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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The GMO fight

In the last 2 days I have seen that there is now a lawsuit against Monsanto over their GMO crops read them here:

I say it is about time, this gives the public who MIGHT (NOT A DEFINITE) wind up with their fields being contaminated by the GMO pollen or an "accidental" spillage from a seed truck rumbling down the road. Monsanto won't be able to sue them. The GMO crops are not the same as others otherwise there would be no need for the patent... therefore those seeds should be treated as different, and if they got into someone else's crop totally by no fault of the farmer then the farmer in question should not have problems.

Personally I also think all products with GMO anything in them should be clearly labeled as such so a consumer who wants to make their own choices on it can. aside from the very infrequent times we eat out and the few times I do want a quick meal which might be once a month I make all my foods from scratch. I do know that to some people this is strange, and WOW... when I had some toast in a restaurant about a month ago I was shocked at the flavor of it. After eating only my own homemade sourdough bread commercial bread is not the same.

So I do think this lawsuit is a very good thing, and I do hope the organic farmers win this one for everyone!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ugly day...


Considering we spent half the day inside yesterday due to weather we were hoping to get out and get more work done today...

As of 11 am my outdoor thermometer is still reading 33 degrees... and its cloudy with the feel of rain in the air. while I know that here in Missouri the springs are rather rainy, I would like to get more than a couple hours of work done outside a day. silver looked at the forecast on the weather channel website and it says we might get snow on the 1st. Goodie.. at least I got my now growing potatoes covered:

This is what it looked like when I moved the straw covering a bit to check on it after the last snowfall we had a few days ago. Oh by the way... these potatoes I currently have sprouted are the ones that were from our eating bin not seed potatoes. They took a few weeks to sprout but they did and I am waiting to see the seed ones sprout still.

We bought 2 bales of straw for "just in case" when I received my tax refund, when I opened the one I started putting over the potatoes my girls asked if they could have some to play with. I told them sure have a handful... well they took more than that. My girls have a toy metal dump truck for outside that they stacked sections of the straw on and they totally took the bale apart. Well at least I now know if I need it taken apart to have my girls go at it... Oh well.

Yesterday we got a small surprise, we ordered my middle child's new glasses back on Friday and were told it would take a week for them to arrive. We got a call yesterday that they were in that was fast. So on the way back home we stopped at the farm store we got our chickens at, just to look (of course...). They didn't have many chicks left and we found out they will receive more tomorrow, so because I still want Jersey Giants we will check them out Friday before we call the Hatchery. If the store has them straight run I will buy them from the store, otherwise we will order some from Cackle. I also picked up some Rhubarb crowns while in the farm store and now I get to stare at the weather until I get a nice day so I can plant them... according to the planting instructions for this area now is the time to plant them. So I will keep an eye open for a good day and hope I can find a good spot for them.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We're back!

Well we're back after having our internet off for a few weeks due to not paying the outrageous initial payment they wanted. You know I'm use to phone companies who stretch the set up cost over a period of 6 months. Seems this one does break it up into 2 months. While we can handle the “actual” cost of our services through them that much for each month we just could not handle. We paid them back on the 25th which is when I received my tax refund and we were told the internet would not be back on till late Tuesday. Seems they need to turn it on at the substation in town and the service man does not go there aside from once a week.

Speaking of my tax refund... I'd like to take a moment to complain about something. Now I do not have TV here we do watch movies but we cannot get a TV signal here even for local. So after I went to H&R Block to get my taxes done and the gentleman (who did a poor job) finished filing it for me. He informs me after all the work that we could no longer get the 2 day money... well.. that irked me just a tad. I only go to their offices because of 2 day money I know how to do my own taxes and so I paid out an extra $500 from my refund just for having them do it. Well I am not going there again!

Oh, I'd like to thank those people who were worried about us while our net was down!

As for updates...

New additions:

3 kitties

2 chain saws

1 sling shot

1 printer

1 more pair of eye glasses for my daughter (3 in 6 months...)

18 chicks 2 of which are turkeys

Here are a few of the pics I took of our work while we were offline:

I Have a few of this same area

And here is a picture of our chocolate lab watching "dog TV":

When we were in New York she loved chasing the chickens we had there, and because she loves babies we aren't sure if she likes them because they are birds or babies...

Well I do have more pics and more to talk about and I will hopefully get more written up for everyone to see either later today or tomorrow. I will also see if I can get pics of our newest kitties too be I am not sure if "momma" will let me. Oh! Here is the breakdown for the chickens:

11 Rode Island Reds

2 Polish Crested

3 unknown mixes

and of course our 2 bronze turkeys

the kids of course wanted ducks (no honey we don't have a pond) and geese (same reason honey), and of course they don't want to listen to that one bit. We are hoping to pick up a pressure canner sometime in the next month so I can can my spaghetti sauce at least.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A few more Finds (no pics this time sorry)

Well we went back to the same yard sale we went to yesterday as Silver wanted to buy a grinder they had there marked at $10. Well the grinder is still there and we found out why. It seems the motor is not included, it was being sold sperately(sp?) for $20; not going to buy that whole thing for $30 and the motor was sold already.

