to have to look around and see what I can find to make a traditional New Years Day dinner here!
Another *culture shock* item that I have discovered is that the majority (like 80%) of people up here are heavy drinkers. As in, a minimum of a fifth of hard liquor a day (usually more) with a 30 pack of beer or "Twisted Tea" as *soda chasers*.
I work in a grocery store, I sell the beer and other alcoholic *sodas* to the locals. Ninety year old ladies come in and buy two gallons of wine. Daily. Or a 30 pack of beer. We have had to refuse sales to some because they were visibly *snockered* when they came in to buy it!
People I talk to don't seem to see the *problem* with this.
I don't drink. The friends I live with don't drink. The majority of the folks I hang out with don't drink.
With a notable exception.....
A neighbor of mine who is a great guy and an excellent carpenter is a heavy drinker.
A half gallon of vodka a day. Plus beer and *Twisted Tea*.
He has been hospitalized (including a couple of weeks ago) from the cumulative effects of his habit. His heart, his liver, his whole body is failing at this point. He is diabetic now and his feet are constantly dark purple, almost black. His hands and feet are always cold. Last time he went to the hospital, I went to visit him. A doctor came in, looked at his chart, talked to him a bit and told him "I doubt you'll be here come Spring. You'll probably be dead by them."
My friend was in ICU for two days and then checked himself out.
The day after he got home I went by to see how he was. He was sitting at his kitchen table, drunk, with a half gallon of vodka on the table in front of him.
And there are many more like him up here. It is really sad.
I got myself a Christmas present....
You can order it here:

It is "garden porn", hardcore style!
Yeah, it sort of has that effect on you.....

Friday, December 23, 2016

Still Here and Better Than Ever!

     I am still in The Great North Woods. Health is still great. Still working at the grocery, getting plenty of hours.

And....I have the house and property back. All mine.
The ex and I came to an agreement. The property is mine. He has moved out of state, thankfully.

Right now, I am renting a room from friends Timi and Jim in town. I have to do some fixing up out at the house since the ex (in February) and his kids moved out (in late May) got all of their things out (late November). I changed all the locks, etc.
I inspected the house and wanted to cry....such a damn mess. But then I cheered IS MY house, after all. I can clean it and fix it up.
May have to replace plumbing. Again....sigh.

So, making plans, looking at options, etc.
I'm not selling.
I will find a way to make this work.
Frippery Farm will be a reality.
Frippery Farm IS a reality!

Yeah....I'm back, baby!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Autumn Arrives

That's a few miles up Route 3 heading towards Pittsburg, New Hampshire.
That was taken by someone canoeing down the Connecticut this week.

And this...this is a scant 10 minutes from my house:

And people wonder why I love it here so much!
The ghostly fingers of fog that haunted the early morning streets through August and most of September have given way to a cloud comforter that lays upon the mountains and hilltops until the autumn sun pushes it aside. Then bright blue skies are then revealed and the leaves sparkle like gemstones in the clear sunlight.

This is the New Hampshire that I love.
It is breath-taking during Autumn. A last hurrah before Winter closes in.
Another season I love! 

Monday, October 3, 2016

As Elton John Famously Sang....

Things are happening, expect much more in the next couple of weeks!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

What I Have Been Doing...

So...back to life and how it tends to meander on...

I got my job back at the local grocery. I had intended to only work part time...and they had intended to hire me for part time.
But...end of the school year when their teenaged employees decide to scatter to the four winds and turned into full time pretty darn quick!
I got a fifth wheel camper with a little help from friends, put it on the property and intended to move into it immediately...
But...a dear friend suffered a grievous loss of a brother and I ended up staying with her and helping her with her kids and house. Right now, her brothers widow is staying with her and I have been staying to help her cope as she(the widow) cannot stand being alone right now.
I intended to work on the camper when I had days off from work, etc., so I could move into it as soon as possible....
But...rain, other part time job opportunities and getting called into my full time job on days off...yeah, that went down the tube pretty quick.

It is raining again today and I have a few hours before I go to work. So, no cutting brush, etc.

It just seems that whenever I try to plan something out...the weather or the fates conspire against me!
So...meander, I will.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Garden Pest Deterrent

This is my home made recipe for a never fail garden pest deterrent.
Works on bears, moose, deer, elk, rabbits, squirrel, slugs, most insects and anyone that decides to come by and swipe some produce out of your garden...

