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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Child Poverty in the US

The following new article does not surprise me one bit:

The article shows that the US is listed as the second highest child poverty rate in developed countries worldwide. I know this exists as for almost a year me, my three kids, and their biological dad lived in a nasty trailer park outside of Chicago.

Now in this trailer park you had to walk past pimps, drug dealers, and gangs to just get into it. Then the trailer we lived in had no running water, no working toilets of any kind, and very little electricity. I had to feed my whole family on $20 a week, this was with me scrounging at food pantries when I could get to them via walking. I had to use a cut milk jug to empty out toilet we did uses twice a day... and trust me in the summer it was not fun. Then I had to find a place to dump it.

We spent that time living off of rice, ground beef, and grilled cheese sandwiches... along with peanut butter. We only had all of that thanks to WIC, because then my kids were young enough to still get it. So we did have milk and cereal as well, have you ever tried to make 2 large boxes of cereal last a month with 5 people...? I can.

The problem isn't that poor people want to be poor, most of them truly want to work; and cannot find work. Even in big cities jobs are scarce, and people with obligations generally wind up less likely to get work. For a brief time I had to work and leave my kids home alone, hoping they would be ok so I could give them a place to live and food on their plates.

The big BIG problem with these rates is that in the US the general “public” doesn't want to hear about poor children in the US. They prefer “those people” be in other countries. It's not “our problem” to these people. I'm sorry but it is everyone's problem, not just a problem “over there”; where ever that “there” might be.

There is a MAJOR homeless, and hunger problem in the US and we as a country need to do something about it. While I think the idea of the “backpack program” that is in a good portion of the schools is a good idea. I do have major issues with it. Most of the time when I had allowed my kids to be part of it when we first moved here, the “food” included was just junk. In my area the food is provided by donation, only; I don't know if the same happens everywhere though.

I have seen the same with food pantries in my life. Donations half the time are outdated, or what you get makes little sense. Yes, people with no food are very happy to get it. Here is a good question though for in the cases of people with food allergies, how comfortable would you be to ask they not include something you are allergic to?

What if you receive something that requires milk to make and you have none and received none? I would like to ask all my readers out there if they chose to donate to food pantries please put some thought into what you get. If you are donating mac and cheese, include some evaporated or dried milk. I've made powdered mac and cheese minus butter but you NEED milk. Lots of times I would get mac and cheese (powder type) and no milk. I'd ask the food pantries all the time if they have any milk... “you have kids”.. granted they are standing next to me, but I say yes. “Sorry but we don't have any”. Ok, fine.. then why ask if I have kids?

However I could spend hours going on about what happened in my life back then. What I experienced up till now even when I needed help and it was poor assistance. Or for some odd reason I did not qualify, even with kids. My main point here is, there is a problem with children in poverty; a BIG one. ...and it needs to NOT be “brushed under the table”, it needs to be fixed; or at least worked on. Hell, it needs to be recognized by the general public.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pictures to Post!

I have a few "around" the home pictures to post today a couple are from the garden. That is one of my vine peach seeds sprouting in the tire planter. Now I am hoping they all sprout and take over as so far I've had no luck with melons.. or winter squash for that matter, my pumpkins (the only one that sprouted) seems to be dieing.

 I am considering planting where one of the luffa gourds died some kind of melon maybe Oran's Melon or a Swan Lake.  I'll have to think on it, as I don't believe that they will cross with the vine peach.  However, I don't know; I am willing to try my luck though.

 As I said we got rain last night, now the sun is out and it's hot again. 70 inside the house and I don't want to know the temp outside. I was afraid that if I wanted any more Lambs Quarters I'd have to water them soon, so the rain is defiantly a blessing; my day lilies almost needed watering too.  Which they are getting flower buds now, I'm going to pick all the buds this year once they are a bit bigger and save them for soup and stew thickener.  I'd pick the flowers this year, but as far as I know they don't freeze well as flowers, and I'm not sure we'll get the solar dryer built in time for them.  Who knows though, my thought is if I get all the buds though; it'll give the plants time to really get a "foothold".

   This is the first of the tomato pots that I planted (tomato/dill), it has lots of new growth.  On both the tomatoes and the dill, I am wondering if we'll have to come up with support in the next week for them.  Considering how fast they are growing, the earlier ones I planted in the garden (tomatoes) are all getting tall too.

 Now... IF I did this right, and I am hoping  fingers crossed that I did.  I have Cherokee Orange fleshed Purple Smudge in the "pots" and my Amish Paste tomatoes are out by the garden.  Knowing my luck the trays got swapped and they are reversed.

 My plan next year is when I do the tomatoes and dill, I am going to add some basil into it as well.  Plant it dill in the center, then tomato, basil, tomato, basil around the outside of the "pot".  I am thinking of using fresh pots next year and grow some carrots in these next year.  As by then all of the chicken manure should be composted down by then.  Leaving a nice loose soil (I hope).  

