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

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sorry, I have been gone so long

I know, I know. I am sorry that I have been gone for so long. Life has just been crazy and we as a family have had some serious decision making to do. Our oldest daughter Petunia will be graduating high school this year. So, I have been with the other graduating moms planning graduation and all that entails. Petunia has decided that she will be going to nanny school like Patrice's daughter over at Rural Revolution. She loves children and babysitting has always brought her much joy. She is very excited. But first she will spend the summer with my sister in New England working to earn some money and experiencing life a little bit. But first she had to have her first car accident. Thank the good Lord above that she walked away with only a scar on her forehead from a tree branch that came through the window and nothing more. Trust me when I say, odds were in favor of her not walking away at all. She was most definitely surrounded by angels that night. My husband's pathfinder was totaled and we had to look for another car. That has taken up a few weeks of our time. Then the little ones schooling is taking up much more of our day as she is getting into more big girl things and it simply takes more time. We follow a Charlotte Mason curriculum and there is a lot of reading on both of our parts. We have decided that it is time to downsize our farm activities for two reasons. The first being that it is time for us to look for a new home and the second is that I simply need less physical stress so that I can finish healing my autoimmune disease as much as possible. So, we will definitely keep the chickens and the garden. But more than likely most of the rabbits and the goats will be going. At the most we will keep 3 goats and 3 rabbits. That will allow us to start taking up fencing and give me a break on the physical aspect of farming. It will give me a chance to do some healing and us a chance to save some money to help with a downpayment. We have not gotten much from our livestock over the past couple of years, and it just seems like we are wasting money feeding them when we are getting very little. I also don't know yet whether I will be able to eat dairy anymore, my little one doesn't like to drink much milk and is not a cheese fan, my oldest will be leaving the nest, my husband is not fond of milk and only drinks about 1 glass a we just aren't sure whether it justifies keeping the goats for now. Just lots of changes going on and this blog will probably take more of a homeschooling and homekeeping path rather than the homesteading path. I suppose that is ok for now and we will just have to see what the future brings. Blessings, Kat

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Burning up the Yard and an Update

Yes, I did. I started what was to be a burn some yard trash fire which almost turned into a nightmare. I had the pile to be burned all nice and tidy with all the straw and leaves raked away from it, so I thought. I stood there for hours watching it burn with absolutely no problems. As it burned down to mostly just a smoldering mass I decided to get a quick shower and then get somthing to eat. After my shower, I checked on the fire and it was doing just fine. No problems at all, still not much more than a smoldering mass. Then I decided to get some lunch and sit down for a little bit inside as it is still hot here. So, after I fixed my food and sat down I sent the teenager out to check on the fire. Not sure if she walked around it all the way or just glanced across the yard. When I got done eating the wind had picked up a little and as I walked out to what should have been a smoldering pile of coals, I saw flames....good sized ones too. Not good. The fire apparently at some point had jumped my break and ignited some of the yard and then gotten into some pine straw which led to my property line and the neighbor's wood behind me. It wasn't moving terribly fast but it was faster, hotter and bigger than I like and it was spreading. I sent the little one in to get the oldest child and we commenced to putting this out before we set our neighbor's property on fire. It too a good 2 hours to make sure that absolutely everything was completely out, but fortunately it looked worse than it was and it didn't take much to have it under control. Just took forever getting all the hotspots put out for good. I have to admit it was a bit scary and my husband came home to us covered it dust, dirt and I am banned from having another fire when he is not home. He is probably right we do both need to be home.

Other than that it is the mad rush to get everything that needs doing done before cold weather gets here. I know....most of you know that I live in the south and we don't get near the winter that you guys up north get. So, I know most of you are wondering why I am so all fired up to have all this extra stuff done. Well, the reason is that my body just does not handle cold well. It is very painful actually, especially in my hands. Even with gloves on I lose feeling in my hands quickly and then lose use of them. So the less time I need to spend outside the better. I know there are things that come up but I try to have everything as efficient as possible. The worst is when we don't have enough wood split to get us through. So this year I am making sure that there is enough wood split even if it kills me. I want to spend most of this winter learning how to crochet, sewing, school with the girls and other nice inside activities rather than outside splitting wood with hands that are absolutely killing me or that I can't feel at all. I also have to get the house know this old finicky house that has to be caulked at re-caulked and sealed and everything else to keep the cold out and the heat in. So, I have been putting up food, making cheese, making soap, caulking, getting in wood, doing barn repairs, getting in hay, etc. etc. etc. It has been busy and next month we have the fair and a good deep clean of the house before we close it up for winter. Busy, busy busy! Blessings, Kat