Wear protective gloves through-out the entire procedure. NEVER touch your face, eyes, mouth, nose, etc. Guys; no crotch scratching or ass scratching. Same for you ladies. Trust me on this.

4 Habanero peppers
Habanero Peppers, aka Scotch Bonnets

3 Jalapeno peppers
Jalapeno peppers

1 or 2 Ghost peppers (if you can find one. If not, find a hot sauce made from them) OR 1 Carolina Reapers pepper (or hot sauce made from it)
Ghost Peppers
Carolina Reaper pepper

1/4 cup ground black pepper
1 Cup vegetable oil
3 cups warm water

You will need:
A blender with a tight fitting lid that you never intend to use again or will ONLY be used to make the deterrent and will be safely stored in a corner of the garage afterwards. Pick one up at a thrift shop.

One old knife you are willing to throw away afterwards.

One long extension cord.

A tarp. 8 x 10 will do.

A couple of sturdy trash bags.

A pair (or two) of the sturdy Rubbermaid gloves NOT try doing this with the wimpy medical gloves. You will regret it.

One pair of protective goggles. (Y'all think I am me, if you don't have them, you'll wish you did!)

A couple of empty spray bottles and an old plastic funnel or a disposable funnel.
Coffee filters or something else to filter the liquid.

A good friend or spouse with a cell phone at the ready and a car, in case you screw up and medical attention becomes necessary.

Make sure there are no young children, household pets or farm animals or other innocent by-standers within about 50 to 100 feet of making the deterrent.

Ready? Have everything assembled? Okay...let's do this!

Plug in extension cord and take it outside, as far away from the house as it will reach.
Plug blender in. Have it sitting on a flat surface. (But, dear god, NOT on the patio!)
Put on gloves and goggles, open lid of blender.
Cut each of the peppers in half length wise and drop in blender.
If you are using the ghost or Carolina Reaper pepper sauce, pour in 1/4 of the bottle.
Add black pepper.
SLOWLY (so it won't splash) add vegetable oil and water.
Put lid on blender. Check to make sure it is on tightly. Check again. Look around to make sure no person or animal is nearby.
Check lid for tightness again.
Turn the blender on liquify.
Liquify that mess for 30 seconds to a minute. Make sure it is liquified.
Still see chunks? Hit that button again! MAKE SURE YOU LIQUIFY THE CRAP OUT OF IT!
Turn off blender. DO NOT OPEN IT!!!
Unplug blender. Take it further out in the yard.
A little further than that, okay?
Have friend/spouse lay out tarp.
Tell them to run and get back in the house.
Get in center of tarp and CAREFULLY open blender.
AWAY from your face.
Seriously. If you do have to breathe, turn your head away from the deterrent and/or blender.
Place coffee filter in funnel. Pour nasty pepper liquid into funnel (which I assume you are holding in the spray bottle) It will take a bit for the liquid to filter through.
Funnel the vile potion into the spray bottles and cap them tightly.
Get all of it you can out of the blender during this part of the procedure.

Okay...all that was the EASY part.

Now the clean up.
Stay on the tarp.
Carefully place spray bottles, funnel and blender (if you intend to keep it) off the tarp.
Yell for your friend to get the water hose and turn it on...medium pressure.
If you are keeping the blender (you poor, misguided fool) rinse it out as thoroughly as you can with the hose. Remember to rinse the lid. Wrap it in trash bag. Rinse off the outside of the spray bottles, too.
CAREFULLY remove gloves and toss on tarp. The coffee filters should already be there, btw.
Take off goggles and toss on tarp.
To hell with it, take off everything and toss on tarp, jump off of tarp and hose yourself down.
Gather up tarp by corners and put into other trash bag.
Wave at the neighbors who have been watching you strip with great amusement..
Leave friend/spouse to put everything in the trash for you and run in house. (Yes, the clothes, too. If those clothes are washed in your washer, the pepper oils get on every article of clothing in the wash. Wash separately you say? Ummmm...NO. It will stay in your washer for around 3 to 5 loads.)
If you feel any burning or itching sensations, grab a big box of baking soda, jump in shower and use baking soda as body scrub to neutralize hot pepper oils. Shower with lukewarm water.
Dress and go have a glass of wine or a cold beer. Job well done and it deserves a reward.

