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When life bites you…

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… bite back.

Sorry for not updating in a while, things have been crazy around here. Silver spent a week in the hospital due to his toe getting infected (after 2 years of a wound not healing isn’t being diabetic fun?). Then we have spent every Tuesday heading back up there to see the foot doc there. Silver’s a vet so he has to go to the VA hospital and it’s a 3 hour drive one way. so any trip up there is a waste of a day.

Our pig caused us some major problems since that day and a person who attends church with my girls came by to put up a hot wire to keep her in her pen. So it makes her learn how to climb out of the pen. After this occurred we could not keep her in her pen at all and all kinds of fun started happening.

She:

invaded the neighbors yard

ate most of my garden

ate 6 chickens (broke into their pen)

started swimming through the septic pond

So, unfortunately when we discovered her eating chickens we had to put her down and with her swimming choices we could not use the meat. We’re hoping the pot bellies don’t have as many issues, the “church guy” has been pig sitting in exchange for 2 of the castrated males.

My peach tree has given up sometime after we got flooded last month. The apple trees seem happy however though. I am digging up whatever the potatoes have produced, I am not expecting much as they all died off during the rain too.

After all the rain we lost a goat, one of our females once all the deluge stopped looked like she was ill (I think she had a cold from all the water). It was a pity as we had hoped for babies from her as it was our milker. On a good note however Momma gave birth on Saturday to a healthy young buck. This morning I spotted him starting to play, so we’re glad he’s doing good. I need to retarp the goat house today however as we’re due rain tonight and tomorrow.

We picked up a injured kitten from an abandoned house a couple days ago, he has a bad leg. We also discovered he had a screw worm in his cheek, we pulled that out Saturday once we found our tweezers. I have to spend the next few weeks trying to take my garden back, as once strawberry started going after it I let it go wild hoping to salvage it. My cucumbers are ok and my sunchokes though she pushed the stalks all down they are still alive.

Hope things have gone well for you.

Be Well, Be safe, and Blessed Be…

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Life and Garden Update!

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So sorry for not posting in a while.  Life is hectic, strawberry is still getting out of her pen so she now has a date with the freezer.  Won’t be till close to Thanksgiving but still.  The “last straw” is when she got all the way to the front of our property and to get her back Silver made a chain leash to go behind her front legs so we could at worst drag her back.  Well.. she dragged him.  Not good for a 56 year old with RA and diabetes. *sigh*   Also doctors put Silver on insulin, odd thing about that.  Last few mornings with his shot the night before his blood sugar has run high.  Last night he forgot to take his shot and is was much lower, go figure.   Sadly however, his toe is no better and might  actually be a lot worse.  So bad it might have to be amputated.  We’re waiting on the VA  to contact the podiatrist so he can go back to seeing him.  The VA drives me nuts sometimes.

Another downside, for those of you who know.  While I am trying to get us “food sustainable” here , right now we are not.  Also because of living on disability we get Food Stamps.  We just went up for re certification, was told a worker would call for an interview here back on Friday at 9am my time.  Ok, no problem.  ..yeah, I sat in the house all day waiting for that call.  At about 10 am I tried to “talk to a person” via their various phone numbers.  Yeah, nope sorry.  Seems you can’t talk to a person, but I did wind up leaving 2 messages on their  “person call worker” interview option.   So it’s possible we’ll lose our food money.  Plus side is it’ll be when our garden is producing and we have eggs so I’m not terribly concerned.  However it irks me.

As for the garden…

I have PICS!

This is my acorn squash, we are hoping to have a lot of these for this winter, I have put some marigold seeds in the center to both attract pollinators and to make the insects that don’t like them to run away.  Funny thing is I planted these about the same time as my zucchini and look…

Definite difference in size there.  The zucchini  is smaller right now.  Though I know it will catch up eventually.  We’re planning on drying over have of what we produce of these for animal feed this winter.

Here is one of my bunches of snow peas (I got my first pod off them this morning!), they are loaded with flowers though not many pods just yet.  I’m hoping they finish before the Cherokee purples and the lemon cucumbers get too big or the peas will be coming out.

Speaking of the tomatoes…

If you can see, just past that pea is one of my tomatoes.  They are starting to flower already!  We’re definitely waiting on these to produce fruit.