   Now this... while I am "cultivating it" is not something I planted.  However I have been pruning it and training it:

  This, of course is one of the wild roses we have.  It is the one I have been training through a fence we stapled..yes stapled, to two trees.  It is in  flower finally and it is buzzing with happy insects.  I am hoping for some nice hips from this one this year, and if I get them they will be added to jams.

  I am glad this year they are pink as the white one in the foundation that we had the first year.  Seems the pollen spread and last year almost all the roses were white.  At least I am guessing it was due to transfer of pollen, because hey.. it makes  sense right?  One year one white rose... next year tons of white roses.

 This is not the only wild rose around here either.  We have tons throughout the woods here and there is a pretty good sized one across the street next to the pond.  I have noticed that these "wild" roses  have a much stronger scent than ones that you find a the every day garden.  It might just be me though.

 Now this picture is going up just for CUTENESS factor:

  This little guy is going to Queen Sized Tink  for her nephew, and I have four of his sister available if anybody near me wants a Chocolate Lab.  The parents both chase birds (chickens included), so with a little work the pups would make great hunters.

   Our Paris (the momma dog), had a litter of six pups. Only one male, only one black.  The rest are Chocolates and are all female.  My son has claim on the one with white patches on her.  So the remaining four also have zero white on them.

   They are also a month old now.. and AAAAAWWWWW ain't he cute?  ..and def doesn't want to pose for a picture!
 Well we'll be having chicken and 'taters for dinner tonight on the grill, to keep our heat inside down.

 Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Another Pond Day off

Well we're gonna get another day off from pond digging.. while we need to get the pond dug; it's actually for a good reason.  WE GOT RAIN!  Yes, it rained last night and a little this morning.  So we have to wait for the ground to dry up in the pond so we can dig it up more, otherwise we'd be slogging through muck and it's very hard to dig wet clay.

My girls are out at a church member's house working with the pups they were fostering.  Then they might get taken out to get new bathing suits and go swimming in the river too.  I think it's great they do attend a church that is so active with it's members. 

We're catching up on laundry now that the sun is out again, some household chores that seem unending and I might try to do some weeding.. though now that my beans are taking over I really don't have any.  Silver is out cutting wood right now to keep his muscles and joints active as he suffers from RA.  So when he hurts he does tend to take more time off to let the pain go away.. problem with doing that is then your muscles "forget" the work they were doing and they will hurt worse when you start working again.

Gonna grill some chicken breasts later on the grill probably with some potatoes.

That's about it,

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Monday, May 28, 2012


Ok, I HAD to comment on this one:

This is an article about a county... yes a COUNTY, that wants to ban GMO's in their county. Here is the article below if the link does not work:

County could ban modified crops

By Ryan Pfeil
Mail Tribune
May 25, 2012 - 2:00 AM
A few months after the discovery that genetically modified crops were being grown in the Rogue Valley, Jackson County officials have confirmed they have the authority to ban them.
Joel Benton, senior assistant county counsel for Jackson County, said counties that have banned the crops — also called GMO (genetically modified organisms) — across the U.S. often do so by defining them as noxious weeds. That makes their ordinance a county code enforcement issue.
Benton said the county also can criminalize growth of the plants, meaning police would handle the violations.
"It looks like 17 or 18 states have actually passed laws at the state level to say local governments don't have the authority to regulate GMOs," Benton said. "Oregon hasn't done that."
Benton, along with County Administrator Danny Jordan and the Board of Commissioners, discussed banning GMOs at a Thursday work session. Currently, the county's Natural Resource Advisory Committee is taking comments from GMO opponents and proponents.
"Then they'll formulate some sort of recommendation," said board Chairman Don Skundrick, adding the board will then take additional public comment on the issue before deciding whether to consider the ordinance.
The discussion follows a recent outcry from a local group of farmers — many of them organic farmers — and activists who say they have identified several fields of genetically modified plants within the area, including sugar beets and corn. The group, called GMO-Free Jackson County, requested earlier this month that the commissioners pass an ordinance banning the genetically altered crops.
Multinational corporation Syngenta AG confirmed it has been growing the crops in Ashland, Medford and Grants Pass.
The crops are close to John Muir Middle School's Organic Garden and the Organic Village Farm in Ashland. Organic Village Farm owners have said the cross pollination means they have to stop production on chard and beets, as both can be corrupted by the GMO sugar beets.
Opponents say the GMO crops can cross pollinate with organic crops, corrupting the yield and possibly mutating them. Opponents also say there are potential GMO health hazards for those eating the crops, but the World Health Organization says GMO foods "currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health."
Proponents say the genetically engineered plants are easier to grow and can produce greater quantities because of their resistance to pests and weeds.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at: 541-776-4468 or by email at:

I personally think this is a wonderful idea and that more counties across the US need to do this. This might be the way to show the “Big M” and the other companies that we don't want these “things” near our food crops... or in them for that matter.

I have heard whisperings of a wheat GMO on the horizon... I hope that maybe the US can get it's collective head together and do something about it before we have that coming at us.