Using Deterrent Spray:

 It is best to wear gloves during application and to not touch face, etc.Yeah, dispose of the gloves afterwards.
Spray all veggie plants on the outer rows of your garden, AND spray the ground itself around the garden...sort of a perimeter situation. If you wish, you can spray all your plants. Shake the bottles once in awhile to make sure the oil/water stays mixed up pretty good.
You should spray after a rain.

Please remember that the directions given above are because someone  learned "the hard way" just how lethal and nasty this stuff is.
The first time you see a squirrel or rabbit encounter the HOT spray is a sight to behold. Deer freak out and take off for parts unknown. I had a neighbors cat sit on a patch I had sprayed (they were using my garden as a bathroom)...the cat never came back.

I usually make it once a year and filter it into mason jars and refill the spray bottles as needed.
Good luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

For Those of You That Need Them

Until I am able to sit down and entertain you..
Some of you folks might want some of these:
500 Free Military Manuals

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Bear With Me A Little Longer...

Things are a-changing again...hang in there...I will be back with an explanation, news and will get writing on my fiction again.
Let me just say it has been a whirlwind of a month here!
To those that have not abandoned hope...Thank You!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Crappy Pictures

It has been pretty overcast here since I arrived.
BUT.....I tried to take some pictures inside the tiny house:
Old fridge built into the wall.

Closer view

Corner where my bed will be

Plenty of windows, though!

Spare windows that are destined for a cold frame project

Kitchen! But, alas, no running water or septic for the sinks.

My stove! Heat and cooking in one (once it is hooked up and cleaned off)

It's not much, but it will work for me and Siona.
Speaking of which.....
Siona checking out the snow and her new neighbors...

New neighbors. Named Cheese and Quakers.

The local waterfall in it's frozen Winter glory!

Today will be a busy day. After I finish this post, I will go out to do some more cleaning in the tiny house, try to hook up the wood stove myself and possibly get that king sized box spring and mattress the heck out of there!
I have been staying nights at dear friends, Timi and Jim's house, but I feel bad imposing on them...besides...I want to sleep in my own dang house as soon as possible! to cleaning...and I will try to take a few pictures while I am at it!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Contentment Level Dial Turned to 11 !

Since last Sunday morning, I have driven a total of 2300 miles.
I am back in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. I took a detour through Virginia where I saw two of my sons and one of my daughters, and my lovely daughter-in-law and my grandson.

I have a tiny house now. It needs fixing up and there's no running water and power comes from an extension cord hooked up to a pole in the yard, but it is enough for me.

I took these pictures last summer when the friend that owns the tiny house was considering selling it and wanted to place an ad on craigslist. It didn't sell (thankfully) and my friend said if I wanted to move back up here, it was free for me to use as long as I needed it.

So, 10 x 15 feet. There is a rudimentary kitchen. A bathroom just big enough to put a composting toilet in. A closet (!). A few shelves. Room enough for a full sized or twin bed, a chair or two, a couple of small tables and a few book shelves. It has a tiny wood stove for heating and cooking.

Perfect for me and Siona the Wonder Dog. (Siona was an absolute angel on the trip up here and behaved perfectly!)

I love it up here in northern New Hampshire. I feel so at home here, anywhere else just feels wrong.
I adore friends Tina and Bill that I was staying with....but Missouri is not the place for me.
I would love to live closer to my kids in Virginia, but the Shenandoah Valley lost it's charms for me a long time ago.

My ex has fled the area as he quit his job the day his boss was going to fire him for stealing from the company. He now splits his time between 2 different *partners/fiances* in Stowe, Vt. and another one in Burlington. And he is working at a bowling alley in Stowe. So, he is too busy to come up here and bug me. That's a good thing! His son and d-i-l and their 2 kids live in the farmhouse now and have taken in a renter to help pay the bills, so I am still getting the payments.

I checked at my old job when I got back and they may hire me back. I'll find out for sure on Monday.

My health is excellent and I am feeling better every day. Especially since I got back here!
I was thrilled when a snowstorm came up here the day I arrived!
SNOW! my blog will switch focus a bit. Still out in the country, still going to be prepping, gardening, food storage, etc. No animals.......yet.

But I am going to be turning a kinda grubby tiny house into a home. It needs work. I'll be taking pictures...before and after. next great adventure is here! Come along for the ride if you like!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Updates Coming Soon!

