Search This Blog

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Well today is December 24th , Christmas Eve; and for all those out there who celebrate this day I thought I'd send out a few helpful hints for this day.

Christmas Safety Tips:

#1 Before baking Christmas cookies remember not to leave the bag of sugar at dog eye level and walk away... or you'll be sweeping the floor and have a hyper dog on your hands! (has happened twice to us)

#2 When making the aforementioned cookies please don't drink egg nog... salt ans sugar look to close to want to mix them up.

#3 When getting ready to cook your bird... remember to remove the giblet bag... it's not a bad of goodies left by Santa.

#4 If deep frying a turkey, you probably don't want to do it in front of the wood burning stove.

#5 Family dinners are FUN, especially if you sugar the kids up before you get there.

#6 If you want to never have to say the blessing at dinner ... remember to thank the main course for giving it's life for your dinner when you have to say the blessing the next time (WARNING this has the opposite affect in Pagan households)

#7 Clean up wrapping paper mess quickly... or Sammy might decide to dress up the cat in the ribbons.

#8 If trying out the "microwave" method of cooking the turkey.... please remember that you don't need to preheat the microwave.

#9 Driving to relative's houses with the whole family can be a rewarding experience...but not if you sugar the kids before you leave. (you do it right before you show up!)

#10 Great, Great Granny is full of wonderful stories she never gets to tell (...not surprising...) don't forget to ask during dinner how the holidays were when she was a child.

#11 Watch the over eating... the drive home won't be rewarding if JR is in the back throwing up half his dinner after eating too much.

#12 Don't forget your pets this holiday season... Rover likes Turkey too... and will take it right off the table if you look away for an instant.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone!

BE Well and Blessed Be...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holiday Help

I'd like to pause today to thank people who have helped us, whether they read this blog or not. The wire Mark, and Jon sent along; as well as the rest of the assorted building supplies they have passed along to us. To the people who gave us the insulation for the shed we are living in, it has been a very big help.

I'd also like to thank some people who have decided to give us some help over this holiday season. I am not sure who it was but last night (I think it was the school), after the kids went to the church they attend on wed.; a group of people showed up with a food basket for the holiday. I will tell you I did not ask for nor did I sign up for any such thing. Also this morning around 9am I think (I was still in bed) a group of men showed up with presents for the kids. Again I did not ask for nor did I sign up for anything. I am very grateful of this however. Or neighbor is also giving the kids some gifts and I thank them greatly for it.

Have a Happy Holiday everyone!

BE Well and Blessed Be....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Yule!

Yes I know Yule was yesterday, but as I did not post anything yesterday I figured I'd comment about it now. We had a quiet Yule with my kids behaving (now -THATS- a Yule gift) granted one incident between brother and sister was probably inevitable.. so I don't count that against them. Not on a holiday anywho, one fight.. I considered myself lucky! I figured with the people out there having a fire on Yule I'd offer some safety tips for you to follow if you are so inclined.

Yule Safety Tips:

#1 The sawdust filled boxes of red paper cylinders in cousin Darrel's basement are not a good fire starter.. nor do they make good fire wood.

#2 Recycling and handmade robes are wonderful... however using leftover tissue paper from gift wrapping does not make good robes especially if it's going to be anything near raining or you are lighting the yule fire.

#3 When doing a bonfire for yule please make sure your bucket of emergency water is water and not gasoline... water puts it out and gas makes it bigger.

#4 Skyclad is fun but even with a bonfire at -3 degree air temperature skyclad is probably not a good idea, however if wearing the tissue paper robes you probably will be just as cold

#5 Those having a ritual on this wondrous day please remember to have the cakes and ale after lighting the fire, we wouldn't want someone to accidentally light the tissue paper robes on fire.

#6 don't forget your pets! Little Honeyraninbow chasing your familiar around with a burning branch is probably not a good idea, and if it's a cat she'll let you know later what she thinks.

#7 If you decide to draw down the moon on this day remember the moving lights in the sky are not the moon.

I do know I am probably missing a few here and I do hope everyone takes these in good humor :D as they are meant to be. Watch for my Christmas tips coming soon! :D

BE Well and Blessed Be...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Honey! or is that Hunny...?