Sourdough Sesame Seed/ Sunflower Oil Crackers

I decided to experiment with my sourdough recipe and try to make some crackers.  It didn't change much in the recipe for doing this either.
  Now I know it might be hard to tell exactly that they are crackers but the are.  What I used ingredient wise:
 1 C starter
 3+C flour (unbleached white)
 2 C unclorinated water
 2 T salt(I use sea salt)
 4 T sunflower oil
 1/2 C sesame seeds

     Now notice if you know my no-knead sourdough recipe there is a couple additions now what you do is:
  You do start with the basic no-knead instructions, which start with 1 C of starter in a bowl shake 1 t of salt over the starter (don't forget to feed your starter).    Add 4 T of your sesame seeds here. Then add 3 C of flour and about 2 C of warm water.  I say "about" because sometimes I use more or less.. just depends on how it decided to "Work" that time.

   Mix it till the dough is not liquidy but fairly firm.  Then cover (I used a plate) and set aside to rise for 8hours to overnight.    Before you work it after rising preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  In the morning I noticed my dough was a bit  more wet than I wanted so I added 3/4 C of more flour and 2 T more of sesame seeds to it and mixed it firm again.

 Then on a floured board knead a little... yes I know I use a no-knead recipe but for this it's necessary.  When it's firm cut it into 4 pieces and knead a little more again till it's floured and firm.   Take out a cookie sheet (I tried on a pizza stone, but I had no way to transfer it) and put either oil or cooking spry on it.  Then place one of your pieces of dough onto it and press it as flat as you desire them to be.  I managed to place 2 per cookie sheet as we like them a tad thick.

 Then sprinkle about 1 T of more sunflower oil on each flattened piece and sprinkle about another  1 T of sesame seeds and about that much salt.   Use less salt or more based on tastes and your diet.   Then set them in the oven and I believe it took about 10 minutes to get to the color we wanted on them.

 However I started each on the lowest rack then moved then to the second from the top halfway through.  This let them rise while baking then after moving them they browned very nicely.  My kids wanted to gobble them up  before breakfast, we're going to have them with some home made chicken salad for lunch today!

   Enjoy your day off if you have one!  We're going back to pond digging tomorrow!

   Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Catch Up

Well yesterday we were able to gather some black raspberries, and a few slightly under ripe wild blueberries.  Seems our wild berries are going:

black raspberries
dew berries

Somewhere in there we might have wild strawberries (no flowers yet), and the wild grape harvest; I am hoping that we'll get rain soon or the blackberries might not get big.  We dug out about 12 wheel barrow loads of dirt from the pond yesterday, today... well... we did decidedly less as my back is seriously hurting today so I can't bend to do the cutting of the soil.

I got the remaining tomatoes planted this morning out in the garden itself as my other type of tomato is up in front of the house in "pots".  I don't want a repeat of last year's cross pollination lesson.  So the tomatoes varieties are separate, as are my pepper plants.  I also got my bushel gourds planted this morning, in the spot we had our potato experiment last year.

Speaking of the experiment, we  have our potatoes planted in the same manner.  I need to get more straw as they are getting tall now, so we need to go and cover them more.  I am thinking though that next year we'll use that spot to try to grow some heirloom corn, and I'm going to use the "weedless gardening" method as after the 'taters are done all the current plants there should be smothered by all the straw.  So all I'll have to do is cover the straw with dirt, compost, and manure.

Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pond Work

I'm not sure how many of you know this, but we've been trying to dig a pond since last fall.  I had secretly hoped to get it done before the end of fall so this spring it would have filled up with rain water.  No such luck.  We have however had some luck now in digging it.
  The "red thing" is my daughter's sweatshirt, but this is the space we are putting the pond in.  The lower right of the picture is one of the spots we are digging in.  We are also digging just past the sweat shirt where we have a fallen tree broken into two pieces.   There is a little bit more space to the right and left of the picture that will be included in the pond as well. As I said in an earlier post, the dry ground has made digging a little bit easier as since we are digging it by hand the pick we are "cutting" the ground with is going right through it like it's nothing.

   This spot is a fairly natural depression in the ground we came upon when we first cleared this area of trees. Right about where I was standing to take this and to the right of the image is where we are going to put in a small waterfall to help aerate the pond.  The side with the fallen tree will be our shallow end and where we'll have cattails growing.

 We are also going to get some fish when it's done and filled, I read in a book that it's a good idea to get a bucket full of water from a local pond to make sure you have the right microrganisims (spelling?) in your water.  Good thing there is a pong across the street that I can get some from then.  I also have permission from the people who own the spot across the street to transplant some of thier cattails into my pond when it's done.

    I imagine it'll probably take all summer to finish digging the pond out, but I'm not fully sure on that.  We might get done in a month if we keep at it good and not skip a clear day digging.  I guess it's a good thing we needed to fill in the root cellar we were digging as we're putting the dirt there.