Things are happening and I seriously haven't had the time to post.
MANY surprises coming soon!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Plans Solidifying

I have a place to stay once I get back to New Hampshire!
It is a *camp* with no electricity or plumbing. No running water at all on the property, you carry water from a spring about 2 miles away, in fact.
The *camp* has been used as storage and a tool shed, it is only about 8 x 12 feet. So, a tiny house for me!
It will need a lot of cleaning up and a few things fixed, but I think I can make it work.
I plan on joining the gym in town, I can take showers there. And, if I need, there is a laundromat in town as well. I can always find a washtub and use a clothes line.
I think I can put in a fairly cheap rain catchment system and some passive solar hot water heating by the end of June to alleviate the water hauling/heating issue.
I'll have electricity via a couple of extension cords from the other house on the property initially.
I'll have to find a small wood stove for heating in the winter. So, there's that. But I think I can find one fairly cheaply.
I have some room to garden there. And have chickens, too! I may even be able to eventually (hold your breath) have a couple of goats!
I'm actually pretty excited about this! I plan on going up there in around a month, month and a half.
A new adventure!

Now, I know some folks will be confused as to why I would even want to move back to New Hampshire. Bad memories and whatnot, you are thinking.
Here it is:
I LOVE New Hampshire. I LOVE New England.
All the places I have lived, all the places I have visited, it is the ONE place that when I first went there I felt This is HOME.
I don't know how else to explain it.
I find it absolutely magical there. In EVERY season (yes, in Winter, too). I made loads of good friends there. I love the way the air smells of spruce in the mornings. The beauty of the lupine and other wildflowers that bloom outrageously in the Spring. The deer and moose that casually wander through yards...they really know it is their land, not yours!
Everyone has a place that their heart calls "Home".
New Hampshire is that place for me!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Political Season

While across the country most dream of Spring, the political season is in full swing. Some call it The Silly Season.
If you watched the Republican debate in South Carolina last I haven't decided which political candidate to support or vote for. But last night, it was made patently clear who I would NOT support or vote for.
Those men squabbled like children. It became actually embarrassing to watch!
Trump made the cardinal sin of insulting Jeb Bush's family including his mama in the SOUTH! In public! Personally, if Bush had punched Trump at that point, or invited him to a *private conference* in the parking lot, he would have been justified. (Hell, in some communities up *in the hills*, Trump could have been shot and nobody would have said *boo*)
Trump came across as a full, complete ass. With his attitude and arrogance, he completely lost the entire South last night.
I did get a laugh when Rubio said Cruz didn't speak Spanish, and then Cruz immediately started speaking to Rubio in Spanish. Rubio looked like he wanted to crawl under a rock.

Kudos to Carson and Kacich for not getting drawn into the verbal melee.
My opinion, for whatever it is worth?
I think our next President has already been selected.
I hope like hell I am wrong.
I think it will be Hillary.
Before you scream and shout...look at what is happening. She committed  crimes as First Lady. (Remember her fingerprints all over FBI documents? Perjury in front of Congress?), she committed crimes as Secretary of State (top secret documents in her emails...).
If ANYONE else of any party had done all that she has done, they would have been charged with massive felonies.
She is being protected.
Because the powers behind the curtain have made the deals and they want her in the Executive office.
This may change if she breaks the deal she has made or pisses off the wrong people, but, as it stands today, yeah, I feel she has been selected.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fermenting (Ideas and Foods)

A lot of people are fermenting foods right now. It is great for your health and (apparently) easy to do, once you get the hang of it.
It started with sauerkraut and kimchi, German and Korean  fermented cabbage dishes. I have made both and, trust me, homemade is VASTLY superior to store bought!
Recently I have seen way more fermented foods than I thought possible. There are whole web sites and books devoted to it. Carrots, fennel, onions, ginger, apples, you name it, somebody out there is fermenting it!
Some people use vinegar.
Some use a salty brine.(Or just salt)
Some use whey from cheesemaking.
Some use honey.

Then there is kefir, kombucha, water kefir and fermentation to make natural fizzy sodas.
There is a whole dictionary of terms used by the fermenting crowd.
Here's a short glossary:

AAB: Acetic acid bacteria
ABV: Alcohol by volume, usually calculated as a percentage
ACV: Apple Cider Vinegar
BABY: When a batch of Kombucha grows a new SCOBY it is called a Baby.
CB: Continuous Brew. A large crock used to ferment kombucha. Fermented kombucha is drawn off in small amounts through a spigot at the bottom. Fresh sweet tea is then added to the top.
GBP: Ginger Beer Plant - a SCOBY that ferments sugary water with ginger.
GRAINS: The SCOBYs for kefir and tibicos are called GRAINS due to their granular appearance.
JUN: A drink similar to Kombucha, but dominated by bacteria. A SCOBY is used to ferment green tea with honey.
KEFIR: A cultured dairy beverage made with kefir grains.
KOMBUCHA: A cultured beverage made by fermenting sweet tea with a SCOBY.
KT: Kombucha (Tea), also "Buch" or "Booch"
LAB(s): Lactobacillus Bacteria
MESOPHILIC: Cultures that work at room temperature, usually in regards to yogurt.
MOTHER: Name for the gelatinous glob that forms in raw vinegar. Also used to describe the SCOBY for Kombucha.
MK: Milk Kefir
MKG: Milk Kefir Grains
MOV: Mother of vinegar, a.k.a. mycoderma aceti. It is acetic acid bacteria suspended in cellulose.
SCOBY: Acronym for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast." Kombucha, Kefir, and Tibicos are cultured using a SCOBY. The SCOBY is comprised mainly of cellulose, with live bacteria and yeasts trapped within its structure.
THERMOPHILIC: Cultures that need to be incubated at a warm temperature to function, usually in regards to yogurt.
TIBICOS: A cultured beverage made by fermenting sugar water or juice with tibicos grains, also called "water kefir" or "sugar crystals".
WK: Water Kefir
WKG: Water Kefir Grains
1F or 1st Ferment: When you ferment a sweet liquid with SCOBYs it is your first ferment.
2F or 2nd Ferment: When you strain the fermented liquid into a bottle, add flavoring, and let it sit until bubbly that is a second ferment. 

Now, I have made my own vinegars, so I know the process. I have made pickles. I have had kefir before, and found it delicious. It is kinda like a thinner yogurt that you drink. Never had Kombucha, but, this morning I have some to try! I found it in the organic section of the store I went to yesterday. It was pricey...2.78 for one 16 oz bottle! So, hang on for a minute while I try a sip....

Oh yum! That is pretty good! 

That's the one I bought. They had several other flavors, but hey, I love ginger! . It says a serving size is half a bottle, but I will probably only drink a quarter bottle this first time and see how it sits on my stomach for a few hours before drinking the rest.

Fermented foods are supposed to be super healthy for you because of the probiotics they contain.
Most of us already eat some fermented foods...
Cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, cultured butter...all fermented foods!
Sauerkraut and kimchi, fermented foods.
Here's a list of fermented foods that are pretty darn good and where to buy them, if you don't ferment your own:

I plan on fermenting my own once I get in my own place. This might be something that could be sold at a local farmers market, too.
For those of you reading the story i am writing, please be aware I am continuing it. I add a little just about every day. I hope you are enjoying it!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Okay...Here is the Start of My Book Anyway

As is the link to my book. I am in the middle of Chapter 4 (and about to get in some technical stuff but not so technical that it can't be easily understood), but I hope it is enough that you can see where I am going.
I hope you enjoy it.

I have noticed that I have lost about 20-25 followers recently. Just out of curiosity, if you are going to leave, leave a comment to let me know why. I won't publish it, and my feelings won't be hurt (unless you insult my wonderful dog!). Just curious.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

And How's the Weather Where You Are?

No snow here. Some of my family lives in Virginia and they got hit pretty hard by Winter Storm Jonas. (When did they start naming Winter storms?) Almost all are dug out now, so all is good.
My son and grandson enjoying some snow fun!

We didn't get any snow here, and though it got chilly, it never got what I consider cold. Of course, cold is a matter of perspective and experience. So, what they consider cold here...I consider "not so bad".
By Friday it will be in the 60s here (or so the weather report says). In the the end of January, start of February! Wow. While that may sound pleasant, I think of apple (and other fruit) trees coming into bloom too early and then a later freeze killing the blossoms and therefore the fruit. I have seen it happen before and then seen the corresponding rise in prices in the grocery store. So...keep an eye on that!
I have applied for some jobs locally. I feel fine and strong and am sure I will be able to work with no problems. The doctor says there should be no problems, too. So...time to get some income coming in!
I plan on going back to NH, so I feel it is prudent if I have a little nest egg.