Ok I'd like to say that; growing up I did not like honey, in fact I really did not like the flavor. In the last few years I have come to prefer it over refined sugar, which is good but also bad as the price is not the same as refined sugar. We are planning to keep bees eventually and like to switch over to just using honey versus sugar, which again will be good as Silver is diabetic. Granted with the diet we have been on since moving his blood sugar has not been an issue. So for now I am looking for some recipes that are honey instead of sugar, as well as conversion charts. I have found a couple they were listed in some old Organic Gardening and Farming magazines from the '60's, '70's,and '80's. Here are the ones I found:

Raspberry Leather

4 quarts raspberries
¼ cup water
½ to 1 cup honey

Wash raspberries. Place the fruit and water in a large heavy pot. Cover and cook over low heat until fruit comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Pour the raspberries into a colander, allowing the juice to drain into a pot.
The more juice that is drained out, the quicker the fruit leather will dry. The juice can be used as a drink or saved in the freezer for later.
To increase the yield of this recipe, 6 cubed apples can be added for every quart of raspberries used. Each quart of raspberries and 6 apples will yield 8 oz of fruit leather or 2 full cookie sheets.
Press fruit through a food mill. The puree should be the consistency of apple butter. Add honey to taste.
Spread the pulp 1/4-inch thick on 4 lightly oiled, stainless steel cookie sheets. Place in a warm dry place. You can use your oven or a food dryer.
When using an oven, turn down to the lowest temperature and leave the door open to allow moisture to escape. The fruit leather should dry in a bout 12 hours. When it has dried, peel the leather from the cookie sheet and lay it on wire racks to dry completely. Cornstarch or arrowroot can be used to powder the leather if it remains sticky to the touch. Roll the raspberry leather between two sheets of wax paper and store it in a cool dry place. The red color will keep one month at room temperature, four months in the fridge, and a year in the freezer.

Blueberry Pie:

Pie for a 2-crust pie
4 cups blueberries
4 tablespoons tapioca
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons melted butter

Line a 9-inch pie pan with bottom crust of pie. Combine remaining ingredients and pour into crust. Top with crust. Wrap tightly in foil and freeze. When ready to use, thaw the pie, then bake 450 degrees for 15 minutes and 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour. Cool before cutting.

Peach upside down cake:

¼ cup butter
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash nutmeg
2 cups sliced peaches
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup oil
½ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Melt butter in 8-by-8 pan. Add honey, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix. Make sure mixture coats bottom of pan. Arrange peaches over butter mixture. Mix flour and soda. Set aside. Mix 1/3 cup honey, oil, buttermilk, lemon rind, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture. Mix well and add egg. When completely blended, pour over peaches in pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove from pan immediately by inverting onto serving plate. Cool to room temperature.

Fruit Puree Pancakes:

¾ cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons milk powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup fruit puree (your favorite)
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add fruit puree, honey, melted butter, and egg and mix thoroughly. Drop batter onto hot buttered griddle. Turn pancakes when bubbles form on top and brown on both sides.

Amaranth-Strawberry Spread

2 cups water
1 cup raw amaranth seeds
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
2 tablespoons honey (optional)
1/3 lemon, chopped very fine with rind included

In a small sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Add amaranth, strawberries, honey and lemon. Stir until the mixture comes to the boiling point again, then lower heat and cook slowly for about 45 minutes, until mixture is thick and the amaranth grains are tender.

Makes 2 cups

Concord grape pie:

Plain short pastry- enough to line a 9- to 10- inch pie pan plus one-half that amount for lattice top
5 ½ cups ripe concord grapes (the other varieties may have skins that are too tough)
2/3 cup light honey
4 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten

Line pan with 2/3 of the dough and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Pinch grape pulp out of skins and set skins aside. Put pulp in saucepan (with no water) and bring to rolling boil. While pulp is still hot, rub it through a fine food mill to remove seeds. Combine strained pulp, skins and honey and stir well. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, water, and lemon juice, stirring until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and orange rind to grape mixture. Spoon into pastry shell. Dot with butter. Roll out renaming dough into a long strip. Brush lightly with beaten egg and cut into strips ½ inch wide, long enough to stretch over pan. Arrange in lattice pattern on top of pie. Place pie on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees 40-45 minutes. Let cool, serve with ice cream if desired.

Now I also found a recipe in those same magazines for homemade pectin:


First you need the small early apples for this for the best thought it won't be clear using it.

1 Wash the apples carefully, trim, and cut pieces into thin slices. Place in a large pot.
2 add one pint of water for every pound of apples inside pot
3 Cover and boil for 15 minutes.
4 strain off the free running juices through one thickness of cheese cloth, DO NOT SQUEEZE
5 return the pulp to the pot and add the same amount of water, simmer for 15 minutes
6 let stand for 10 minutes, strain through one thickness of cheese cloth DO NOT SQUEEZE
7 Allow to cool enough for you to handle
8 squeeze out remaining juice and combine the three juices

There should be a quart for every pound of apples, you can use it immediately or store for future use. To can, heat to boiling point and pour immediately into hot , sterilized canning jars. Seal and invert the jars to cool.

