Pages

Thursday, May 24, 2007

One for the Blackbird...

One for blackbird, one for the crow, One for the cutworm, and one to grow.- American saying

I was saying this yesterday evening when I planted the corn with Nick. Nick tilled in the garden the second time last night. Our neighbor let him borrow his big tiller and it was done in no time at all! Nick put in the stakes and tied the strings down the row. I'm glad we are doing the strings this year. It shows us where the stuff is planted so we know where we can walk safely. For pictures, come back later or view Nick's blog as I'm sure he will put some up too.

I normally don't like to be outside barefoot because I always seem to get bit by bugs and especially ants, so I was surprised to see an ant crawling on my foot and it was not biting me. Normally, it seems they head straight for between my toes and bite me. I guess I have misunderstood them all this time.

Another creature I have misunderstood is snakes. I personally would never have one for a pet or go out looking for a wild one but I have come to enjoy their presence in my yard. I have been reading about the benefit of them and how they eat pests and mice so I welcome them into our yard. They will not be sought after and killed. They will know they are safe in my yard. There are two that I am speaking of that we have seen in our trees. Two big long black snakes. Yes, they will be a big plus in our yard. And no, they won't chase me or attack and bite me. They are peaceful loving creatures who keep to themselves.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The great bonfire

The other night, Nick took down the cabinets in the shop and loaded them up in the back of the pickup truck. Then he drove to the back of our yard and unloaded it. Nick had told the neighbor earlier that we were setting it on fire and burning it. As I washed up the dishes from supper, I noticed the neighbors scurrying inside. I thought, well, I guess they don't want to be out when we are having our bonfire. The wind wasn't blowing very strong and the ground was still wet from previous rains so it was a perfect night for it. I went out to talk to nick and to my surprise on my way back inside, I saw the neighbors hurrying over to me carrying a pile of chairs. They weren't scurrying inside from fear, but heading our way in delight that we were having a bonfire. We gathered around the fire while Nick and the other guy lit the pile. And watched in glee as it lit up. A few times we moved our chairs back when it got too hot, and closer when it was dying down. We spent the evening laughing and visiting and having a great time! One of the neighbors said to us now that we have our own place that we will find out things we can do that we didn't know we could do before. How right she was!

I'd be rich

If I had a dime for every time someone asked me, "Are you going to ask for Huck back?" I'd be rich! Now that we have our own place again, I can't tell you how many people are asking me that question. The answer is a big loud "NO!" That would be rude and inconsiderate to the family who now owns him. We went to go see him a few weeks ago and he is so happy there. We would never think for a second to bring him back to our place. He has a very good life over there. Huck has adjusted better at their place than I ever imagined he would. They are his family as far as we are concerned. He has the best life. He doesn't have to sit and howl in his dog kennel all day long. He gets to roam around their house sleeping where ever he wants. He has plenty of other dogs to play with. Their kids play with him as well. He is loved very much by them. Their kids think he's the greatest and smartest dog in the world. And you know what, I think they are right!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

It's time.

What time? To bring out the bandannas and drink vinegar water. What's that you ask? Well, read on...

Nick and I were out working today. I was helping him finish sweeping out the shop and he was mowing the yard. He got most of it finished before the mower quit. The temperature read 86 degrees but it felt much hotter than that! Our favorite thing to do when it gets really hot is to soak a bandanna down with cold water and drape it over our neck. A few times, I had it draped over my nose and mouth as it was really dusty in the shop. It is so refreshing and makes you forget about how hot it is!

The shop cleaning is coming along real nicely. I wish I had taken a picture of the side that Nick worked on yesterday. It looks so much better now. I took a few snapshots on the side we tackled today. We're not done with it yet, so I'll wait to post my pictures up. I moved the jars from the side of the house into the shop. They will sit there until I sterilize and clean them. I hate to wash them all up now and put them back in the shop where they will sit until canning time, because they'll just get all dusty again. I thought I could keep them in the pantry, but there isn't room enough for them and all the stuff we plan on canning.