   That's it for now,

 Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Flour-Less Chocolate Cake

Yes you read the title... flour-less, no flour.  It's a protein shot, granted it is a little on the rich side and some people probably would have fits over what the ingredients are.
 Here is the cake unfrosted:
Here are the ingredients:
 6 whole eggs
 20 oz of chocolate chips(bitter-sweet)
 1T of vanilla extract
 1/2 lb of butter

 Yes!  That is all there is in this cake.  What you do is you first get your eggs to room temperature, fresh eggs are the best of course.  Whip them to stiff peaks, and yes it's possible; it just takes time.  While that is whipping melt the chocolate chips and butter together, I have to say this is probably the only thing we use a microwave for.  Add the vanilla to the chip/butter mixture and mix it all till that is smooth.  Fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs carefully.  Then pour into a spring-form pan and bake at 350 degrees (pre-heated) until the surface cracks.  Cool thoughly before eating or frosting, it does tend to be crumbly and a tad rich.

 This is the cake frosted with real butter creme:
  Yes, there is only frosting on the top as we are running out of butter.  Silver who is a trained chef and once worked at a resort that served this cake un-frosted at $8 a small slice.  You know those kinds of slices, you see them in TV shows when someone goes to a fancy restaurant and their plate for dessert is at least three times the size of the cake.

 Please also note there is no ADDED  sugar to this either, so it's fairly safe for a diabetic who is eating properly.  But please, do not take my word for it other than the fact that Silver is a diabetic, and he eats this cake.    

   I hope you all try this cake out it's heavanly!

I'm a mean parent part 2

I guess I'm still a mean parent, and if you don't know what I mean by that take a look here:

I wrote once about how my kids think I'm this horribly mean parent because I make them work. Well, they still think I'm mean; and now I am because I'm not listening to them when they get hurt. Well... I don't constitute a little cut on your big toe, and it is little no bigger than the head of a pin; as warranting needing to rest. Nor do I think.. but mom my back itches as medically necessary of rest, or sneezing a lot for that matter.

With that said, I seem to have a nice cold going on. I have been having very congested mornings where I'm sneezing every ten minutes, my throat feels like one of the cats crawled down it and shredded it's way back up. I also am not sleeping well because I have been winding up so congested by the middle of the night.

Guess what...?

I went out and watered the garden, harvested Lambs Quarters for breakfast, fed the dogs and cats, made 2 different breakfasts, dug in the pond, washed laundry, and then washed dishes, oh.. and before this post I wrote 2 posts per blog I keep. But dang, ...I must not understand that when I'm mildly ill I'm suppose to complain gripe and moan about how hard it is to work. Thereby making the work take twice as long.

What I have noticed is that most kids who spent any of their time growing up in the city especially in the public school system where kids are taught to feel entitled to almost everything. They seem to have trouble with the concept of doing some hard work. They don't seem to care about the “what if's” that might lie down the line as they are too focused on the here and now.

...and it's my job to be a mean parent to teach them otherwise...

Garden Surprise!

Well looks like I'm doing at least 2 posts today for both my blogs, as I sit here waiting on my laundry to finish; then get my dishes done.  I seem to be suffering from a cold right now and I am considering taking a nap after my work is done here.

However I have a nice surprise to share with you from the garden:

That folks, is a flower head on one of my Elderberry plants.  It's the taller of the two plants and I saw at least 3 flower heads on it.  I am hoping the other Elderberry produces some flowers as well, but I have no idea if it will.

I need to now look up a good elderberry jam recipe or if anyone out there knows if you can mix them into another jam like maybe a blackberry jam?  As we are going to have tons of black berries this year and I'm thinking of a mixed berry jam.

That's it for now,

Be Well, Be safe, and Blessed BE...

What Would You Do?

I saw a preview for a new NBC show that I think has an interesting premise, it's called "Revolution".   Here is a youtube link to the preview:

   Now I think it's a an interesting idea to think on.  How would you do if the "power" all went off, suddenly.  Could you survive?  Would you know how to live in the "new world"?

   Now I was chatting with someone last night that frankly, I doubt could make it in such a world.  For one she thinks cities are super clean and anything that isn't one is full of germs and that there are no germs in the city.  She thinks there are no tapeworms, rabies, "recluse spiders" in a city.  She also thinks all food and water in a city is safe and good for you.   I think while she wouldn't survive in such a world if the power went off, I do think there are others very much like her that believe these things.

 I think it's a sad product of society, that people think that cities are "gleaming shining" examples of cleanliness.  Especially if you pay halfway attention to what goes on in the world you'd see they aren't.

 But back to my original thought  here, surviving after the power goes off...  I would like to think at least me and my family would, I'd worry about Silver as he's got diabetes and a inactive thyroid.  So for at least one of those things we'd probably have a problem, as once we couldn't find medication for his thyroid, he'd prob die.

   The people most likely to survive are ones who can produce their own food, yes I realize there would most likely be people with gun stealing things.  Well their problem would be after they killed off anyone who they didn't like eventually they'd kill off the people they'd need to provide them with food.

 So I'm going to be watching this show when it comes out this fall to see what "writers" think will happen to people after the power goes out.

Monday, May 21, 2012

First major kid work day!

Since the kids have been off of school since the afternoon of the 14th they have been going to ... bible school ... the last week.  Well now they are officially on our work time now, and today they are getting their first full day of work since they started school.  We are also putting them on a "withdrawal diet", as they'd been eating food from the school which of course is all prepackaged.. and then I learn as par for the course they'd get soda's from teachers.  They'd come home very crabby from this and so we are taking the processed crud out of their diets  this whole week.

We started the morning off with some pond digging, the one good thing about the dry weather we've had is it's making it much easier to dig the pond.  Our pick is cutting through the dirt much faster now, the only thing holding us up now is my eldest daughter who takes 10 minutes to shovel the dirt that we cut out in a couple of minutes.  We only got 5 wheel barrows full done before the time allotted for that chore ran out.

After our lunch break we are going to dig out the chicken yard some more, this will be assisted by my youngest as my son helped with the pond.  So the older 2 kids will be on puppy watch while me and my youngest works on the chicken yard.  Silver's been out clearing more with the weedeater, and I'm hoping this fall we'll get all the brush out of our clearing and we can start setting up for  new garden beds in late fall.

I have some pictures to show you now that I had to take with our phone as our camera still has no batteries, so if the quality isn't that great sorry:

This is one of the buckets we are going to use for our tomato plants, as you can see the bottom has a big crack in it.  We got 5 of these about 2 years ago from the MFA here for $5 each.  They had contained some kind of feed for livestock, they sell the broken ones for a song to anyone who wants them.

This is one of the buckets after I have put in three of my tomato plants and a dill plant.  I read last year that dill will keep horn worms off of tomatoes, so we will try it.  The soil for these pots is, chicken manure, our clay soil, perlite, and oyster shell.

This tire pot has 2 basil plants and a stevia in it.  Yes, I'm using tires; they are our old tires from the van.  I am hoping that it works out well for growing things in, I've heard recently a large amount of people using used tires for all kinds of things so; I figured what the hay.

This one has marjoram, oregano, thyme, and peppermint in it. Now these pots have the same mix as the tomato one, except I did not put in any oyster shell.  As I am using the oyster shell to prevent blossom end rot on the tomatoes.  TI worked last year when placed on top of the soil, so I'm trying it mixed into it.

This is one of the volunteer squash plants, if you can see it; they are getting ready to flower.  I am guessing it's a summer squash type, but I am not sure which kind of summer squash it is.

This is one of the four wintergreen plants that I bought and planted.  As you can see it has new growth on it, I am hoping they all take well to the ground.

This is part of our bush beans that I planted, they seem to love the space they are in as they are growing very fast and lush.  I am hoping that they flower out soon, and I'm hoping to get lots of beans as my favorite thing in the garden is to go out and pick beans right from the plant and snack on them.

This is the Darkstar summer squash that I planted, every single seed had sprouted, I am hoping they grow well past this point, as I'm looking forward to having some nice squash stir fry's for lunch in mid summer.

This is the one lonely sweet pepper that we got from the ones I started, all the rest of our peppers are hot ones.  So I put the sweet out into the garden and when I get more soil set up I am going to be potting the hot peppers.

This is 3 of our now 5 Brussel sprouts, they are having some minor cabbage worm issues but otherwise they seem to be fine.

This is one little bit of the wild blackberry plants growing in  our clearing.  I wanted to show everyone how many berries are appearing on the plants this year, which is like double that there were last year.  I just hope they get good sized by picking time.

I'm hoping this is an actual wild grape, I need to locate the book I have that shows the difference in the leaves between the grape and the other plant (I can't recall if it's moon berry, or moon weed).  They seem to be producing a lot so far.

This is the wild rose that I have been "training" into a piece of fence.  It is going to have a ton of flowers this year!  I can't wait to see them.

Well I need to get off here and heat up lunch, we're having beef soup from last night.  Then I get to go out and drag my girls to help me muck out the chicken yard, so we can mix up more soil later.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Good Bye Bandit

Well we made an unfortunate discovery this morning when we went out to water the garden.  We discovered Bandit, Silver's favorite cat out by the well house dead.  We think she was on her way back to the house and to her kittens when she just fell over dead.  As it looks like she was in mid run when she died.

She's been here with us since before we moved here, she made the trek from New York with us.  She will be missed, especially since she was one of our best hunters.  Also the best momma cat we had.  A few days ago I was trying to keep her out of the house, as she was trying to bring in a full sized garter snake for her kittens.

She has been one of our most photogenic cats, as she always wound up in positions where we just had to take a picture and comment on it.

Oh, and here is Silver with Bandit back in New York sharing a nap:

As for her position in our home, I'd say if our cats were a pride of lions; Bandit was the head female.  She was the best momma cat i have ever seen, and that is considering that her mother was a wonderful cat mom.   I hope Bandit is with her sister Paige and they are chasing down some huge rodent somewhere.