I am looking for more honey recipes to add to my "cookbook" for later use if you can pass any along I would be verrrrrrry happy. I did find out about a new book that has honey recipes it is :

Honey, I'm Homemade: Sweet Treats from the Beehive across the Centuries and around the World edited by May Berenbaum

I found it listed in many online book sellers, for under $25 so once I get the spare cash I am buying a copy of it. Those of you out there looking for alternatives might want to look into it. Also, to some of my readers who have seen these recipes "elsewhere" yes I know you've seen them; but I want everyone to see them. Again I found them in some old Organic Gardening and Farming and yes it is listed as "farming" Organic Gardening use to include "farming" in it... I do not know why they dropped the "Farming" line but they did. Also, I'd like to point out I have found in a grocery store "raw" honey; granted how "raw" it is I do not know. I would like to say it has a better flavor over the standard honey does. I almost can't wait to try real "raw" honey, does anyone know if you honestly cannot give raw honey to children? If so how old do they need to be? My youngest loves drinking tea and wants to try the "raw" honey we bought but I am not sure about letting her.

On another note, If you listen to podcasts please listen to my friend's one... yes you might not agree with her religious beliefs, I share the beliefs she has if you have not figured it out yet with my "goodbye" on here. She has a lot of information in her podcasts and I think those of you who listen might find it interesting to hear.

Also... Hey our WATER is back on after over a week of being frozen, our neighbor had given us some heat tape, and well when Silver went to go put it on the pipe we discovered a small problem. The pipe.. both in fact (one going in and one going out) had been covered by almost 3 inches of ice, and we had to wait for that to melt first. Then the heat tape was able to heat the pipe, but still it took until yesterday to have it heat fully. The good news about it is though, it did not freeze until the temperature dropped to 4 degrees with a negative windchill. Silver also thinks that one of the kids had turned off the water by accident, we had been leaving it running just to make sure it didn't freeze; so we aren't quite sure why it froze as it did not until early morning. Not like 4 am but rather sometime after we got the kids up for school, so we aren't sure why.

Thats all for now and if you can pass us some honey recipes along please do!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Good News!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK for those of you who don't know what is in this picture. IT'S OUR WARRANTY DEED!!!! It arrived in yesterday's mail and I was so surprised to see it finally! Happy but surprised. I almost got up and started dancing :) and boy would that have been a sight!

On another note our water is still frozen but with the warmer temps i imagine it will be running sometime tomorrow.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cold Weather

Well, it dropped down to 2 degrees before dawn today, with a negative wind chill. Before we went to bed last night it was 11 degrees, with all three heaters we now have running we kept the temp inside at about 50 degrees. Though because we didn't know how much it would cool down everyone slept in a full set of clothes under their blankets. Even the dogs didn't want to get up this morning :), but they did go outside without to much fuss. The kids did have to walk to the bus in that nasty wind chill this morning... after I had them so bundled they look like that younger brother on "Christmas Story" you know the one so bundled he can barely walk. They told me they were warm enough when they came home today... though my youngest complained that I had so much on her she almost choked.

Funny thing... our water was ok last night... was running this morning... but about 2 hours after the kids left and I was ready to make a pot of tea we discovered that our water was frozen. I guess it got so cold this morning that it froze quickly. As of 6 pm central our water is -STILL- frozen but we have a 5+ gallon jug of water for emergencies. It should last a couple days if necessary, just means I have to wash dishes verrry carefully.

We did have to go out today, though we waited until after noon so we knew the car would start; we aren't sure how good it will be in very low temps as it is not in good shape. anyway we had to go out and do some kid laundry, as it seems when I tell the kids i need their clothes to wash they don't always listen. So instead of washing clothes this Friday we had to was them today, we did have some fun on the way home. Highway 5 going out of Hartville towards Grovespring had an accident on it and the police turned everyone around. So we had to take the long way home and added about 10 minutes to our drive time. We did get to find the pay fishing ponds that are near here by taking this 'alternate route'. So once we get our fishing rods fixed up and get some licenses we plan on fishing there with the kids.

I do hope everyone who had to deal with the snow storm and cold is doing well and didn't get buried too deep!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No Egg Chocolate cake...

OK now that I have your attention...

Yes this chocolate cake has no eggs in the recipe, I found it in a old cook book, copies with the blueish text; I think it was a church cookbook but I am not sure. The woman who contributed this recipe's name is Edythe Caskey and the recipe is as follows:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 t salt
2 T cocoa

Into this mixture stir:
1T vinegar (it does not matter white or apple cider)
5T melted butter
1 cup cold water

Mix thoroughly and bake in oven 30 mins at 350 degrees.

Now the original recipe says to mix it in the pan you are going to bake in, and doesn't say to grease it so i did not the first time and it stuck. Which according to the original recipe says shouldn't happen. So this time I greased the pan and put it in a bunt pan (which I just got at the thrift store for $1). I do have to say this is a wonderful cake and it is fluffy and moist. this one I did today was a double batch, so play with it and see what you need. Also I used dark cocoa powder so I do not know how it will taste with normal cocoa.


