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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy After Christmas!

Hey folks! Hope those who celebrate Christmas had a good one. ..and those who don't had a nice day off.

It was a very long day for me as two of my three children have elected to be Christian I make sure the holiday that is big is theirs. That said my brother-in-law was suppose to have my nephew call my kids to talk to them on Christmas day. The young man misses them as he hasn't seen them since my youngest was 8(?) I think. Well... it didn't happen and my kids wound up very disappointed as they really wanted to talk to him. It bother's me when people who are family and make a promise to some kids don't keep it.

Anywho... Silver thought the turkey that I made should have been on the cover of a magazine, though I guess I should have taken a picture of it. Thing is he told me after dinner, so I had no idea till it was to late to get a picture of it.

Last week I started up a linkdin(sp?) account, I have not done much with it as yet though. Those of you who know me on facebook can find a link to it there. I am considering setting up an extra page on the blogger blog as a kids page for the kids to write on while they have a break at school. AS I know my son has commented that he gets at least some time once a week on the computers there as free time. So we'll see if I get a chance to set it up in the next couple of weeks.

I have found already the seeds that I want to order from Baker Creek, and once I send some orders out I'll list them here for everyone to see. Oh, something interesting; my tea trees are still in full leaf I wonder if that is because they are from Russia by the Black Sea? We'll see how they are come spring.

That's it for now folks!

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

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Sometimes life can be very interesting in a week and sometimes nothing happens at all..
or rather nothing of note happens. …
this week isn't one of those quiet ones...
 Last Saturday when I posted I was doing so while we were out grocery shopping, on a very nice warm day, but the day after was even warmer. So warm that me and Silver were able to eat breakfast outside at our outdoor table without coats on. Halfway through December in our climate that's just weird... We did enjoyed it immensely however. Later that day we spent watching a stump burn out in a fire ring we borrowed from Queen Sized Tink and her family. We haven't had a camp fire in a while and it was nice to have.

 I have a couple cute pictures of the last batch of kittens we had that I finally got around to tinkering with. Merlin and Lady have had their moments of oddity just like our other cats. The first is of Lady on the food dehydrator:
  Lady on food dryer
 Then little Merlin in the pot from making my spaghetti, I thought it looked like he was searching for food. Merlin looking for food
 I also have a picture I took in October of the pond we're digging out full of water. wolf lake late october I have tried out a new recipe, it is for sourdough pretzels; they were very good so try it out:
 1C sourdough starter
 1 ½ C white flour
 1C warm water
 Remove the starter from your refrigerator and stir it well. Take out one cup and place it in a warm bowl of 2 quart or larger capacity. Return your starter to the refrigerator. Add the warm water and stir until well mixed. Slowly add the white flour stirring continuously to blend the flour in well. You want the mixture to be smooth, you may use an egg beater or an electric mixer. Cover and set in a warm place to proof, this can be 8-12 hours. I let mine go overnight.

 1 ½ C sponge
 1 C HOT water
 2 T butter
 3 T sugar
 2 t salt
 5 ½ C flour
 1 egg yolk
 2 T thick cream or evaporated milk
 The first thing you wish to do is stir up your sponge and return 1 cup of it to your starter, replenishing it. Then with the rest of your ingredients at room temperature, you can start your prep. Add the 2 T butter, 3 T sugar, and 2 t salt to the 1 C of hot water stir and cool till lukewarm. Put the sponge in a warm bowl (btw I just use the bowl I proofed in), add the water mix to it and stir in. Add 4 cups of the flour, ½ a cup at a time stirring after each addition. This will get very stiff! Turn out onto a floured board and knead in approximately 1 ½ cups more of the flour. The dough will be very stiff. Place in a greased bowl, turn over and cover. Let set for 2 hours to proof (please note it DOES NOT SAY until doubled). On a board that has been scraped clean of flour break off pieces of dough about the size of a large egg. Roll each piece out with your palms of your hands until it is about 18 inches long and ½ inch in diameter. Twist into the shape of a pretzel. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Brush them with a mixture of the egg yolk and the cream. Cover and place in a warm 85 degree spot for 30 minutes for proofing. Then brush with the yolk/cream mixture again and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 15 minutes.
 I can tell you it was a very good batch of pretzels, Silver commented that they were better than any we have bought in any store.
 Last night was Yule for those of you who celebrate it, and Silver and I attempted to stay up all night with a fire lit in the same fire ring from Tink. We set up piles of wood for the night and even a kitchen for some foods were were going to cook over the fire.
  yule fire yule kitchen The only problem we encountered was that we were too tired to keep it going come midnight. So what we did do was bring the wood that was burning into the house and put it into the wood stove and set it up to keep burning all night. This morning it was still burning and all that was needed was to set a couple extra pieces on the fire to get a good flame going.