We will miss you Bandit,

Good Journey...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Long Hot Day

I spent a fairly long day in the heat today, I was woken up at almost 7am by Paris who wanted out apparently. I harvested some lovely lettuce that we had for lunch today. Silver having new string for the weed eater was out clearing more of the clearing. The grapes.. well I hope they are wild grape, are doing wonderfully this year and I see tons of bunches forming on them.

I had the kids out to work on digging out the pond. I had my son take the dirt via wheel barrow, to a pile up in front so I could mix some soil for our herb plants and possibly the tomatoes. We discovered the cats eating our nice new catnip so it is now in a hanging pot so our cats cannot eat it.

I baked my first yellow cake from scratch, I've done chocolate before; but I wanted to try a yellow and we have one now. It is a bit hard to eat a whole slice so it might last a bit.

I used the wheel barrow to mix my soil, now I have to mention we are using the four old tires for some of our plants. I have the herbs in 2, including the new Stevia plant. I used chicken manure, perlite, and our clay soil for the tires for the herbs. The pot with the tomatoes and dill got also some oyster shell in it as we learned last year it needed it for blossom end rot. I am thinking of putting our hot peppers in one of the remaining tires and the luffa gourds in the other.

Well that's it for now,

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Tires!

Well, had a wonderful afternoon yesterday. Some money we had been waiting on to arrive had shown up and we were able to buy a full set of new tires for our van. New tires as we need to drive up by Chicago once this summer to take my kids up to see their grandmother. Silver was suppose to go visit his son... but I'm not sure if that is still going on or not. ...and only because we haven't had any steady word on whether or not help with gas is coming or not. I know my mother is sending us gas for one way.. which oddly came out cheaper than sending the kids via train to her, or bus for that matter.

We picked up a bag of dog kibble for the cats and dogs to share till the 1st, especially since the puppies are eating now kinda. I discovered the trick is to feed momma some first separate from the puppies then put the food in with her and the pups. Otherwise she growls at her own puppies.

We're going to go out to the one farm store this morning to look at some herb plants as they were selling them for $1.69 a small pot. I am hoping to get a few good cooking herbs and maybe they'll still have some catnip. Gonna get some chicken feed on the way home as for about 2 weeks the hens have been on a mixed grain diet that hasn't quite gotten the egg production I'd like.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Not a pond Day

Well I had a nice quiet morning, I woke up at about 7am here. I went and fed all the animals and watered the garden then sat and enjoyed about 2 cups of tea before anyone else started waking up. The plan today was to go out and do some digging in the pond before midday.

Well I went out after breakfast this morning and discovered something. I had sent my son out yesterday with the weed whacker to cut from the front back through all of the clearing. Well he went out, he cut some of the grasses down. Only by where the dog house we aren't using is. So we spent this morning clearing the rest of it, between the weed whacker and clippers we got most of it clear before noon. Funny thing where we are digging the pond we have JUST grass growing, after cutting about half of that I raked tit up for the chickens to go wild on.

It seems all my Dark Star zucchini are sprouting, so we will have about 6 plants; which hopefully will produce lots of fruits. The Lemon ones are just starting to sprout now, and one of the pumpkins has sprouted.

We used the Weed Whacker so much that we are now out of string for it. Pity it's one of the few types that cannot use the plastic permanent blades. So we have to wait till after the first to get more string for it.

The man who had my girls fostering the puppies and training them, is going to lend us a kennel for Paris and her puppies. Which will be wonderful as I’m going to have to bleach my floor as they puppies now almost a month old are wandering a peeing everywhere. Anybody living fairly nearby want a puppy? We will have 4 of the chocolate females available in about 2 more months. Mom is of hunter line (no we have no proof) she chases birds, as does the father of them. Just contact me if you want one.

That's it for now,

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Monday, May 14, 2012

DRAMA... the D-word

Due to some things that have happened in my life of late I thought I make a comment on this subject. First I'd like to say, “if it's happening to you it's not DRAMA”. This statement is very true, if you are having a bad day,week, month, year, life; you world has drama in it. However it's the people how don't want to hear about it. Or don't understand what is going due to not having all the information call it “DRAMA”.

While any good real friend(s) will sit by your side through the crap you are dealing with, or even dishing out. Due to only one fact, and that is. You will not know who those “real” friends are until they have had to deal with YOUR DRAMA.

DRAMA comes in many forms, from what crap you are coping/dealing with your significant other. The Crap you are dealing with from your kids. Some moron at work who's been causing you trouble for months.

DRAMA is just what is going on in your life, it is life. Some people just don't care to hear about it or deal with your own little piece of it. So they tell you it's DRAMA, this happens at first all over the net; and now it carries into the real world.

How about we just start telling people that we just don't want to deal with other people's “crap” instead of telling someone they are bringing DRAMA into everyone else's fun. Now on the other hand if it's just someone causing trouble for someone else, their just being an a$$ and nothing more.

You probably have no earthly clue as to why anyone is bringing DRAMA into your little corner of the fun world you have. Maybe instead of just jumping on them for trying to let out what's on their mind(s) you should open your ear(s) and an listen for a bit.