This picture is of a quart jar of fresh honey and about a 1/4 lb of orange fudge. I bought the fudge for $1 and the honey for $10 today and found out the man who sells the honey is not far from me, but also he sells his product in our MFA store (Missouri Farm Association). The fudge was bought in a little bakery on Highway 5 going into Hartville, and we found out if you don't get to the bakery early almost everything is sold out. They serve breakfast and lunch and she wonderful smells just hit you when you walk in the door.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Picture time! again

This is our tree for this year, it's having issues but it is still pretty. A living Norfolk Pine that we will be planting in the yard this coming spring. We also picked up this tiny pitiful cypress tree that Lowes was selling for $1 due to the fact it was dropping a tad... it's not now and we are going to plant it next spring as well.

Well though we are putting in insulation my little girl had a three dog night the other day.. as of course the dogs did not want to sleep on the cold floor. Oh, does anyone have any suggestions for Paris' skin problem? The vet said it's a flea allergy.. but it takes a full winter for her coat to grow back, anyone know of a way to have it grow back faster?

This of course is our resident momma cat Paige, she was hanging off the upper bunk bed the other day and I though she looked so cute like that (and of course she knows she's cute) and also had a "wow your legs are long" moment too.

On another note, we had a visitor back on Friday, seems the school called the state about our 'substandard' living conditions and sent someone out to check on us. The man who came out was very nice and he was impressed with our set up actually and thought the sawdust toilet was a interesting idea, and was surprised it didn't smell. I do have to wonder though if we were homeschooling would have had this problem?

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holidays on the Homestead

I'd like to talk about holidays your first year on the homestead... This thanksgiving was fun and quiet compared to what I grew up with. Thanksgiving when I was a kid was the whole family coming over for most of the day ... this would be at my parents house. Both sides of the family would come, my mom would have the turkey being prepped by 9 am so we could have a 2 pm meal. She'd also make the mashed potatoes, corn, cranberries, rolls/bread, veggie tray, polish sausage(polish family what can I say?) and the stuffing I have yet to master. Our relatives would bring a dish or two to add to our meal, my favorite would be a fruit salad my aunt would make with fruit cocktail and marshmallows, granted she had an interesting wild rice recipe too. Everyone would be at my parents house by noon and the men would be sitting around chatting in one room and the women would be in the kitchen chatting while cooking. The turkey would be golden brown(I've only ever managed to do this once), and everyone would be smiling and there would be a buzz of chatter at the table. I do miss those days, but I did enjoy my thanksgiving none the less.

After getting up on thanksgiving I baked some bread for a late breakfast, granted the kids had already eaten some cereal; but they appreciated it anyway. The kids spent the day taking turns on the computer and watching movies... and they were doing it themselves, we didn't have to intervene. I started my turkey at noon planning it to be cooking till about 5 pm, we were using a electric roaster as our oven was not big enough to cook it in. Well... and hour later it was almost done, I was a bit shocked but we just went ahead and made our mashed potatoes to go with it, first batch of them since getting our kitchen too. During all this time I had a pot of chicken soup base simmering on a back burner for the past couple of days, I was planning on using it for a turkey soup base for the leftovers. So for a 1:30pm-2pm meal we had turkey, mashed potatoes with gravy, and jellied cranberries (I'd love a good cranberry recipe if anyone can pass it on). Then around 5pm our neighbor came by with the extras from their meal for us and we had a second meal from that, it was mostly cold salads some potatoes, and stuffing, and a few extra rolls; but we still appreciated it.

After eating I took the one whole breast from the turkey that we had not eaten from and froze it. We will be having some turkey casserole sometime later this month, then I dropped every bone and all remaining meat fromt he turkey into our biggest stock pot and pour first the chicken soup base over it then added a lot of water, and an onion. The base had... onion,carrots,bay,rosemary,curry,hot peppers,celery, basil,peppercorns, and some leg quarter bones which had all been strained before adding it to the turkey. All that I added to the base was the turkey, another onion, some garlic right before it was done; it came out well we ate that soup for two days to get it down enough for me to freeze the leftovers and give the dogs a little bit.

I think my Thanksgiving went well, I do hope the winter holiday does too, I personally celebrate Yule, but I do hold Christmas for my kids and they know that I am doing so for them. We have to tone down what we are wanting for this holiday due to money and space... (our 7ft tree is -just- not going to fit in here), we are planning to get a Norfolk pine to use this year and in the spring we are going to plant it somewhere on the property and use it for our "outside" tree next year. I like to put out food on yule to the wildlife to give them a gift, which my/may not give them a hand through the winter. Generally its nuts (in shell), apple pieces,popcorn, and some bread... sometimes more depending on what we have, it is a tradition I have done since before my son was born and I want to keep it going. It is my way of giving back at least one day a year to those whose home we live near. I do hope everyone has a great holiday season and that you have some traditions you have made for yourselves that you continue every year.