This is one of the bell peppers, it’s also looking like it’ll flower soon even though it’s not very tall yet.  I am debating pinching the first flowers off to let it grow more.

My pole beans have sprouted, we’re hoping for a lot from these for chili making this winter.  Also this is one of two varieties of dry bean we are growing.  I planted tiger’s eye as well.  They grow as a bush however and can also be eaten as a green bean.  I don’t have pics of those as they only just started coming up.

Here are the cucumbers I planted for pickling.  If we have an over abundance of the lemons don’t do well we’ll be eating these too.  They were planted next too the pole beans.  I am thinking of growing some kale for the rabbits and the chickens for winter on the other side of these.

Now, this “mess” is my spinach patch.  It’s really taking off after the rains we got this weekend.  Seems to be very happy.

These, would be the sunchokes.  They seem to be a prolific as I have heard and seem to be growing just fine.  That is a two foot stake in the foreground, so you have some prospective.  I have discovered that I have a few surprises in my sunchoke bed however.

Apparently, there were some tomato seeds in the chicken manure I added to this bed.  I staked two of the tomatoes this morning.  However, it seems there are five plants growing in my sunchoke bed and they seem very happy.  So I will let them grow where they are.  Also I have no earthly idea what kind they are as I  grew three different kinds last year.  So I will wait and see what they produce, here’s to hoping they are edible at least.

I thought I’d share this.  It’s one of the wild roses from around here.  Seems all the blooms came out white on the roses this year.  It’s wonderful to walk past this and take a deep breath in.  I do wish I knew why they all are white though.  Last year they were all pink, so maybe it’s yearly change?

Oh one of the rabbit moms had her littler and it seems she had between 6-8 babies, they have a date with the freezer in 2 months.  (yes i eat my rabbits and if one bit you they wouldn’t be cute anymore)

Well I need to head back out and weed some more, happy gardening!

BE Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

History Lesson

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So I imagine some people wonder how a Chicago raised city girl wound up out here in the Missouri wood. Now first my biggest reason for wanting to live here like I do is making sure my family has a good source of food, and that we get regular meals. This is because while I grew up in a middle class family (dad was a welder and mom went back to school to be a social worker). I married not long after high school to the biggest mistake in my life. The ten years I was with my husband we lived homeless and with little food for nine. This piece of work thought it was better to play things like video games, D&D and Magic: The Gathering and spend money on supplies for it rather than feed his family of five.

We had months where we’d be living on a pound of meat with about two cups of dry rice for dinners for all five of us. We were lucky we had WIC so we had cereal and peanut butter for the other meals for the kids. I generally wound up eating only once a day.

I eventually tossed my husband out (for something much worse but that’s not for telling now), and even though I lost the home my father bought me (due to my husband not paying the bills while I worked 2 jobs), I did get a stable home and job. Then I met Silver and we eventually moved here to live our dreams of being in the country and having food we know where it came from and is healthier to eat.

As for my desire to live in the country itself, I was never one who liked to be around people much. I get panicky around crowds, including going to town to buy food when we need it; or when we pay the bills. So living out here where I can be away from a large group of people and just be me I am happy. WE manage, even if we don’t get everything we want done here in a month. Biggest thing to me though is. We get the bills paid, we get the crops planted. We slowly add to our meat animals, and get all the buildings we want built. That so far is happening so I am happy.

Watching a commercial this morning while doing dishes made me think about posting this and to point out a few things. A lot of people think that there are countless people in other countries who have poor nutrition or not much food. That the people “over there” have to decide on if they pay their bills for their home or buy food for their family. Let me tell you, it’s a hard choice to make. When you are sitting there trying to make you money stretch to feed yourself and pay everything so you still have a home and power and put food in your kids’ mouths you wind up hurting yourself sometimes.

I still have a hard time eating three meals a day and most often than not I don’t even think about a midday meal, because if I eat breakfast I tend to not be hungry until evening. It’s leftover from only eating once a day and me learning what it feels like to honestly be hungry.

So now you know why I live out here in the woods and spend my time growing my own food and trying (desperately trying) to teach my girls that it’s a good thing to do.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed BE…

Sunday Morning Chit Chat

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Good Sunday morning (for those of you in my neck of the woods). We’ve had a fun weekend so far, my girls were both gone yesterday morning. One went turkey hunting (didn’t see anything of course), her first time hunting too. The younger one was on a choir competition trip for school after which they went to 6 Flags. We have moved my birthday present (3 tractor tires) out to the garden and have started filling them with soil.

