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!