Here is the thing though, when you do first come to your homestead, or even if your not on one but are having problems of any kind... make the holidays what you can, don't make yourselves an emotional wreak trying to "recapture" your childhood, memories are nice; but making new ones is better

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We had some fun today, yesterday before the severe weather came through the father of my daughters' friend came by with a trailer full of foam insulation for us. It was a surprise, even though the family had called us on Sunday to tell us they might know where there was some free insulation. The surprise was how much and the fact it was foam. Silver figured as did I that it might be a bag or 2 of batt insulation. That stack is about 3 foot tall and it is a double stack, we had known there was some severe weather coming so after we had stacked it we covered it with our extra 2x's that we haven't used yet.

So today after we warmed up (boy it was cold this morning...) we started to place the insulation. Well, Silver decided to try putting it up in the full sheets first; the first one went no problem and straight. The second one we tried we could not get up straight, also we noticed that only the first sheet we put up was a full one. All the other ones were different sizes. So we decided to cut them to fit in between the studs.

We did notice a ...small... problem when we started to place cut pieces between the studs. The top of the space and the bottom were different widths, it is a good thing Silver hadn't cut for every space before we started fitting them. Even with measuring the tops and bottoms for each cut there are still a few small gaps showing up, this is due to the amount the diffrence is between the two spots.

Due to the precise measuring we have to do.. and spending an hour trying to figure out where two of the dogs ran off to, we have only gotten 75% of the front ceiling done. We will be spending the day tomorrow finishing it, with the kids' help. We figured we'd tell the kids they are going to have to do some major weight lifting tomorrow (grins), you know how much an arm full of Styrofoam is.. its just so darn heavy!

I'd also like to say people here are very nice, our neighbor's with all the animals has asked if we wanted some salads and maybe a pie for thanksgiving. She likes a good sized meal for the day and goes all out it seems, and her husband doesn't eat a lot and she'd like to see it go to someone who would like to have it too. One of these days I'll have to send her some spaghetti sauce, I had sent some over to Mark Chenail's house and I do hope the guys enjoyed it. Have a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it!

Be Well and Blessed Be!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Musings on "Food Safety"

I read this article about a new bill (Senate Bill S 510 Food Safety Modernization Act) The article is here:

I have a major issue with the idea that the government could tell me if I can or can't grow something for myself, personally I do not plan to sell to farmer markets, and it seems at least at first it will only affect those people who produce $500,000 gross annually from their farms. Well... I'm not selling food so it shouldn't apply to me, but I do not think this bill is a good idea, yes something needs to be done about food safety; but the issue really is in the "factory" farms.

Those of us producing in the small scale have better product overall.

Check out this site for updates on it, the person writing on it seems to have a lot of info about it:
I know I'm going to watch this one come about... I don't want the government telling me what i can and can't grow for my family.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A few Thoughts

The other day after spending a couple days working on Mark Chenail's roof, we were driving home and it struck me. You know those "cramped" apartment stories everyone seems to have about when they were first married... well I guess I'm living mine now. Silver and I almost have an actual "bedroom" right now with 2 walls around our bed. (Yes I said the bed) The gap between the two walls we put up is about 2 and a half doors wide, and if I take 3 steps I am at my girls' bunk bed. With the "bathroom" next to us. The kitchen is at the foot of our bed on the other side of the wall we hung the upper cabinets on.

We have discovered the only bad thing about our lovely little kitchenette, the "tiny" (muuuuch smaller than tiny) freezer in it doesn't keep temp at freezing. Not much of a big deal to us as we have the deep freezer. As we bought our thanksgiving turkey today on our "normal" shopping trip I had to wiggle it into the freezer with the rest of the frozen things we picked up. We also made the kids very happy by making pizzas for dinner, they haven't had a pizza in months. "Outdoor living" can make it hard to toss a pizza in the oven LOL.

Speaking of the term "Outdoor Living" I heard on the radio a lot this summer about how to "live outdoors", and how much fun it can be. Yep... I wanna see them spend 6 months in a tent that had holes in it and no where else to sleep on bad rainy nights but your car. Then they might not think it's fun, then again also eating only canned foods is so much fun too. At this stage in my life that term is like "the simple life", I hear one of those and I shake my head. Soem things in life just need to be experienced rather than talked about.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Books on Pedophilia?