One of my favorite things to drink when I'm all sweaty and feeling hot is apple cider vinegar water. I take a glass of iced water and add a teaspoon or more of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey to it. Sometimes, I'll take the honey seperately by a spoon and then drink the vinegar water. I am not talking about the light brown colored vinegar you find at your local supermarket and the honey that is found there too. The brand I buy, (but it's not the only brand) is Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with the mother. The honey I buy locally. Both are raw, unfiltered and the best stuff in the world! The vinegar drink is very refreshing, though it takes some getting used to it. (I tried taking this years ago and couldn't get it past my nose, but now I love to drink it as fast as I can make it) It keeps me from feeling tired and reminds me of a natural gatorade because it has the minerals and nutrients that my body needs, especially when doing heavy labor and my body tends to sweat or use up those nutrients.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

It's springtime!

I love springtime! Nick and I went for a Sunday drive the other day and watched some baby goats (kids) playing in the pasture. They were so cute! Leaping and running around with the goats. One of the male goats had a bell tied around his neck and a rope attached. We wondered what it was for, but when he took off towards the barn, the others followed right behind him following the sound of the bell.

Does anyone know what either of these two flowers are? I would love to know! The purple ones are so fragrant! what about the white ones?




We've got bunches of wild green onions popping up all over the yard. I wish I could cut some up and add to a salad, but I'm not sure if these have been sprayed or not. By humans (pesticides) or cats marking their territory!!! I can't wait to have a garden of my own and be able to enjoy them whenever I want!

Sadie Sue

Here are some pictures I've taken of Sadie. I have mentioned her in previous posts before.




It looks like she is smiling in this one. Last week when I was playing with her she had a bone similar to that one. She was running around the yard trying to get me to chase her and when I looked down at her, she had the bone hidden under her cheek flaps. It looked like she was grinning from ear to ear. It was so funny! I wish I had gotten a picture of her!




Monday, March 26, 2007

Peanut butter, anyone?

With all the talk of the peanut butter recall and other recalls, it really has reinforced what I believe about getting away from prepackaged foods, and making food from scratch. I was talking to a friend about how I used to make peanut butter and how I wanted to make up a batch soon. He asked me if I would make him a batch too. Peanuts were on sale that day so I went and bought a few pounds. I wasn't sure how many I'd need and if I should get salted on non-salted. I also wondered how many times some of the peanuts had fallen into each other's containers accidentally. So, I ended up getting half of each kind. I'd tried to make peanut butter before in my blender but it turned out to be just a mess. I had a recipe calling for a food processor so I thought I'd try it. It turned out pretty good. I made sure to run the processor long enough to get a real creamy texture like I like. I gave a jar to my friend and he loved it! He said he doesn't have to soften it at room temperature before using (which I figured he'd have to do) and that it spreads really nicely. And the finished product- Ta da!

Why I hate plastic

I officially hate plastic containers for storing food. I made some fajitas for dinner today and used one to store the leftovers in. I thought I picked it up too hastily when I looked down and saw fajita sauce running down my dress. So, I went and got the stain out of it and put on a new dress. I went to put it in the fridge and happened to look down. I watched in horror as sauce dripped all over the fridge door and floor. I rushed it back to the sink dripping it everywhere! Somehow I got a two inch cut in the bottom of the plastic container. I have no idea how it got there and when. I finally got the stains up off the carpet, (who in the world installs carpet in the kitchen, anyways?) I cleaned up the fridge door, around the seals and scrubbed down my cupboard doors. As soon as I can, I'm buying some glass containers to keep leftovers in. Anyone know of a good place to find some inexpensively? I may just start hitting the garage sales around here.

Beautiful flowers



Nick came home last week and surprised me with a bouquet of flowers. Aren't they the most prettiest things you ever saw?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Hawk throwing and the day we blew two tires.

Last weekend was the grand opening for the Little House on the Prairie. It was a cold windy day, the kind where I like to stay at home and cuddle on a warm pile of blankets. But Nick was going out to take pictures of the event so I went along. There weren't too many people out and about at first, but we stayed awhile and Nick took some pictures.

This one man approached me (the one in red) and asked if I wanted to throw a tomahawk. See me here as I warm up for a throw! He didn't really give me a chance to say no before he was leading me down to where it was all set up. I, normally the shy quiet one, wanted to keep to myself, but since no one else was around and I am trying to break out of my shell, decided to give it a whirl. It was fun! I threw it over and over and by the time we left I wasn't cold anymore! This man belongs to a group that we want to join. I'll tell you about it next time!

