Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Rachal, my second child, moved out here to Iowa for about a year with her daughter. She was working at a nursing home as the Activities Director. She had a very cushy job but for some reason the women there weren't so happy with the fact that she was so young and was doing such a great job there. They quickly turned on her and began to sabotage her and gossip so bad that it became impossible for her to do her job in a manner that she felt was conducive for the residents best interest. She sold her car and flew back to Idaho. I was so sad to see her and Sammie leave.
Chase, my oldest son, graduated from high school this year and headed up to Alaska to work with a man from Weiser, Idaho. They are working up there building stores and government buildings. Chase is doing electrical work and is doing odds and end construction work. He is making very good money for a kid right out of high school. I am very proud of him.
Melinda, my oldest, moved out here with Jaxon. She left Timothy back in Idaho with his dad. I have lost all contact with him as well as she. I am not so sure about that whole situation. She got a job at the Kawasaki plant in Maryville, MO and within a very short time was promoted to a float position. This position is pretty cushy because they float around the various departments, if all employees show up to work then the floater gets to go home and gets paid as if they worked that day. Not too shabby.
In June I was in a bad car accident. I flipped and then rolled my car four times. As a result of the car accident I fractured my left clavicle, fractured my sternum, got a pretty bad concussion, ripped off the tip of my right ring finger that I had just had pinned a few months prior, got a nice black eye, and got a few chunks of skin ripped off of my left shoulder from the explosion of the windshield. I am so very blessed to be alive. The sheriff himself said that he had never in his 20 some years of law enforcement seen a car so bad mangled seen someone alive, let alone walk away from the accident. I know that my Heavenly Father has plans for me still, whatever that may be, who knows.
Since in my prior blogs I have mentioned our gardening attempts, I will mention this years. Epic FAIL. We have had a severe drought situation this year and since we were in Arizona for a major time during the critical watering time the garden pretty much died. Well, it didn't pretty much die, it did die. We were able to get one watermelon from the garden we planted in the back yard and the tomatoes we planted in the front yard in a raised garden bed survived. We haven't had a bumper crop but we have gotten a few tomatoes. Maybe some year we will have that garden we so dream of. With the situation of the government today we REALLY needed the produce to can and put up. It is a very scary time.
I will try to write more later. I hope I didn't bore you too much!!! :)
Monday, June 13, 2011
Our garden was a major FAIL last year, at least as far as the corn went. It seems that we are now racoons 2, Lambsons 0. This year it is on like Donkey Kong! You little rascals WILL NOT WIN!!! I will not invest all that time again and NOT get to taste the fruits of my labor again! How frustrating that we baby the corn all season long and the little rascals wait until the perfect moment and slip in like thieves in the night and wipe out all of the corn. It is not going to happen again!
Two years ago we planted 8 strawberry plants and this year we have had a bumper crop. I cannot stay on top of them. So far I have picked over 4 gallons of strawberries and there is no sign of the production letting up. I never thought I'd be sick of strawberries but you know picking one and eating 10 will make you that way. lol
Our remodel on the house is slowly coming along as well. Some days it is so overwhelming that it just makes one just not even want to do a thing. Baby steps one at a time is what we have to remind ourselves and it will happen. We have completed the wrap around porch and the lights. That is pretty darn exciting! The electrical work is such a chore for Curtis and I am so proud of him for sticking it out. When you don't do it very often it can be kind of confusing and my dear husband does like to over analyze things. :o) He did it though and the work fabulously!!!
Pictures of all will be posted soon...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
3 broken bay leaves
3 tsp. dry minced onion
2 tsp. crushed dried rosemary
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 t. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/2 t. pepper
Place ingredients into blender or food processor and process until finely ground. Store in salt shaker and use instead of salt.
TACO SEASONING MIX
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 garlic salt
1/2 t. oregano
Mix together. This will equal one package of the store bought kind.
PANCAKE AND BISQUICK BRAND MIX
8 c. wheat flour
1/3 c. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cream of tarter
Mix together and store in air-tight container. For pancakes add 1 egg to 3/4 c. mix, 1/2 Tbsp. oil, and enough milk to make the consistency you want.
HOMEMADE BAKING POWDER
2 c. arrowroot powder (can be purchased at organic or health food store)
2 c. cream of tartar
1 c. baking soda
Sift together until blended.
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. milk
Equals 1 egg. Can use in any baking recipe like cakes or cookies.
HOMEMADE VANILLA EXTRACT
2 vanilla beans
1 oz. alcohol (vodka, rum, brandy, or cognac)
Slit the beans lengthwise to inner seed. Place whole beans in small glass jar with alcohol. Let stand for 2-3 weeks. Strain.
One gallon of fresh apple cider
Place gallon in warm dark place without a lid on the jar. You may want to place a clean cloth over the opening to keep the dirt out. Let it cure for 7-8 weeks. If not cured completely sit to cure another week or so. If film forms on cider, skim or strain your vinegar.
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. buttermilk
1 c. quick oats
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
In a large bowl, mix eggs and buttermilk. Add oats and mix well. Mix in molasses and oil. Combine salt, flour, baking soda, baking powder. Stir into the egg mixture. If batter is too thick, thin with a little milk. This recipe works great for pancakes too!
WHOLE WHEAT PANCAKES
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. honey
2 eggs, beaten
1 3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. vinegar
Mix together in order listed. Do not beat too much. For waffles or fluffy pancakes, beat egg whites separately and add last.
3 c. finely shredded, peeled potatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1/8 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
grated onion to taste
Mix together potatoes and eggs. In separate bowl, gently combine dry ingredients and onion. Stir into potatoes. Drop by tablespoon onto hot greased pan. Brown slightly on both sides. Great with maple syrup.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Currently we have many plants that we have started from seeds. They are not doing so well. We have learned that seedling plants must have 16 or so hours of daylight in order to grow healthy and not tall and spindly. We purchased a grow light to hang above the plants and hopefully they will take a turn for the better. We will make sure to keep you posted on the progress of the plants.