I have to admit while I believe in first amendment rights, I find that any company choosing to sell a book about pedophilia a heinous crime. "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct" by Philip R. Greaves II, is not something that Amazon should be offering to it's sellers. From all of the outpouring of outrage in the public Amazon has pulled it from their Kringle page.

While this in itself is a wonderful statement, people have bought it already and Amazon let it be put up for sale in the first place. Maybe Amazon needs to have someone watching for content that is illegal in nature, making something like this available to the public is just wrong.

Amazon is a private company, which means they had a choice in allowing it to be there. Many online sites such as FaceBook and Twitter have started groups against this book. There is thousands of entries online about it as well all running along the same lines of outrage. I don't think that if my children went on Amazon to make their holiday wish lists would I want them to even see this listed. Being a public site with anyone able to visit their site they do need to ensure that a child couldn't get into something they shouldn't, as now a days kids surf the webs in school. I guarantee that they are unsupervised doing so even at home. Yes the man who wrote this book has the right to write it... However that doesn't make it a good idea, nor appropriate.

I had posted my views on a site that I belong to online and most of the people (not all mind you) jumped me for saying Amazon shouldn't sell it because of 1st amendment rights, I also had a couple defend what I said about it being disgusting and that Amazon should remove it. It does show me that people do believe in freedom of speech... but that they don't care what that "speech" entails... as one of the people who responded to it said "A line has to be drawn somewhere"

Bright Blessing and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

For those who thought yesterday was fun...

How to wash your hair on the homestead (sans shower)

I have made a discovery since living out here and it's that you never appreciate things like showers until you have to do the following:

#1 find a wash basin of some kind that you can bend your head into.

#2 make sure you have enough water (again this might be hard if you have no well, if this is the case follow my suggestions for getting water on the last post)

#3 heat some water (again this might be hard, also you might want to watch the temps a bit closer than with dishes or clothes) I am sure you don't want the “OH MY GOD IT'S HOT” water.

#4 if you have long hair (anything past your shoulders) grab a partner as it is a team effort.

#5 pour your water into the basin

#6 pour COLD water into the basin as I'm sure it is too hot

#7 bend over the basin getting as much of your hair into the water as you can

#8 have your partner pour water over your head (watch the temps as hot for your scalp is different than hot for your hands)

#9 take hair out of water

#10 soap up hair (note you will be dripping water)

#11 put hair back in basin

#12 again have your partner pour water over your head

#13 Ring out water

Repeat for conditioner or dry

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Washing Clothes on the homestead

*Note this is verrrrrrry true!!!!

Without a well:

#1 Find a washing vessel, this can be anything that will hold more than 3 articles of clothing; with water of course.

#2 Make sure you have enough water to wash with (if so jump to step #4)

#3 go to your water provider via car (that is if you have the gas for it)

#4 fill a water heating vessel with half of your washing water, (what ever is the easiest)

#5 while waiting for water to boil place some clothes in the washing vessel, add soap if you are not using a bar soap. (note bleach on your hands hurt so if you want to do whites bleach them overnight in bleach water and wash them first)

#6 Once water is boiling hot add to your clothes in the washing vessel

#7 add cold water till you can touch the water (*note water will either be not quite hot enough or “OH MY GOD IT'S HOT” decide which way you want it to go)

#8 if using a bar of soap (which is the easiest) take one article of clothes and rub soap into a portion of it and then rub that part against the rest until soapy. If not using a bar agitate the water (note you may have to do some spot cleaning if there are some nasty stains)

#9 rinse off soap in washing water

#10 if necessary get extra water vessel to help rinse soap out and rinse again

#11 Wring out clothes (note clothes will be very wet even after you wring them out)

#12 hang clothes to dry depending on air temps and wind this can vary

With a well but before plumbing:

Follow step #1 then find/get/borrow a hose and hook up to your well and fill your water containers then continue at step #4.

With Well and plumbing but no washing machine:

Follow step #1 then fill from tap and continue at step #4

Washing dishes on the homestead:

follow above steps but change clothes for dishes

Bathing on the homestead:

follow above steps but change clothes for yourself

Monday, November 8, 2010

Work, work, Work.... and work and work...

Well we have been busy here... so much that I seem to have misplaced the cord to upload my pictures with from my camera. So I guess I'll just have to fill in with out the pictures for now. We put up the kitchen have it wired so it works, and it is so nice to be able to cook inside, -AND- have a refrigerator. We made out sawdust toilet and now it has a little room for it that is going to be our "unofficial" bathroom. Silver is putting up a medicine cabinet in it today. We got the kitchen plumbed over the weekend the only issue it seems to have is needing a couple of new washers for the faucet.

So lets see....

running water... check
electricity... check
bathroom... check
heat... check

Looks like we have an "official" house, and it is wonderful... now we just have to clean up from doing all this work. You wouldn't belive how much room making bunk beds give you until you put them in. We put in a built in ladder that my son also uses to get into the loft to his bed.

Today was supose to be our clean up day but we went over to Mark Chenail's to work off the kitchen he got for us. Silver spent the time up on the roof putting down metal. We are going back tomorrow to finish it, so I guess that means clean up will be on wensday. We have also put our deep freezer behind the bunk beds to free up some "TV" space so when we watch movies we can use a couch... and shockingly we got our couch in here after making the bunks, putting in the kitchenette, and building a bath room.

thats about it frt now

BE Well and Blessed Be...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shopping day part 2

Well we had some fun shopping yesterday, this is a heater we bought to better heat the shed. We also discovered that the $44 we spent on it was better than spending it on insulation that won't fully cover the inside, which means it really wouldn't help keep the heat in and our little heater wouldn't do anything if it gets really cold. This particular type is suppose to be best for drafty rooms. *looks around* You know with no insulation I bet this constitutes "drafty". We fired it up last night, and until we had to open the door overnight to let the dogs out to pee it was well above 40 degrees all night it hit just at 40 after letting the dogs out. I think it did well, and was a pretty good buy, but *gasps* I had to buy it at "Wally" mart as that was the cheapest price.

This is one of two packages of pine bedding we bought for our sawdust toilet, I think it was a good buy. $4.99 for "compressed" 3 cubic ft, it says that uncompressed it is 8ft. So we bought two of them as we are not sure how much we will go through in one month, I'd rather have too much than a week before Silver gets money trying to stretch one cup of pine bedding. We bought some 2x3's as the lumber yard with the $1.19 2x4's were out of stock, figures... so we spent $1.99 on 2x3x8's instead of the 2x4's we got cheaper, no biggie. We just used the remaining 2x4's we had to make a supporting wall for the loft as we put my son up their to sleep so we can have our "indoor" toilet.

Here it is our new toilet! I know the picture is outta focus, I guess at least one of my pictures has to be. It was funny as that is the toilet seat we had on the out house .. so for a short period of time we had no toilet. the kids had returned home from school before Silver finished it and of course one of my girls couldn't hold it and Silver had to rush to finish it. For now we have a curtain around it till we can build a wall, this way "little ones" can use the toilet; because you know how they have a hard time with those little bladders... uh-huh a 12 yr old seems to have a smaller bladder than me. I guess when ya gotta go you gotta go.

This morning we have to go out and pay for use of a laundromat (at the moment I don't have time to hand wash) then head out to Lebanon's free store and see if they have another twin mattress as we are one kid mattress short, and it would help to have a mattress when we make the bunk beds today. Our dogs were not happy last night with the change in the bed set up, they had gotten use to sleeping with everyone and now there is one less bed and kid for them to sleep with. Well they should be even less happy when we have the bunk built, Silver has to figure out how to get the kitties up and down from the loft. Right now they are using a log we leaned against it for them to climb up.

Here is a picture of "Crookie" perched on the climbing log, its actually funny watching him climb up and down. As since his stroke his balance isn't good and he is a very large cat he stretches all the way he can down it before putting his back legs even on the log. Now I have suggested to Silver to put this log back up with the bunk bed but in front of them using it as part of the ladder to the top bunk. The other girl will have to duck to get to her bed but that should work. Silver said he has to think it over, maybe we will find a solution today while we are out. So today's jobs are going to be run the plumbing for the sink, build the bunk beds and wire the computer and kid side of the shed; next month we will be buying insulation... it will cost around $200 to insulate this shed and well... I don't have it now after paying our bills and getting the wood and other things we needed. I did go out and buy some milk and have it in our new little fridge, it's so nice to have a fridge.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Our kitchen job day

This is the start of our work we did today to put in our kitchenette. This picture is of the supporting wall we needed to build for the upper cabinets, the whole thing combined is about 7ft 6in. After doing the wall Silver and I went over to our close neighbor to borrow their "haulin'" truck... it is an older beat up truck that does work... kinda. It took us 20-30 minutes to get the truck to start, it hasn't been moved in about 4 months and the transmission slips, well apparently it also had a totally dead battery too. Well we get the truck to the local gas station to put in some gas and discovered, yep the transmission slips as it needs fluid. OK put in gas added trans fluid, and it wouldn't start. We tried jumping it, nope; not the battery. Did find out there was a loose spark plug, and after about 10 minutes and jiggling the key we got it to turn over.

We arrived at Mark Cheneil's house and it was me, Silver, and their new handy man to load the kitchenette into the truck... we didn't risk turning it off to do this. We found out when Mark brought the kitchenette they used 4 men to put it inside their house, we used one disabled man (Silver), their handyman who has a cracked rib, and me to load it into the pick up.