Friday, August 7, 2015

Preparing for Winter

It has been awhile since I have posted. It seems like now that we are in the last part of summer we are in the mad dash to get ready for winter in addition to summer stuff. The tomatoes are coming in well despite the fight with the tomato hornworms. I really hate those things and we have had a heavy year for them. I have picked dozens each day to make sure that I actually get some tomatoes. As it is we have a late crop because the first tomatoes were hit pretty hard despite my efforts. So the tomato plants put on a second crop which is what we are now harvesting. The pole beans are about played out and I am getting ready to pull them. The second round of squash and zuchinni are just about to start flowering so we will have more just before the cold weather comes in. We are also busy filling the woodshed and getting the pastures in order. I put some finished compost on the goat's winter pasture yesterday and threw out some old wheat seed to encourage the chickens to scratch it in. I truly love it when I can get the critters to do my work for me! Now, if I can just find where they are hiding the eggs. We haven't gotten any eggs for a week and are having a time trying to find them. I am worried that something is getting the eggs. This week I re-mulched all the pathways in the garden so they are good to go until late winter/early spring. I try to mulch them twice a year to keep the weed population down. The biggest frugal thing I have done lately is to buy a bunch of potatoes that were on a really good sale and can most of them. Now, my emergency potato stores are stocked back up. My husband also replaced the brake pads on his car, saving us a good deal of money in not having to go to the mechanic. He also changed the oil in my car, saving even more money. We have spent a good deal of time this summer working in the yard. Unfortunately, we get busy with those things that are higher on the priority list and the yard gets pushed to the bottom. I have cleaned up countless piles of sticks and small branches that have fallen out of the trees and we have cut out dead branches so that we avoid so many fallen branches. We have had a couple of dead trees lose their tops and have burned off the piles of dead, rotten wood from that. We have also gotten rid of some weedy patches that made the yard look untidy. The dead fig tree was cut down and I have been able to keep the grass mowed on a regular basis. We still have some more work to do, but all in all the yard is looking much tidier. Our next goal is to clean up the old chicken coop that finally fell over this past winter. The back yard will look so much better once that is gone. Because of the heat that we have been dealing with we can only spend a couple hours outside early in the morning, so I think we have accomplished a lot with the little time that we have had. I think this fall when things get a little cooler we will be able to really make a difference and knock out some things that seem to take so long to get finished. We butchered a litter of rabbits this past month so that helped put meat in the freezer. Looking forward to deer season, even though I am not looking forward to the cold weather that comes with deer season. I remade two outdated dresses into more modern dresses last week. I love it when I get a new outfit made. It is so exciting to get to wear it. I have some oversized t-shirts that my aunt gave me that I am going to make into skirts soon. It will be nice to have a few more everyday skirts since the ones that I have have seen a lot of use. Within the next month I will be going through the children's clothes to see what they might need for this winter. I don't think Little Britches will need much, but Petunia might need a few things. Well, daylight is burning so I had better get to it before I can't stand the heat anymore. Blessings, Kat

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Cultural Genocide

Cultural genocide...That is what is going on. Not just a displeasure with a certain flag (The confederate Battle Flag) and what they perceive it to represent. This is all out war against an entire culture and what will be next....physical genocide? Because you can never truly eliminate the culture and the truth as long as there are people who can teach and tell the truth. It isn't just about a flag, now they are taking down monuments, and talking about digging up graves. Erasing from existence the sacrifices of so many for freedom from government oppression. Erasing any interest in the knowledge of the actual facts and truth. Not only are they erasing our culture from existence, they are inciting a war and a hatred like none before. I have lived in the south all my life and never seen the hatred that I now see. Signs in front of businesses inciting hate. I have even been called hateful things by complete strangers outside of stores as I walked to or from the store. Well, I won't go on and on about that...I am sure you get the picture. Things are tense. But here is my issue...if they erase all knowledge and all symbols of my heritage are they then going to erase Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks from history. Close the Museums, change the street names and remove any monument or symbol of their existence? Why is it any more fair for those to keep their place of honor(especially the tyrant King)than it is for my cultural icons to keep their place of honor. History is history and those who don't learn from it are doomed to repeat it....oh wait....they already have...Slavery....blacks today just don't realize that they traded one master for another. The federal government is a fickle entity though and when they are done using them, then where will they be. Maybe it is time to quit idolizing the tax evader King and start learning about truly great men like Booker T. Washington or George Washington Carver. Black men that truly spent their lives empowering, educating, and helping to provide the tools for true freedom to the black culture. These two men were truly two of the greatest men in the history of America and yet rarely are they spoken of. Many blacks don't even know who they are. Let's see education vs. civil disobience and the masses will choose civil disobience each and every time. Fine have your civil disobience if you must, but keep your hands off my culture. I have a right to mine as you have a right to yours and I will respect your right as long as you respect my right. Cultural genocide truly is happening and really has me concerned with where it is leading.....genocide of the people of that culture? Where will it stop...whose culture is the next to fall? Think about it folks...this is just the beginning.

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 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