Later that week, we went to look at a house in the country for sale. Nick didn't know how else to get there other than the back way so that's which way we went. It had been raining all week and the road was very muddy. We thought several times we were going to get stuck! But we finally made it past the really muddy parts. Then on we went up a very rocky hill. When we got to the top, we heard a loud BANG! Nick had me hop out to check on the tires and there was a big gash in the back passenger tire. So, we puttered on up the hill and Nick got out and changed the tire. Sure glad he knows how to do that. Well, we went on our merry way. Still looking for the house. The place where we changed the tire looked like the house, which was very nice, but wasn't it. By the way, the two back tires were ones we just had bought a few months ago!

We didn't go but two miles when we heard a loud POP! followed by a hiss. This time it was the passenger front tire that popped. We pulled over to the side of the road and started making calls to every tire place. They quoted us a lot to either tow the truck back to town or try to fix the tire. We finally called one last place and they said they could fix it for a reasonable charge. They said they'd be there in 30 minutes. While we sat and waited for the tire people to come, I decided to take some pictures of the area around us. Some cows in a nearby pasture decided to see what the fuss was all about. I thought to take a picture of the tire guy fixing the tire, but was too tired at that point and didn't give it much thought at the time. One particular pasture area caught my eye because of a clump of trees. It struck me as odd to see them out there by themselves. Well, two hours later they came and picked us up and took us into town. They couldn't work on the tire there. They dropped me off at home while I fixed lunch and Nick took care of the tire situation. That afternoon, we got new tires put on the truck and now are good to go!



Saturday, March 24, 2007

Time Flies.

I know it's been forever since I last posted. Time sure does fly. I can't believe it is already March of 2007!! We are still living in our apartment we found after we moved out of the camper. I am awaiting going to our home in Milo to pick up our last bit of things we left there during our last visit. I have been without some of my key essential kitchen supplies, but am getting used to not having them too. I wonder if I'll keep them when I do get them.

I have been trying to cut down on the amount of garbage we are throwing away. I really miss being able to burn our trash. And I miss the most our compost pile. I hate throwing away vegetable peels and other items. I have been working on a new post in our blog "The Wright Homestead". I have just been at a loss knowing how to get my words just right, but be looking for it. It's titled, "Homesteading in the City". Some of what you see here will be in it.

I've realized the past few months that things we talked about in that blog, we cannot do while living in the city. Maybe many of you feel that way. So, I thought, I'd post my experiments and simply share with others the changes we are making.

I found out there is a place here that I can take recyclable goods to. They take glass, tin, plastic. I hope to take the items once a month when they are open. I have found a use for my 500+ plastic grocery bags. I hate them, but they are now my kitchen trash bags. It is probably not the best way to recycle them, since they end up in the garbage, but at least they serve a purpose before ending up there. I am using a small tiny bathroom sized trash can for my kitchen, rather than buy a large trash can and have to buy the bags for them. Since we are buying in bulk again, my trash consumption is going down.

I recently found and joined a co-op and found another bulk foods store like we shopped at in Missouri. I love being able to purchase my flour, sweetener, rice, beans etc.. in bulk. I am trying to re-locate a company I found years ago that sold round plastic containers that held large amounts of food, (flour, sugar, beans...) I just can't remember the company's name or contact information. It's driving me nuts! Lehman's does sell lard cans which are nice to store food in, but I am wanting plastic containers to take with me to the co-op pickup days of dividing. I really dislike certain kinds of plastic and am in the process of clearing out my kitchen of it, but feel I will make a small exception to this for the co-op. I don't want to worry about dropping a glass or metal container and either breaking it or denting it.

The kinds of things I don't like plastic are the containers used for storing food. I prefer glass, because you can take it out and stick it in the microwave and not worry about it being ate up in there! I have ruined many a plastic tubs re-heating meat or fatty foods only to have part of my container missing and peeled back!

I would like to find some tote bags, netted or canvas to put my groceries in. I once sewed some canvas bags up but they did not hold their shape very well. I also like the netted ones because they are see-thru and store owners generally trust them more, as they can see that I'm not stowing away their products without paying for them. You get a lot of weird looks from people, but I don't really need that many plastic grocery bags. I think 500 should be my limit. What do you think? I have noticed the ones at certain stores seem to be very cheaply made and often have a side split before I'm even home. I almost dropped and cracked a jar of salsa the other day when that happened!