Curtis has been doing countless hours of research on mulching and producing very proliferant plants. We are growing non-hybrid plants and are going to let some go to seed so that we can save the seeds for next year. I never knew that the majority of seeds we buy now days will not produce fruits from their seeds. Too much of cross breeding and genetic tampering cause the seeds to be sterile. Good thing to know if you ever plan on saving seeds to replant in the future. I am not saying we are dooms-day people but we feel strongly that we need to become as self-sufficient as possible because the days are coming that we will need to provide as much as possible for ourselves.
We are working on clearing the back 4 acres of heavily wooded land. There are so many trees that very few are growing strong and healthy. As we thin them out we are gaining our firewood for the next year... or few. There is sooooo much wood. We shouldn't have to worry about firewood for quite some time. Our chainsaw is not working so well, the chain keeps falling off and in spite of the constant tightening, still isn't helping cut the trees. The neighbor suggested using our generator and the sawzall. We bought some new blades today and will be trying this out tomorrow. I am excited to see if this will work well. Let the falling begin!!!
So much to do here at the homestead and not near enough hours in the day, or dollars in the bank. We have come to the conclusion that instead of being able to put the porch up this year, we need to focus on finishing the basement. Last summer we shored up two walls that were starting to fall inward. We still need to finish the other two walls of the foundation/basement. Luckily, the two walls undone weren't near as bad and could wait until this coming summer. We have to dig the dirt away from the foundation about 3-4 feet deep to access the correct depth. At that point hydraulic jacks are placed inside the basement. The floors are elevated and I beams are then placed inside against the foundation. This helps secure the foundation and provide extra support. We forgot to lay drains on the two sides we fixed last year and the water is coming back inside the basement. Looks like we will have to dig that up again this year and place drain pipes to pull the water away. Always something... I am choosing to remember we are just in the learning curve. By the time we are done we will have a wealth of information to share with others.
I am pretty bummed about not being able to work on the porch this year. Hopefully we can come up on some money to do it anyway. Frustrating that we have finally come to agreement on what we want it to look like and no money to do it. On the bright side, it is all paid for - the house and every improvement we do on it. If it can't be paid for in cash it has to wait until we can afford it. It is nice to lay down at night and know that regardless of the economy we OWN free and clear our home. Life is good...
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
We are currently researching how the most efficient way to grow a garden. By efficient we mean with non-hybrid plants, so we can harvest their seeds. To figure out how to do the least amount of weeding, while keeping the weeds at bay. To produce the very largest possible crop with what seeds and land we have available.
Within the next couple of days we will be starting the seedlings for our tomato's and a few other veggies that can be placed outside sooner. We have learned that the "official" last frost date for our area of Southwestern Iowa is May 10th. This will truly be our first garden, ever. We are so excited to get working on this project, the weather just isn't co-operating quick enough!
December 17, 2008:
Why in the world would you want to go to Iowa, was the response by many of our friends and family as we prepared to move from Weiser, Idaho to Iowa. We were, after all, leaving our older children, some of whom were pregnant and/or recently pregnant. Friends would ask if we had family there. Family would ask how we would see each other. Our answer was the same; we don’t know exactly, it’s just what we need to do. The “call of the wild” the call of land, the call of slower life kept reverberating in our brains, and more importantly in our hearts. We had to go. We had to begin an adventure that would change our lives.
July 4th, 2008, with a 26’ Penske loaded to the brim we set off. Before we had traveled 25 miles we blew a tire on the trailer my wife was pulling behind a beautiful 2006 Dodge Durango. The trailer was loaded with a new dune-buggy we hadn’t driven more than 5 miles in the year we had owned it. We had moved our motorhome out during spring break in March. Sonia would fly back for the birth of one of our grand-babies and then drive out in August in the 2008 Dodge Caliber we had just bought. We had money in our pockets and money in the bank, enough to finish the remodel and get the house livable by the time my wife and little kids showed up. Little did we know how this adventure would turn out, how vastly different we would be living 6 months after we confidently set off to build our homestead.
Flash forward: Today, Dec 17 2008, We are hanging on until payday hoping that we will have enough funds to: get a refrigerator for our kitchen, the furnace fixed, propane bought, a bigger wood stove that will heat more than two rooms, pay for a check that we wrote after making a mistake in our checkbook, buy enough gas to get to work, some milk, bread, eggs, and a few other staples, and maybe gloves to go out in the cold. Forget about Christmas, the kids will be getting what their real dads and moms buy them. I still haven’t bought the ticket so My 16 year old can go visit his mom. We are hoping that there is still a seat for him on something going South. The Durango is sold and gone. The Caliber too, the fridge? Well, we had planned on renting one for a couple of months until we could by a big side by side with water and ice in the door. That hasn’t panned out. We have however learned that if you hang out slices of ham on a tack it better be very high on the wall cause cats got ours hung at about 7 feet. $4.30 a gallon gas and an illness has thrown us, as they say, for a loop.
You would think that our spirits would be dampened. You would think that we would consider tucking tail and running back to a place that we know, with people we love. But we cannot, we will not. For in the struggle we have found a purpose, a way to save ourselves, our family , our neighbors, our community, maybe even our nation and we will hold fast to our initial plan and build this homestead.
You, why are you here? Maybe you felt the same pang of hunger for a different way to live your life. You may be able to get some info form our struggles that will help you learn what you need to know to do what you desire for you and yours.
And thus we begin. A quest? An adventure? A dream? Whatever you are searching for, may you find some info and a little bit of solace and comfort here. Happpy homesteading!!!