We did get a full sized file cabinet for $2 including what ever was in it, aside from the junk manuals in it there was one other thing. It was a book called "The Home WorkPlace", it was published by "Organic Gardening and Farming" back in 1981; original in 1978. I can't wait to read it, it has some building plans in it one is a wooden brooder.

We picked up 3 more books there:

Wild Edible Plants of North America by Donald R. Kirk, copyright 1975

Wildlife in your garden or Dealing with Deer,Rabbits,Raccoons,moles,crows,sparrows, and Other of Nature's Creatures, by Gene Logsdon, copyright 1983

The Wilderness Cabin, by Calvin Rutstrum, copyright 1976

We have also bought a 15lb bucket of pinto beans that I'm going to see if they sprout if not... we'll eat them got it for $2. We got a "tarp" bag of random clothes for $.25 most of which turned out to be towels. A large plastic tub filled with very old Tupperware for $.75. We have a whole bag of mosquito netting we bought for $2 (garbage bag full), 2 sets of sheets for our bed for $5. I found a very nice winter coat for me that was only worn enough for her to get it cleaned and learn she didn't want to pay the cost of cleaning it anymore (it's leather!) for $5. We bought a stove pipe T that has a damper in it for $.50. I wish we had more spending money and a truck they had a chest freezer that was about 30 cubic feet for $10 they were using it for storing feed, but even if it didn't work I bet Silver could have fixed it. We had so much fun there this morning, can't wait to see more opening up this year never know what you might find.

Depending on the weather tonight and tomorrow morning we may be going out with the kids to "flag" the ground we are going to build the house on. So we can show them exactly where we need to finish clearing, at least we hope it'll motivate them to get it done when they are sooooooo "bored". We have picked up some cheap work gloves so we can move as much bramble out as we can, so much wild black raspberry and roses I'll not have to go far to make jelly! I am hoping to try my hand at jelly making this year (if we ever manage to get the equipment), discovering my son likes gooseberry jam I need to plant some gooseberries.

The kids are going to hate dinner tomorrow night we have a pot of stock simmering away on the stove, it was suppose to be chicken; however it's going to be a tad more like vegetable. discovered when I pulled out my dried broccoli that seems someone shook the jar it's in as when I went to pour some out into my hand all I got where just the flowers and no stems at all.

So lets see in an hour or two I get to go "treasure" hunting in my Tupperware box and see what we bought.

Be Well and Blessed be...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Yard sale and thrift store finds!

Well we had a verrrrrrry long day today, we left almost an hour after the kids left for school determined to get bills paid and do laundry. We also were going to stop at what appears to be the first yard sale of the year All I have to say is WOW! The following is a run down of what we found and bought. Dream hon, this first one is for you!

This is one of 2 BOXES of jars I bought for $14. They are all quart jars wide and narrow mouthed. They are a mix of store jars, Mason, and Kerr jars. There are about 16 of the "canning" jars and maybe 6 of the "store" jars (store meaning they were mayo, etc). Within these boxes of the "canning" jars I did notice that some of the jars are old! The outside of the jars have different type face or wording a few have decorations on them. One to my pleasant surprise (Mason brand), was a bicentennial edition jar. I am very happy about that one as I was born in 1976.

And here is what 8 of those jars are doing (hey Jon that "store" jar is yours waiting in the freezer here!):

This was great timing for me with this find in these jars as I did need something to freeze my homemade spaghetti sauce in! Yes, that is 8 quart jars 3/4's of the way full; they are all sitiing in the freezer right now.

This is our next "good buy", these loaf pans were $.50 a piece and they are very heavy and appear to be barely used! I'm goign to try to make a "loaf" with my "no knead" recipe tomorrow wish me luck!

Next is this beautiful oil lamp, it was a steal at $2; it even comes with a wall bracket! It's sitting with our other oil lamp that is empty right now, I'm so happy I have 4 oil lamps; 2 are wall hanging ones. I love the design on the lamp shade.

These 2 books were $.25 total, I picked up the garden one to see if there was anything useful in it. If it does I am sure I will post the book's full title and ISBN number in a later post. The other is a minor history of raising sheep.

We have one of these already but this one is "finer toothed" than our one, if you do not know it is a hand weeder. We bought it for $.75, and you swing it almost like a golf club to cut weeds down. Silver thinks it's made for grasses.

Silver says this is a "garden rake", if you know it as something else or what it does... let me know. We got it for $1, those blades go both directions and Silver said it's for weeding in the garden. To me it looks like it would be good for "cultivating" the soil prior to growing, again if you know what it is and it's for please... let me know!