I am also doing more paintings in the hope I can sell some of them as well.
Since I am indulging my creative side while here, I also started writing a book. I have been hesitant to share it with my readers, but I think I may be just about ready to unveil it. I will do so tomorrow and post the link on this blog, so watch for it! It is what is called "PAW fiction" (Post-Apocalyptic World). I hope you guys like my work in progress when you get to see it.
Have been thinking a lot about what kind of farming I am going to do when I get back to NH.
My first consideration is (of course) going to be expense.
I don't think I should shoot too high.
Gardening, of course. And chickens.
Goats may have to wait until I get more established, so, I have been thinking of raising other poultry/fowl.
Geese and ducks.
Right now I am researching the best breeds for the climate, plus the markets that already exist for them and markets that could be developed in the region.
If you haven't had roast duck

Or roast goose

You have REALLY been missing out!

Not many people in the US include duck or goose in their diets, unless they have an avid hunter in the family.
A lot of it is the expense...if you look in the grocery store, either one is wildly expensive!
The expense is due to there being a small market, therefore fewer farmers raise them making the ones that do make it to market a rare and precious item. If more farmers raised them, the cost would come down and people would buy more, making them more affordable for everyone.
Try ordering duck at a restaurant (IF they even have it on the menu). WHOA!!! At most places it makes the lobster look cheap! And the only places I have even read about serving goose is *period* type restaurants at Christmas time. (City Tavern in Philadelphia being an example).
So, maybe, there is a niche there that small farmers can fill.
Ducks and geese are not more expensive than chickens to raise and process for meat. Their eggs are just as delicious and, geese eggs, with their thicker shells, can be used in many art projects.

So...looking at various breeds to see what will suit the climate the best, which are best for meat, which are best for eggs, etc.
The biggest expense will be getting the initial breeding stock or eggs, an incubator and the initial feed to get them started.
So...doing my research, getting all my ducks in a row, so to speak....

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Wonderful Things on Youtube For the Homesteader/Farmer

I found some marvelous videos on youtube for homesteaders and farmers.
A great series is the Victorian Farm series.
That is the first episode. If you watch it, it is easy to find the other 5 episodes plus the Christmas episode.

If you want to go back a bit further, check out the Tudor Monastery Farm Series:
Besides being fascinating and generally entertaining, both of the series do show practical things that can still be employed today by homesteaders. (Brick dust and vinegar to polish pots and pans? Didn't know you could do that!)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Looking Out For My Future

Well. Now that I am, more or less, on my own, I need to get going with my future.
I have applied for jobs, taken out a few ads on employment sites, etc.
Now I have a few responses.
Managing and/or working on organic farms mostly.
All the jobs I have applied for include housing.
I don't plan on leaving here until spring...late March, early April, so I have time to think about it.

My health is doing great. Still walking and now doing cardio. Plan on finding some weights.
Still losing weight.
So, pretty sure I can withstand the rigors of farm life!

When you are my age and looking at your future, it is a lot different from when you are 20 or 30 or even 40. I am 59 now.
I think I still have a lot of life left in me, but the general opinion of society is that someone my age is on the downhill slide.
So, job offers are few and far between!
Still, I have a remarkable skill set and a lot of knowledge gained by experience.
I should be able to transfer my skills and knowledge into a job.
So, here I am, starting over yet again...but I know I can do it!
A few inspirational quotes for today:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Resources on the Internet for Preppers/Survivalists

We don't have cable or satellite tv here, so I watch stuff on the antenna and on the internet.
Lately, I have been exploring some prepper/survivalist channels and found some really good videos.
This one contains a lot of small *hacks* for survival situations in just around 11 minutes.
Some pretty good stuff in there.

Another channel I love is Jas Townsend & Sons. They do 18th Century recipes and show how to make tools and other items necessary to the colonists.
Here's a great one!
I plan on trying the *portable soup* as soon as I can!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Good Grief!

I made my same old mistake and watched and read the news for the past few days.
I HAVE to stop doing that!!!
North Korea tests a nuke. Maybe. Maybe not. Oh yes they did. Oh no they didn't.  Well, they did something! Whatever it is, they are lying about it.
The reporting on that is....all over the map.
Wish somebody would actually have the freakin' FACTS.
Saudi warplanes attack Iranian embassy in Yemen. Wait....what? I have no clue what is going on over there. Every few days some little country over there is attacking, getting attacked, executing someone, imprisoning someone, killing their own people....
Just stop that crap already, okay?!?!?
I am just so damn tired of hearing about it. I am sure the average person that lives in the Middle East is very damn tired of going through it. Just calm the hell down, start acting like rational adults and maybe sit the hell down and try to talk your crap out.
My entire adult life I have seen one war after another in the Middle East. We weren't involved with all of them. A LOT of them, but not all.
That's another thing.
The US needs to stop sending troops to every little conflict. Tired of that, too.
We need to get the politicians to calm the hell down here, too. Work on job programs, bringing businesses back from India and China and Mexico so our own folks can have jobs.