We had a fairly uneventful trip back aside from the truck dieing at the intersection were the gas station is (maybe it was telling us it didn't like the gas station?). We managed to back the truck right up to the shed door and just shove it inside with out lifting it much, this next picture is just after we brought it into the shed and just set the whole thing down.

We just set the uppers on top of the base, we found out it even came with a metal back splash. To place the uppers on the wall we had to put up another 2x4 to set the upper on top of which sat on top of the metal back splash. The wire is behind the storage drawer under the stove. The fridge is under the three burners and the oven is small but bigger than using a toaster oven.

We also started our wiring the shed... which is up from running everything off of 4 plugs wired right into the meter. We actually have about 1/2 of the wiring done and also we have wired the kitchenette up, though to test the wire needed for it, as Silver was not sure what kind we'd need. We did discovered that the kitchenette originally needed the old plug in fused that when they blow you need new ones; it doesn't now. The good news? It works!~!!!!!!!!!!

And finally the kitchenette 85% done (need to plumb it still), and we are roasting chicken breasts and having fried potatoes with onions with it. I like having a inside kitchen!!!!!

BE well and Blessed be.....

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shopping Day! part 1

Ok I think we did rather well on this shopping trip...:

entry cable (the wire that goes from the power pole to the box in house) at $.75/ ft for 18ft as it was the end of the spool, normally $1.30/ft

4 pvc pipes 10ft pieces for $1.43 a piece
the pipe insulation which I think are in 5ft pieces was the same price

the 2x4's which are around 6 ft(maybe bigger) were $1.19 each (not at LOWE's)

The rest is 7 double electrical boxes, a box of plugs(10pkg), pvc primer/sealant, electrical box, 2 15amp breakers, one 40amp breaker, 7 box plates, 25ft 10-2 wire 4 switches, and some random pvc fittings all for about $125 total.

The 2x4's were a -VERY- good deal the only problem was that the 2x4's weren't all good ones however the man at the lumber store let us take almost all the ones we needed in the good ones. at LOWE's a 2x4x8 is about $2 a piece so I think we didn't do bad with those 2x4's we bought.

We are going shopping for "supplies" again when Silver's next pay arrives, this buy will be mostly insulation and anything we forgot the first time. After of course we pay the bills.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Homestead bathing...

I thought I'd talk about bathing on the homestead today, at least from what I have experienced. When we first arrived here we had a solar shower, that was an interesting experience. It is not designed for long term use for a family, it is great for 1-2 people. We tried a few different ways of making it work better for us, one way was group showers; me and my daughters would stand under it and wet down... then we'd turn it off and soap up... then turn it on to rinse off. Well... that got us clean, but it did not work for hair washing. Just for one person with thick long hair it doesn't work to wash hair either. When we used the solar shower we had to use a metal pan to wash my and one of my daughter's hair.

Then my neighbor with all the animals gave us a bathtub her dogs used in the summer to cool off in to use as a bathtub for us to use. We spent 2 days cleaning out the tub before we started using it. Then to use the tub we heated water on our outdoor woodstove, now I'll have you know heating water over fire and dumping it in has two temperature settings. Not hot enough and ... oh my god thats hot! Oh did i mention as we were in the tent when this occurred we had to use it in the "great outdoors"? Yes Silver set up a single panel of OSB we had with a curtain on the other side to partly screen us with the open side facing the woods. However we got to experience every little breeze that passed through.

So lets see... burning hot water with cool breezes, it is an interesting experience let me tell you. Lots of fun too, to hear the kids shriek when they get out of the tub and a breeze blows through when they are getting dressed. We had to do that till the shed arrived and now thankfully we have a "sort of" bathing room which we hope to have a home made shower inside soon so we don't have to worry about freezing while we bathe.

Oh the solar shower? It makes a great water carrying bag until the handle on it breaks. If you need the info.

Be Well and Blessed be....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Well paid!

Lookie what I earned today feeding my sick neighbor's animals for the last few days. It is about 100ft of 14-2, and 14-3 gauge wire and it is enough to wire the shed aside from the kitchen and the desktop computer area which need stronger wire than we received. there is also some telephone wire included in it for when we do our house we can move the telephone ourself instead of being held hostage by the phone company (like we just were for a week). This helps us next week when Silver gets his pay as it saves us some money.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Monday, October 25, 2010


This is the "doorway for the bathing room we made, on the right is the canvas tarp. It looks a bit rough I know... but after 6 months of bathing in the "great" outdoors it's like *coughs* heaven.

This is a picture of the interior, just wide enough for the tub to fit in, we have some logs holding it semi level and still.

Wow I must be on a role having 3 blog entries in one day LOL.

Be Well and Blessed Be...