 I would like to take a moment to mention something that has been in the news for well over a week now.

(*steps on soapbox*) The shooting disaster at the Connecticut school, personally I think it was a horrible tragedy. I also believe in gun rights, HOWEVER... I do have an issue with people who buy assault rifles or large magazines and say they have them for hunting. If you need that many bullets to shoot a food animal then there is a problem with you.

Also that being said … if guns are taken away the only ones who will have them are cops and crooks... BECAUSE crooks don't care how they get the weapons in the first place so removing the legal way of getting them doesn't stop crimes. The crooks will still get the weapons if they want them.

 I hate to say it but in this day and age, if someone wants to commit a violent crime they -WILL-, if they don't care what happens to them after the fact legality won't prevent it. This is something that those who are in power either don't care about or forget “conveniently”.

 I do hope that person who killed those kids who never had a chance to live burns in what ever version of HELL they believe in. I also hope people don't forget that some of those kids killed might have siblings that need hearts and hands reaching out to help them. The other kids that -survived- this tragedy will have a horrible emotional scar that they will carry for a very long time just due to the fact of how old they are.

 Now here is something else to think on about this crime. In many countries around the world this happens daily... and no one notices or seems to care. It happens in an American school and the world stares at it. We need to stop this WORLDWIDE... not just here.(*steps off soapbox*)

I hope everyone had a good Yule and that all have a Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you have.

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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Back to Normal?

It looks like the colder weather is trying to come and stay, but the daytime temps are going as high as 60 now. Which I like colder weather, and the kids want snow for the holiday season. The likelihood of it however is -very- low, we might have a green holiday instead.

My plan for the holiday is to have a nice early dinner on yule then to have snacks left around for all night. Seeing as how I'll be trying to stay up until dawn keeping a fire going starting at sundown. We'll have the house fire off and after sunrise we'll be lighting the house fire with the flame from our overnight fire.

We haven't done much work outside in the last week, due to the colder temps. We have decided for our outdoor kitchen that a upright barrel/rocket stove oven will be the way to go. Silver was telling me the one that he has an article for baked on 10 pounds of wood 62 one pound loves of bread.

That's it for now Folks!

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

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Weird Weather for all!

So here I am with another update for everyone, with a minor bit of good(?) news. Due to the fact that we do receive food stamps, the state requires me look for work that will get us off food stamps. While I don't have an issue with this I must actively 3X's a week put in applications. I have to be able to prove it. So I will be online about once a week now, and I should be able to update this every week. I will also be able to update my pintrest photo's too.

 As for our wood stove, how many of you remember this picture of our cat Stormy from last year? 100_0933  
 Well after we put the wood stove in the house and during the time it's been too warm to use it, (60's in December...yuck) Stormy -AND- Merlin have both tried sleeping on the wood stove. This lead to a minor problem for both cats the night we lit it back up again. Both boys wound up lightly burning their paws when they landed on the stove. Funny how they jump right back off.

 We have been clearing the ground down to bare dirt for the house on these warm days. The dome is going to be 40ft in diameter, and we have set out some strings so that I could see the future room sizes. It does look like we may have to remove our largest dogwood tree as we are working on the house.  

 We have also cleared out a few other spaces. One is for an eventual pig “pen”; in that case we cleared out trash, downed trees, and branches. We also cleared out for a new compost pile by the current chicken coop. We have started it with some sticks and leaf litter from where the house is going. The third place we have cleared is where we are hoping to plant sun chokes next year, it's in a low spot so I hope it works well.   We have gotten a trailer hitch for the van, and Silver has put it on; it looks really good on the van.

 Well, that's it for now folks!

 Catch you in about a week.  

 Be Well Be Safe and Blessed Be...