I don't know.
Maybe I am getting old. Maybe I am getting crankier with age, too.
Just so damn tired of seeing an entire planet full of people acting like dang fool idiots.

Make me Ruler of the Planet for a few weeks....I'll straighten EVERYBODY'S crap out!
I'll pick a bunch of old people as darn cranky as I am as my advisors.
Mohave Rat, you can go after the VA and straighten them out. I'll also put you in charge of Health and Human Services and Social Security. In fact, you can cover the US and Canada. Maybe Mexico, too. Yeah, you can hire a few helpers.

BBC, you can have charge of SouthEast Asia. Let's throw in India as well. Maybe you can put some damn birth control in the water for a few years so they'll slow down on their reproduction for a bit until their agriculture, industry, healthcare, and employment can catch up. No more than one half of your helpers can be hired from the Playboy *Pet of the Month*or the porn industry. Notice I did not put the same restriction on Rat. I trust him, lol!

I'll handle the Middle East and Western Europe. A couple of my helpers may come from the ranks of the Chippendale dancers, but only a few...just to dress up the office a little, you understand.

I still need somebody to handle China and someone to handle Eastern Europe and Russia. And Australia and the South Pacific Islands. Someone for South and Central America, as well.
Nominations are open.
To qualify, the nominee has to be over 50, possess a cranky attitude and common sense.

The main focus (and motto) of my benevolent world dictatorship will be;
Stop the stupid crap already!
I think this is an idea who's time has come.
We need to print up some bumper stickers.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Random Thoughts on a Beautiful Morning

Gorgeous sunrise this morning.
We are expecting a winter storm this coming weekend, so a run to the storm today sometime to make sure we have what we need in case the roads get too bad.

I don't really understand the last minute rush for bread, eggs and milk, aka, "the French Toast People".
They watch the same weather reports and visit the same web sites as everyone else. But they are the ones that wait until the last possible minute to go to the store to get needed supplies before a predicted storm. We know TODAY that a storm may hit this weekend. That's 3 to 4 days warning.
Why not go today? Or tomorrow?
But nope, as the wind begins to howl and snow is piling up, there will be a troop of people rushing on dangerous roads to grab that *one little thing* they must have. If you must have it, you should have already had it!
I understand perishable items...but, seriously, folks, is it worth it to end up in a ditch just to grab a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread?
Keep an eye on your local weather. Plan accordingly and plan ahead.
If you MUST go out in bad weather, be careful! Remember, (as I always tell myself), all those other drivers out there are idiots! (and they think the same of you, lol!)
I did it. I ordered a seed catalog.
Ever the eternal optimist, I somehow see myself being able to garden in the coming year. Being somewhere where I will have the land to have a garden.
I'll see how it goes.
But seed catalogs are, I think, proof positive that those that have farming in their blood are optimists.
The gorgeous photos of luscious tomatoes and mouth-watering watermelons always entice us to buy that packet of seeds...when we know full well that it will entail a lot of hard labor to get the same result in our gardens. If the bugs don't eat them...and the rains come...but not too much rain...and the weeds don't over run the garden...and the birds and squirrels and deer...well, you get the idea.
Still, we plan and dream and hope...and that is a darn good thing!
At least I didn't order a chicken catalog this year....but I am still looking at the web sites, lol!
I hope all my readers are having a wonderful new year and making their own plans for the coming seasons.
Stay safe, drive safe, and fix a nice pot of beef stew for a cold night!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hey, You, Yeah, YOU there in Virginia and Wisconsin!

Okay, remember when I told everyone to get off their collective keisters and get out there and make themselves heard?
Well, if you live in the state of Virginia, here is one for you guys:
Virginia Bill to Legalize Raw Milk Sales

Yeah, raw milk, straight from the farmer, but LEGAL.
Here's some more:
I know...the farmer has to own no more than 3 milking cows, BUT, it is a definite step in the right direction and would be a boon to the small homesteaders.

So, call your Representatives and make some noise, people in Virginia!

Posted and then found out there is a bill proposed in Wisconsin, too!

Look, if you want to know about your state...go here: