Today's Quote


“If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sad 4th of July

On this 4th of July I find that I am terribly saddened at the state of things. We should be celebrating freedom...a freedom won by much bloodshed and the sacrifices of many. However, we find ourselves in a land with less and less freedom. Many of us Americans are losing the freedom to celebrate our heritage. We are losing the right to fly the Confederate battle flag. It is a symbol of freedom, but because some yahoo chose to use it as a symbol of hate in his sick twisted mind the world has jumped on that bandwagon again. We have been through this before. No, it is not the only flag of the Confederacy but it is an important one. It is one that kept men alive on the battle field. Men that fought and died for freedom...not oppression. Unlike what many like to say the Civil War was about, the truth is that it was about freedom and we are still fighting for those freedoms today. The Supreme Court just this past week disregarded the Constitution of the United States to force the states to comply with a ruling that it was not granted the power to make. States Rights once again tread upon. What was fought for in 1776 was the same thing the Confederates fought for in 1856 and it is the same thing we are fighting now...a government grown too large and oppressive...the loss of true freedom. Now, that overgrown tyranny is threatening to take away and deny many Americans their heritage. While it is great and wonderful for others to celebrate their heritage, we are denied the celebration of ours. In fact, they are trying hard to wipe it completely out of existence. Our founding fathers must be turning over in their graves at the sad lot this country has become. The First Amendment officially died this past week, they are working hard on the second, and the Supreme Court once again overstepped its power and told the people of each state that their wants do not matter and they have no right to decide for themselves what is best for their state. I find this a sad 4th of July with nothing to celebrate...1776 means nothing in Amerika anymore. We should be a country in mourning...we have lost much.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summer is most definitely here

Well, summer is most definitely here. Heat index has already been over 100 and only supposed to get worse this week. The humidity is very high. Yesterday I was out getting the morning chores done as soon as I had enough light to work on and I was drenched in sweat by 8 am. It is 6 am now and I am getting ready to head outside to get more chores done. The goats are taking more naps in the shade during the day...don't blame them really. This is truly siesta weather. We finally turned on the AC in the house this past week. Right now we are trying to zone cool the house and hope that works for this summer. Right now I am in our den with just the ceiling fan going, no AC yet, and frankly it is uncomfortably sticky. I do think the thermal curtains are helping to keep it cooler, but with this high heat and humidity there really is no super relief without air condition.

The garden so far is holding its own. The cucumbers and squash are done for now. I have replanted but it will be a month or so before we start having more squash. The zucchini are still holding their own and I will be replanting those as well. The pole beans are starting to produce, I am just hoping that this blistering heat won't cause them to drop their blooms. The tomato plants are loaded with tomatoes, which I am super excited about since last year I had a poor crop of tomatoes. Not enough to do everything I wanted to do. Now I am dreaming of all the salsa, tomato sauce, canned tomatoes, ketchup, and anything else I can think of. Sweet potatoes are almost finished planting and hopefully they will do well this year. Carrots and beets are almost finished up. I have a few more that I will pull and make another small batch of pickled beets and then use the rest in salads and such. The carrots will be frozen and used up this coming week.

We had a stroke of fortune this past week. My aunt replaced her dishwasher because it made a lot of noise. Nothing wrong with it and it is only a year old, but it was just too loud. So she asked if we would like to have it. I brought it home because our 20 year old dishwasher was starting to leak a small amount at the door seal. It also did not get the dishes as clean as I would like. Well, the next day my old dishwasher wouldn't even turn on. So we installed the one I got from my aunt and yes it is loud, but it works and cleans the dishes well and doesn't leak. Win, win in my book. New dishwasher for free. The bonus is that hers holds more dishes so won't have to be run as often, saving electricity.

Once again I am purging things in the house. Whenever I purge excess items I put stuff away that I am not sure I want to get rid of. This past week I have taken two loads to goodwill of those items that I put aside last year. It feels so good to get rid of stuff. I am now at the point where I am ready to get rid of several pieces of furniture. I mean really who needs 4 dining room tables, I only have one dining room.

We had vacation Bible school this past week at our church and that just about wore me out. The kids enjoyed it, but I am not cut out to be a teacher. I just don't have the patience. It definitely made for a long week, but I have to admit it was a fun program.

I am finally done with all the sewing for the children so maybe now I can do some sewing for me. I look forward to it. I enjoy creating new clothes and I do need some new summer dresses to wear to church.

Hope you all are enjoying your first few days of summer. Blessings, Kat

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Frugal Things Done for June

The garden is producing like gangbusters and I have been busy busy with it and with children. Petunia our oldest is now driving...so look out world here she comes. The pool is open so we are trying to make use of that while we can. Little britches thinks she might like to be on the swim team so we will let her try out in August. I haven't accomplished many great things in the way of frugality, but there have been a few. Here they are:

1. Used several coupons to save about 10.00 at the grocery store.

2. Used grocery store fuel perks to save on a tank of gas at the gas station.

3. Made a pair of too short jeans into shorts for Little Britches.

4. Made an old hippy skirt of Petunia's into a summer dress for Little Britches by taking in the waist (now top) and adding shoulder straps.

5. I have been purging again so I sold a few things that we no longer needed.

6. Stocked up on chicken for 39 cents a pound.

7. Put up pickles, pickled beets, squash and zucchini from the garden.

8. Harvested lettuce and carrots for meals.

9. We still have not turned on the air condition for the season. It won't be much longer though...the days are getting very warm and sticky with very little nighttime relief.

10. I cooked three meals on the grill and the rest of the time we have eaten cold stuff...too hot to eat heavy meals anyway.

11. We have a boatload of beets this year so I made beet chips for a treat.

12. I made cheese, butter and yogurt this week. I froze some of the yogurt for smoothies during the time we won't have milk coming in.

13. I harvested seeds from cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and cantaloupe this week.

14. We had one extra sweet potato for some reason so I cut it in half and it has now produce a lot of slips for planting. I have already planted 6 of them and will be planting more as soon as they have a good number of roots on them.

15. The bottom portion of our garden where we used to plant corn is really weedy and I am concerned about snakes, so 3 times this week I have herded the goats into that portion for them to clean it out. Free feed for them and it saves me the time, energy and gas of weedeating it. I just have to watch them really closely while I am out working, but so far so good.

I guess that is about it. Not a whole lot other than normal stuff, but every little bit helps and that is just that little bit more than can go into savings. Hope you all have a blessed week. Kat

Thursday, May 21, 2015

2015 Garden Photos

The garden this year is coming along nicely so I thought I would share. Enjoy!
This is the top bed area. As you can see the catnip has really taken over the front portion. There are also carrots, beets, basil and tomatoes in this area.
Here are some of the tomatoes in the top garden area. You can just barely see the narrow walk and then the beets on the other side of the walk.
A small huguelkultur bed on the other side of the top portion of the garden and yes that is the shallow part of the cement pond!
Still at the top of the garden but in the pond area looking back toward the house and goat barn. Under the tree is a large huguelkultur bed with herbs and flowers.
There are 2 bed areas here. The triangle bed which splits the pathway to go in different directions and then on the very far side next to the fence is the salad bar. All the kale has been harvested from here and the salad stuff is about done. Some wayward catnip has taken up residence but will become rabbit food shortly. The triangle bed has flowers and herbs that haven't come up yet.
This is going down the left side of the triangle. Peas haven't come up, then there are tomatoes, basil, marigolds, zinnias, and after th tomatoes will be another crop of peas. In the middle bed is squash, then on the far end the bed is fallow until fall. Directly across from the first set of peas is okra, watermelon, 4 o'clocks and soon to be eggplant.
This is down the right side from the triangle. On the right is oregano, lavender, sweet peppers, tomatoes, pole beans, hot peppers and asparagus. Oh, marigolds, basil and morning glories.
This is the outside fence along the driveway. it houses cucumbers, kale, dill, radishes, zuchinni, marigolds, and apple mint on the very far end.
That is it for now. Happy gardening!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dogs Earned their Keep