Everyone at some point or another is involved in DRAMA as the term is used these days... so don't make it out that you don't do it too. It just winds up being a matter of how many people agree on it just being a “problem” versus DRAMA.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

An Unhappy Evening

I figured it was time to actually write about something pretty bad, that normally I would just not talk about here. However, as I mentioned that we were going to have someone moving out here this week I thought it best to write this.

It seems that it is very likely that the young man who was going to come out to help us out, isn't. Now we were informed of this a couple hours ago, and he was suppose to leave for here tomorrow afternoon. Of course this is not definite, as he told us he needed to “think about it”. That it was a combination of things that made him want to not come out, “yet”. Now as we have both known this young man for many years and have him on more than one occasion tell us he was going to do something, and then back out of it generally right before hand. It tells me he probably never intended to be here in the first place.

This is quite sad as when we offered to let him come out here, we kept asking him if it was what he wanted. We kept giving him ways to back out of it, but he kept telling us he wanted to come here, and help us out.

The worst parts about this for me is, this young man and I have known each other longer than I have known Silver. He has also sat through a couple hellish moments in my life. Well, if he truly does not what to be here; that is his choice.

I just wish he had taken the time to have told us the truth on it... and to not have played around with it...

I don't think either me or Silver is going to give him another chance to be here if he chooses to not come out.

..and if he does decide that no, he won't come out here...

Good Bye Rayne...

Long Sunday Afternoon

Well at least it seems to be long, the kids' last day of school is tomorrow.  They get out of school at 1pm and they should be home sometime between 2 and 3pm based on how the bus service works around here.  They will be out of school till August 15th.  The girls get to spend this week at vacation bible school for this week as well.  Which means we'll have a break from the girls in the evenings then.

Our new help is arriving by bus in Lebanon on Wed afternoon, and we will be picking him up from the drop spot.  I hope his trip here goes well, he leaves tomorrow afternoon, and  said will be changing buses 3 times.

I picked a nice bunch of lettuce this morning, and we had a lovely salad with the lettuce, carrots, and bacon.  Gotta have some bacon right?  One of my bushel gourds has sprouted in the peat pot and 2 of the luffa gourds have.  I really hope they both do well, Tink has also offered to send along some long necked gourd starts; which I will love.  Course I am going to have to find places for everything to dry out, I'm sure we'll figure something out.

I managed to get the weed whacker out to the garden spot yesterday, as Silver fixed one of the old extension cords so we could use it again.  So at least I don't have to walk through tall grass to get in to the garden.

Tomorrow is house cleaning day due to our new resident arriving.  I am also planning on cleaning the pantry as we go shopping on Tuesday, and I want to make sure we have room in it.  Now that we're going to have double the coffee drinkers in the house I am going to be getting 2 cans of it.  We're also going to be picking up my son's learner's permit while we are out Tuesday.  So everyone locally watch the roads in case you see our van barreling down the road at you.

That's it for now,

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Working Weekend

Well, it's been a fairly quite week; but this weekend is rushing by so far. I have my son out clearing our potato patch, and of course being a 15 yr old he's taking forever to do it. I and my youngest did some “chicken salad bar” weeding, stuffed a 5 gallon bucket full of clover,grasses, and what ever else was trying to choke our Rhubarb.

I transplanted the eggplants last week, while I do see some new growth on them it seems something likes eggplant leaves. I have seen on my wintergreen the suggestion of new flower buds, and plenty of new leaf growth. I discovered a small possible melon plant growing in my onions the last time I was picking Lambs Quarter. I am hoping it grows well as I had accidentally pulled it up I had to quickly put it in the ground.

One of the volunteer squashes, has been growing amazingly and seems to have possible flower buds showing up now. One of the cold hardy bananas seems to have survived transplant and all my day lilies are growing fine as well.

I transplanted a couple of my paste tomatoes that OMG needed it. They were starting to reach out at me, so I cleared out where I had some planted 2 years ago and planted 4 of my pots and added a small amount of fresh chicken manure.. well relatively fresh I had to dig it out. I think I'll have bean flowers soon, and I should be getting some more lettuce tomorrow.

We are also prepping for a young man who is coming out next week to help us out around here. He's an old friend of mine and Silver’s and he's going to be at first staying in a tent till either our house gets built or we break down and get a secondary building.

Well that's it for now.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Wrap-up

 So over the weekend we did some planting, and removal in the garden. I went out and made the executive decision and removed my pea plants. Yes, they had a grand total of 4 flowers on them; however I did not think I could really leave them there when I really felt I needed to get the squashes planted.

All of my beans have sprouted, and about half of them are already on their second leaves; some have what look like the start of their flower stalks. I should be able to harvest more lettuce tomorrow, and I hope it's not bitter. I had picked some a few days back and it had a few bitter pieces in it.