I have been cleaning out my wardrobe too. I would like 5-7 outfits, that I can wear in the summer or winter. I sewed up a cotton dress with a friend last year and really like the pattern on it. Jumpers are nice because you can swap out the shirts inside, but I do like the dress pattern more. I suppose I can always just wear a sweater if I'm cold. Since you can only wear one outfit at a time, it seems a waste to me to have more clothes than that. I currently have five pairs of shoes. One pair needs to go to the thrift store. I have a pair of good army boots, perfect when it's rainy outside. A pair of dress shoes, (given to me), a pair of red slip on shoes (given to me as well) and a pair of slippers. I really don't like this many pairs of shoes, but will keep them for now. When the dress shoes wear out, I won't be getting any more. I love the slip on shoes. They are from Cabela's and are very comfortable.

I recently purchased some organic calendula blossoms and I am eagerly awaiting the day I get to make some salve from it. I first have to make an herbal infused oil before I can add the beeswax to it and make the salve, but I need to get some olive oil first. The herbal oil is made by steeping the dried herb in a quart of olive oil, then straining it out. You can use the oil straight or mix it with the beeswax. It takes about a month to make the oil.

I also bought a pound of red raspberry leaf and a pound of nettle leaf with the intent of making an herbal infusion. Both of which are excellent for increasing fertility. Infusions are better for you than just making a tea. You make them by adding one ounce of herb to 4 cups of water and letting it steep for approximately 4 hours, depending on what herb you are using and which part of the herb. It is quite different getting used to, and will probably taste better when I can weigh out the herb on a scale, but I am glad I ordered them. Red raspberry leaf and nettle leaf are so good for you.

I am almost done paying off my grain mill and when that is done I am saving up for a Zo bread machine. I wanted a Bosch Mixer and while it is on my list of things to buy, there are other things I want first. I can't wait to get the Zo and be able to make bread on the timer as well as experiment with a recipe from Urban Homemaker. Only, I would use the two stage process method. Sometimes we are out and about coming home right before supper needs to be made and having a loaf of fresh bread waiting on you is just the thing we need! I think after I get the bread machine I will save up for a Zo rice cooker. I have a small microwave rice cooker but want something for when I want to make a larger batch of rice. Currently, when I want fried rice, I have to make three batches of rice on the stove which takes a good while because I have to cool the pot long enough to rinse the old rice out.

Last month, I bought some Kefir starter. Kefir is a cultured, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your "inner ecosystem." It can be made into a delicious smoothie, which is how I plan to drink it. I'm not even sure if the starter is still good, and I've been a bit nervous to try it out, but tomorrow, I will do it! I'll post pictures from start to finish so you can see what it looks like. I got some fresh milk just for this purpose. I hope I like it!

Nick recently bought me a book called Nourishing Traditions. It is a huge book that mainly talks about lacto-fermentation of foods. How they preserved food in the old days before there were canners or how people preserve without electricity. It is basically a big cookbook, chock full of information. I am excited about trying out the recipes. It is not like any book I have ever read, but I like it alot.



Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cuddle bug the cat

Funny lookin neighborhood cat.
Hey, here's a photo of a cat I took today with the new camera my wonderful hubby wubby bought me!! I love him soooooooo much!!!

Here's a secret- I did not write this post... Can you guess who did?

Friday, February 2, 2007

hats hats and more hats!

My parents and grandma came to visit on Tuesday. My mom brought along a knitting loom and showed me all the hats that she has been making. Of course, I HAD to know how she made them so she taught me. I can't believe how easy it is! I am making my fourth hat today and hope to have a bunch more made before christmas. I know, I know, christmas is a ways off, but I always have to start early, way early...

The looms can be bought at Walmart for less than $15. You get 4 different sized looms, a needle, and a hook and instructions.

This link shows you all the things you can make with it. Not just limited to hats...

Friday, January 5, 2007

Happy New Year!

New Year's Resolutions-

1. Make more posts on my blog with pictures.
2. Finish projects started.
3. Make new friends.
4. Learn new hobbies.
5. Enjoy life.