The dogs definitely earned their keep yesterday. I was in the garden working when I heard a big commotion with the chickens who were in the front pasture. I looked up and saw several chickens on the run back toward the house and barn. Behind them was a dog, then two dogs. So I screamed at the dogs to get out of here and my two heard me. They came running off the side porch and saw the dogs too. They went after the two dogs giving them a beating that they won't soon forget and ran them back through the fence. I think these two dogs came from a neighbor about a 1/2 mile down the road. Fortunately, because of the quick action of my dogs I didn't lose any chickens. I think it will be some time before those dogs think about coming back. Titan had blood on him and it wasn't his blood. They definitely earned their supper last night. Of course, Titan was worn out and had to take the kind of nap only a mastiff can take! Sometimes, I tend to think the dogs are lazy and good for nothing. But they are the reason that I don't have bad critters and can let my chickens free range. I used to have skunks here on a regular basis and I haven't seen or smelled a skunk in years. Dakota works all night long keeping predators at bay. My neighbor lost all his chickens to coyotes. The coyotes stay well clear of my place. Before Dakota I lost all my rabbits in one night as something, torn through the wire into the rabbit hutches. Now, my rabbits are safe, most of the time. I did lose a chicken that went through the fence into the woods on the neighbors property. Both Dakota and I watched it happen, but she couldn't do a thing because of the field fence. It was the chickens fault for leaving the dogs protection. These two dogs are definitely worth their keep, even when it seems like all they do is sleep. Blessings, Kat

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thermal Curtains are Working Well

Hello All,
I just wanted to give an update on the thermal curtains that I spent weeks working on. They are working better than expected. The past week has been hot even for deep south standards. We went from one week being in the 70s for highs and then jumped right into the next week being in the high 80s and low 90s. Big difference and actually quite miserable outside. However, the thermal curtains are working wonderfully. Yesterday, the high was 91 for us. We closed the windows, blinds and curtains on the south side of the house about 10 am. The eastside curtains are closed as soon as I get up in the morning and then opened about 10 am. The west side curtains are closed about 4:00. So while it was a hot 91 degrees outside yesterday, the temperature in the house never got higher than 78 degrees. The back of the house was even cooler at 74 degrees, but it has no south facing windows at all. Still no air condition running and we were quite comfortable most of the day. In the late afternoon we felt a little warm, but I attribute that to the humidity since the actual temp was not warm at all. The humidity has been quite high. And there it is, the culprit that usually forces us to finally cave and turn on the AC...humidity. Not only does it make you feel as if it is 10 degrees hotter than it really is, it will make mildew start to grow in the house. That simply cannot be tolerated as we are all highly allergic and it is no fun throwing things out that have gone completely green. I remember one summer I wasn't paying close attention and the furniture in the living room (which we don't use much) was completely green before I really noticed it. It was a bear to clean all of that upholstery and take the furniture outside into the sun to completely dry and solarized the mildew. So we will just have to see and I am much more vigilant these days. Otherwise the curtains are working wonderfully and while most in the south are already running up those power bills with their ACs we are still getting a small reprieve. Blessings, Kat

Friday, May 8, 2015

Vinegar weed killer

Ok, there are many homemade recipes that just don't work. However, this vinegar weed killer really works and on a sunny day it works fast. Here it is:

Vinegar weed killer

In a 32 oz. spray bottle put 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup dish soap and fill the rest of the way with white vinegar. Spray on plants to be killed.

That is it. It is so easy, cheaper and healthier than the chemical alternative. However, there are some cautions:

This will change the pH of your soil.

This will kill all plants, so be careful of overspray.

It works best in the sun.

Some weeds are stubborn and might need a second application.

That is it. I keep a bottle fixed all the time through the growing season so that I have it handy. This really does work well and I don't have to worry about poisoning any of my animals. Blessings, Kat