I have planted 4 “hills” of summer squash, two of them are Lemon squash; and 2 are Dark Star. Dark Star is a zucchini type, these are one year old seeds so I hope they do well being they are planted in what was the bean bed last year. I have planted (well my son did) our pumpkins, Lady Godiva; as I want edible seeds and the flesh. That type is suppose to provide both and with the benefit of the hulless seeds. I have also transplanted my eggplants between where we planted the pumpkins, this is my first year of planting eggplants. I am hoping they do well as we do eat eggplants when we can get them.

I still need to go out and clear the unwanted plants from my potato bed, looks outside yep still raining. So I am hoping to do that tomorrow, along with pulling up more red clover for the chickens; and possibly getting out to the berry plants and trimming back the briar again. I had my girls get it a couple weeks ago and it's growing back pretty fast right now. We got some of the “grass” in front of the house cut this morning till we discovered the string in the weed wacker is stuck.

I am starting on a book that I am planning on writing a review on once I am done with it, I found it at the free store we stopped at on Sat. I found a couple of cooking and gardening books this time around, which is good for me. We re-arraigned our furniture/appliances in the house and got our open space back and moved our deep freezer to where we can get at it easier.

My tomato plants are finally taking off, and I hope to get the materials I need for the pots I am going to put them in. I am going to fill these large (bottom broken) tubs half way with straw then a mix of compost/manure/topsoil and plant the seedlings in that. That mix worked well for the tomatoes last year so I am going to repeat it.

That's it for now folks,

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hot Humid Friday!

We were suppose to have rain today, well it's not raining; but it is hot and humid. I went out to do my early morning check on the garden and I got to shake my head at the fact that the peas finally have flowers on them. I guess they heard me commenting that I would pull them up and feed them to the chickens if they didn't produce. All of my beans have come up, so pretty soon that will be another bed that will be teaming with plants that want to reach out and grab you... like the peas.

As the peas actually are producing now I am considering trying to plant the summer squash on the outer edge of where the peas are to get an early start on them. Seeing as how I have 4 unknown squash types already growing in another bed. My volunteer cucumbers are coming along good as well, I am hoping within the next month they will start producing flowers. Tink is going to be giving me some Tigger melon starts that I am thinking of planting near my onions, as I am running out of available space thanks to my mom's kind donation for our plants this year. I will get them in though... somewhere.

I went outside this morning to hang laundry and apparently I stepped into a tick nest, they were climbing up my leg. So many that my legs were both covered. Because of this we are considering using the tick killer we bought last year but did not use. I don't like chemical answers to natural problems, but in this case it might be warranted. I have put seeds for bushel gourd and luffa sponge gourds into the peat pots that didn't make it I am hoping they will grow quickly.

Oh, thanks Lane for being our first Donater!

Would you believe it took me 2 hours to write this? The heat has been making me drowsy, and I decided to give up and go with it briefly.

BE Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

New Donate Spot...

You might notice I have added something new to the page.  It is a donate for helping us to build the permanent house.  I know not everyone can donate, but if you can please share the website for this fundraiser on your facebook pages I would be very happy.

I would also like to thank everyone and anyone who does donate or share the webpage for the fundraiser!

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Weedy Wensday

I got a nice harvest this morning of some of our lettuce, a lot more than I thought I would get anyway. I also harvested more lambs quarters and I'm thinking of having a salad of them right before dinner as I tend to only get enough for a small serving for two people, but that is alright. Due to all the rain we got over the last week, everything that I didn't want growing in our garden is getting huge. So, I also grabbed the 5 gallon bucket and stuffed it full of greens for the chickens.

While out there I discovered that we have one flower on our giant pea plants... and of course I was thinking of just giving up on them and pulling them so I can plant the squashes. So of course we are starting to get flowers now. So I'm not sure if I should go ahead and pull them, tossing them to the chickens then; and planting my squash or give it another week?

I am thinking of putting my eggplants out in the garden, and I am hoping they get bigger than they are right now. They have not gotten very big yet and I worry about if they will get bigger or if it's just too restrictive in the little pot. Some of the wintergreen plants are doing better than the others are, one has tons of new growth; while the others have a lot less new growth.. but they do have new growth.

I still have to wade through the potato patch and get rid of the extraneous plants, and I am going to pull out the weed eater tomorrow afternoon and do some cutting in the front as like I said, the rain made everything grow big time.

Our beans are coming up, which is good. One bad however is I'm not sure we'll be able to get our goat, as we have to still pick up Silver's medications, some are going to be very helpful as his new doctor has prescribed some high dose and low dosed pain killers for depending on how bad his RA is acting up. We are also trying out a new (for him) anti-inflammatory, that so far seems to be helping; but he has only taken it one day so far. So we will see.

Oh, I'd be taking pictures; but for some reason I seem to need new batteries again. I had been taking pictures of me making bread again, and before I got the picture of my finished multi-grain one the batteries had died. Well I hope I get to take a picture of that one sometime soon as it came out wonderfully. It was oatmeal,flax, and sunflower oil; all mixed into the standard sourdough recipe that I use.

Well that's it for now,

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be...