Friday I think it was I planted some bush green beans, in another week I’ll plant more. I am planning on putting cantaloupe’s into one of the large tires. The tomato bucket Silver set up, the tomato is starting to curl up and you can tell it’s growing. Still have lots of hope for that plant. WE were suppose to have a week of rain and it didn’t happen most of the rain had missed us so I had to water my fruit trees for the first time since planting them.

We set up a sprinkler we bought a month ago this morning. We had bought two of them but we discovered one of them didn’t work. So right now as I write this I have a sprinkler watering my garden. I do know that technically watering passively near the base of the plants is suppose to be better, however Nature waters the Earth from the sky so I personally feel as long as I make sure I water early in the morning (like before 10 am) and the sun light isn’t strong the plants should be just fine with overhead watering.

We have almost used up the truck load of top soil and all the composted sawdust we have on hand. I am hoping we can go tomorrow and get more sawdust, however we are suppose to help out a neighbor get his log splitter back from the mechanic so I don’t know if we’ll have the gas to do both before Friday. Helping the neighbor when we promised too is more important in my mind anyway.

I should be starting to pull lettuce out of my garden today as well as some spinach, The spinach isn’t doing as well as I thought it would but it might just be the amount of water it has had so we’ll see. I’m waiting on my transplanted tomatoes to put on some new growth, I am glad they haven’t wilted as they were very leggy. My peppers seem to be happy even though we had some cold nights. Thankfully none of the nights was below or at freezing, however we did brush near those temperatures.

Getting some greens out of the garden now is going to be a good thing as Silver had his yearly check up and the Doctor at the VA wants to put his on insulin because he’s not keeping his blood sugar down. Well since we had to tighten our belts when it comes to buying food lately we’ve haven’t been eating good for a diabetic of late so food from the garden means it’ll lower the blood sugar amounts. I have discovered watching his testing that is the heavy carbs are cut out (rice,pasta,potatoes) and only have nice healthy veggies (mostly greens) and a nice piece of protein his blood sugars run almost normal. I just have to be diligent with it and make sure he doesn’t cheat any.

Still waiting on our goats to give birth, and since I’m not sure when Oreo got them pregnant I am going to be surprised. I have ducklings coming soon and in a couple weeks Strawberry will have a new pen. We still need to find her a boy friend though. Why is it people always are selling what you need when you can’t afford it?

Well hope everyone has a good Sunday.

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Fire Starters

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My partner suggested I write  a post about his fire starters as anyone we tell about them seem to not believe us on how simple they are.  All you need to make them is some old candles (thrift stores,yard sales,etc) wood pellets (like for pellet stoves) and cardboard egg cartons.

This is our bucket of wood pellets,  we go through about 1 bag of them every 2 years.  Which we have noticed is pushing it a bit as they start crumbling after a year.

When my chickens aren’t producing sometimes in the winter I buy eggs in the larger flats.  This gives me many fire starters once the process is done.  I wind up storing these up in the winter time.

You fill each “cup” in the egg cartons till they are level with the line of the carton.  We had tried pine shavings, but learned they do not burn as long as they do with pellets.  You could also use dryer lint.  Or even hair from your hair brush.

You melt the wax down in a sauce pan on the stove. (we have a dedicated pot for this as we come across cheap and inexpensive cook ware all the time)  Then you slowly pour the wax into the “cup” part coating the pellets.  Sometimes after they dry you have to go back over them again.

This is what they look like when dried.  You then cut each “cup” out and when lit they -can- burn for 5 mins, sometimes less if your pellets are starting to crumble.  These cost us about $0.25 USD per starter to make.  We tend to have a good many by winter start, which have taken us into spring camp fire-y usage.  These really do work, they are simple to make and don’t cost much over all.

Another post coming today!

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Winter Fun

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You know the fun thing about living in an area where you get to fully experience winter in all it’s glory? We’ll if you don’t let me tell you how much fun it can be.