This pickax was only $.75 the handle is still good though a little rough. It needs a good sanding and resealing. Silver will probably sharpen it.

Well, we got this desk chair for Silver his last one is falling apart. We paid $1 for it and Silver said he'd have paid $1 just for the wheels on it! Odd thing... it's the same color as his last chair! Now I did get a pair of boots for working in there as well for $6 they are black all leather "Chippewa" brand, from the little I know that was a very good deal!

Now we did find a new thrift store that is so peaceful that I'd never take my kids into it(sorry kids). How ever we did find to good things there, and weird we would not have found it if we were not heading for the health food store in the same strip mall.

This was very interesting, Silver says this knife is made from high carbon steel. we both think it's a boning knife, hard to tell as it is "handmade". We paid $5 for it and Silver says we were lucky it was where the people didn't realize what it was. I do think the idea of putting a new edge on it has made him very happy today.

This is the last thing we got a set of 3 crocks, the set was $5 at the thrift store and I am going to see if I can put my "sourdough" in the largest one. Well everyone happy hunting at any yard sales and thrifts stores you head too!

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chain saws are Evil!

This lovely picture is of the chain saw we bought last year at a garage sale for $60 and then it was barely used... so unused in fact that the stickers looked brand new. Well just before the end of fall while we were still cutting up the trees we cut down it decided it would stop working.

Well this presents a couple of problems, first one is; we didn't finish cutting up the trees we cut down. Granted, where the house is going is OK for now, aside from one tree that needs to come down or we have to worry about weather making it come down on the house.

Second problem is, Silver took it apart this morning after we got back from doing our laundry. He cannot find anything wrong with it. He even dumped out the old gas, cleaned the whole thing and put in freshly mixed gas. He went out and bought a can of starter fluid to see if that would help... it didn't.

So now we need to ponder do we take it to a small engine repair place or just buy a new one? We should probably get a quote on repairing it, as a new one is at least $200; which was why at $60 it was a very good deal.

Silver is going to try to start it again as he is not willing to give up on it, and when we first got it we discovered it starts slowly.

We are having a bit of excitement though with the nice weather as it is costing us less to do our laundry now that we can hang it again so we did some yesterday, did some today and we will do more tomorrow (after our bills get paid). I have discovered until it is warm enough to do all my plantings the "feed buckets" I bought yesterday make great dirty laundry pails. Now if I can just get the kids to give me all the dirties they have hid...

Be Well and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Early planting!

First I'd like to pint out the newest link on the side here, it's a map of the gas prices across the USA; so if you are going on a trip or are just curious you can take a peek.

This little onion sprout is on the edge of my potato "bed", I have spent a little time (and money) buying and planting some potatoes and onions today. The local grocery store had seed potatoes at $0.49 a pound! Well, even though we ordered some seed potatoes online today:

It's an heirloom, and a white medium sized potato so it should be good for us. Anywho... we got some Irish seed potatoes, and I cut and planted them today. Yes, I know it's a little early; but I want to see if I can get them to sprout this early. Also as I have never grow potatoes before I want to try out a few things I have read up on, one of which is growing them in cut grass or straw. This one I am trying this year, however I do have them "starting" in straight goat manure leftover from last year. As they grow we will add straw instead of dirt mounding them higher.

I have started planting my onion sets as well, yes again I know it's early. This is something I have experience planting since I was little, and again I want to see how early I can plant them here. I have only planted them on the outside of my potato plot.. kinda a way to show where the potatoes are and hopefully to make the plants unappealing to other animals. We will see if this winds up a good companion planting or not.

Now this pot (which by the way is from our holiday tree that didn't make it over winter), has some garlic that sprouted in my garlic container. We are going to see if they will grow or not. This pot again only has goat manure in it leftover from last year. We tried growing some sprouted garlic last year, but as it was planted in the clay soil it did not do well after a couple of weeks. We are hoping this will work better.

Speaking of pots, today at the MFA we picked up 5 cracked feed buckets that we are going to use as planting pots this year. At $3 a piece it was a very good deal, they only have one large crack in each bottom; which as we'd have to drill holes in them otherwise is a good thing.

Another good deal we have come across is for our toilet, as we are using a "sawdust" toilet we are always looking for cheap sawdust. Well there is a lumber mill near here that we can buy sawdust for $10 for a pickup truck full. well, all we need now is a pickup, until then we found out at the MFA that they have bales of sawdust/shavings for $5 for 7 cubic yards. We were paying $6 at Wal-mart for 4 cubic yards so it's a much better deal and 7 cubic yards lasts at least 3 weeks.

Well other than bread making, laundry drying and smelling this wonderful roast I'm making for dinner; nothing else going on here today.

Be Well and Blessed Be...