This morning it was a balmy 12F outside at 4:30am this morning. …and why did I know this? Well, I woke at about hat time wide awake ,checked the time realized I needed to wake in 30 minutes anyway to get moving so I could have some tea in me and have fed at least some of the beasties before I wake my girls for school. I figured with that much time till I was to get up anyway and I was wide awake I might as well get up. Granted… the ice cold eye balls kinda told me I had to get up because we just experienced the. “Oh my Gods the wood burner went out and the house cooled”. Now over half of our overnight piece of wood was still in the burner. Seems it didn’t like the wood enough to keep burning, go figure right?

It is always fun to have those mornings where you see the icicles hanging off your eyes and nose because at some point the wood burner went out and your head is the only part of you outside of the warm blankets. So you need to do the mad dash from bed to the wood burner to get it re-lit. Hoping the wood, and burner agree with your decision to make them work again. You know how inanimate objects get when cold.. they never like to work right.

It’s almost scary when the outside temps though colder than your home feel warmer to you (me heading out to feed the dogs who as soon as they saw me decided to wake up and make noise till they got fed). While feeding the dogs I poke my head in my goat house, I see my two ladies doing fine, but don’t see the buckling. Then he decides to say hello so because he didn’t get up I figured it was safe enough for me to not feed them till the sun decided to wake up .

..have I mentioned yet how much fun it is to get 2 teen-aged girls to collect firewood when they don’t feel the need to? I can’t even get them to look at the fire when they are near it. I am hoping some day they’ll learn. Fun parts about winter though are the soups/stews/chili/hot chocolate that gets made all the way through it.

-________________________________________

Side note here, I have not been posting on here due to the fact that we’ve been having some issues here with Silver’s health. Over a year ago Silver wound up getting a unhealing wound on one of his toes (he diabetic). The VA doctor sent him to a specialist who spent the better part of 5 months trying to get it healed. During this process he was given an antibiotic that caused him heart problems… Enough “problems” that we wound up going to the ER numerous times. Thankfully 2 months after the prescription the doctors figured it might be a good idea to not use the drug on him anymore and the heart problems slowed. However I do have to keep an eye on him in regards to that. His toe did finally heal after over a year of being open.

Hope your year has had higher points…

Be Well, Be Safe, Blessed Be…

Why…

I am disappointed, do you all out there know there is a difference between ‘peaceful protest’ and RIOTING. How does destruction of public and personal property show your solidarity for the cause you say you are following. All that has done is possibly hurt the area(s) the destruction occurred in. I hope those businesses rebuild, however I have a feeling that in some cases they will not due to the amount of damage and the loss of investment and income.

What happens when the rioters run out of things to destroy in the business district? I hope anyone living near the violence in the city area(s) where the rioting has been occurring watches the next few days to see if it gets worse. Please keep your children safe from idiots.

Here is something to think on, and I am not trying to debate if our country really is democratic or not. However, in a ‘supposed’ democratic society; not everyone will like the outcome of the events. When a grand jury is given a case they are required to follow certain ‘rules’ in how the information is presented and whether or not it is accurate for the charges they are deciding on. If they are only given “A, B, C, or D” to decide on then it is a yes or no and no wiggle room. I imagine if there had been another charge available they probably would have charged the police officer. However as I was not a member of the grand jury in this case I have no clue what went on in there.

People you need to remember that our justice system is not in it for shades of grey, and to pardon the phrasing; it sees things only in black and white. It is one or the other… not an in between. It is also not a decision based on your opinion, or even the opinion of the jurors; it is meant to be a thought out process. Debated, not just “He’s a cop he is wrong toss the book at him”.

Now do I think the young man in this case should have been shot to death (and I refuse to say shot dead as what are they going to do shoot someone alive?)? No, I think the officer should have used his taser on the young man. However, again I was not there to see what had happened so I do not know what happened in that time span when it occurred so I cannot truly make a judgment call on it.

People who wish to protest what occurred, as long as it is -PEACEFUL- and not -VIOLENT- please continue, but if you are rioting, I hope you get caught and have the book thrown at you as it is a crime to damage things that are not your own and to cause harm.

Ever Mind The Rule Of Three
Three Times Your Acts Return To Thee
This Lesson Well, Thou Must Learn
Thou Only Gets What Thee Dost Earn

Here is something else to think on, if the young man is/was innocent of the crimes that caused his death. Why are you leaving his memory full of violence? Should you not keep it peaceful to show that he would have wanted it so?

Please think, and please be at peace.

 

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