Thursday, January 20, 2011

New things to learn

I have a list of new things to try and then I will share them. Here are a few:

1. How to make and can bologna
2. Make our own deodorant
3. How to darn socks (I received a sock darner for Christmas!!)

This is just the start but I'm going to try these first. In case you are wondering why all the blogs....I brought a couple of our Amish neighbors over to Murray, Iowa to visit some friends. One of their sons, 18 years old, lost his left arm from just below the elbow and they were going to visit him. I came on in to Osceola for a bit. Did some shopping and then found their library. I've been here for two hours already and could well stay for a couple more but must get on the road to pick them up and head home.
We had a couple inches of snow last night and it was just beautiful out this morning. So fresh and white and no tracks.
LaVern is working at a "real" job again. He is doing maintenance at a care center in Mt. Ayr which is only 12 miles from us. He is enjoying it and stepped right in and went to work since he had done it before. He only has to work 7 hours a day so he can be home before 4 and that works out nicely. I'm holding down the home front. We are working on the living room now. LaVern will get more done now on the house as he knows he only has a few hours each day and Saturday to work on it! ha ha Go figure.

Three Ravens or three crows

Yesterday I looked out a window to the north and there were 3 large black birds in the field just north of the trees. Ravens or crows? There are several differences between the two but the most noticeable is size. Crows average 17 inches and ravens 28 inches. These guys were big so I am thinking ravens but then they had a definite "caw, caw, caw" and I think the raven's voice is a low, slow croak.
I ran for the camera and snuck outside (in socks mind you) but they took flight as soon as they saw me. Another Kodak moment gone to the way side. Caw, caw

Carry Inspiration with you

I said I would pass along some stress relievers so throughout the year I will. We are pass "Blue Monday". In case you missed it last Monday was the saddest, most depressing day of the year. According to a British psychologist, who came up with an equation, last Monday people were the most depressed as the bills for holiday spending were due, the dreary weather and by now most people no longer care about their New Year resolutions. Doesn't take a psychologist to figure out how to avoid that: stop spending $ and spend TIME with family for Christmas, don't make any resolutions and we can't change the weather so enjoy it!!
I think inspiring words are reminders of what's important in life. You can write down a treasured quotation on a card and carry it with you. That way you will always have a "pick me up". Another way to carry inspiration is to memorize meaningful words but since my memory is shrinking I carry a card! Here is one of my favorites (I use to have it on the back of my business cards): If you meet me and forget me, you have lost nothing. But if you meet Jesus Christ and forget Him you have lost everything!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stress Soother

It is well established that daily prayer eases stress but new research suggests that prayer can be even more beneficial when recited aloud. Recently German scientists reported that women who spend just five minutes a day praying aloud are 81% more relaxed that those who don't practice this habit! That is huge!
When God says to pray, he really means it. To pray is the most commonly mentioned command in Scripture. It is mentioned more than "love your neighbor," more than "go to church," and more than "evangelize." More than anything else, God calls us to pray. I believe our greatest calling as Christians is the ministry of prayer. And if praying aloud a few minutes a day will make me 81% more relaxed............what a stress soother!

Psalm 116:7 I said to myself, "Relax, because the Lord takes care of you."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

One year anniversary

Well, it has been a year (at Thanksgiving) that we have been "homesteading" and the things I have learned! Here are just a few:

I now know what makes a "GOOD" buggy horse
What type of horseshoes Not to buy
There are big differences in lamb nipples, do NOT buy the black rubber ones
Turkeys do not look fat........but they can easily weigh 25#
Ducks eat flies
Hogs do not make money when corn is over $5.30 per bushel
Green eggs taste like the brown eggs
There just isn't anything not to like about chickens except White Rock roosters
A boer buck goat is master over all (just ask LaVern)
I am getting very good at recognizing the different species of trees by their bark
I know who to bank both stoves so that they hold a fire all night
Cooking and baking on a wood stove takes practice but I love it
Ask me about making toast on a wood stove
LaVern loves that I am an EARLY riser as then it is nice and warm when he gets up
The best crock pot ever is a wood stove and a seasoned cast iron dutch oven
All outhouses should be equipped with sawdust
One of those battery lights that you just punch to turn on is good in an outhouse
Hand sanitizer bottle is a must
$ General makes this odor eliminator that is great, especially the lavender
In the winter time take the lantern (even during the day) as it puts out great heat
Mice tend to like any reading material left out there
When backing out of the pole shed, one must remember the loader on the front of tractor
A tractor does need gas to start
There is only a certain height you can stack things in the loader
Something we should have done years ago
Recognizing the days when you can run the wringer, shop vac and LaVern's tools
I could easily not have ANY electricity. LaVern has to have it.
Feeding and putting all the animals to bed with a lantern
Moon light walks in the country
Hoggies all laid out in a row
Chicken conversations
The smell of clothes washed in a wringer and hung outside on the line
Finding that first green egg
Lambs bucking, jumping and running
Teaching grandchildren all their is to know about off grid homesteading
Camping down by the pond

My list is endless. Simple pleasures and entertainment but most importantly taking joy and peace in each and every single day.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Where's the beef?

Where's the beef? Canned into 68 pint jars! That's what we were doing the next day after getting home from Nebraska for Christmas! LaVern's sister has a couple fat steers butchered each year and she gave us the beef. The locker that she uses actually has a machine that cubes the meat up so it is ready to can. That saved alot of time for us. Still took awhile as had to process for 1 1/2 hours. My, oh my it is so good especially for beef and homemade noodles. Seems like we haven't been home much this past month. Took in the grandkids church Christmas programs and had fun with them. Went to Nebraska for a week then home for a few days and then up to Pella for more grandkids Christmas. I think we are home now for abit. Put in another full stock trailer load of oak firewood. Not sure we will need it but might as well start putting up for next year. Washed clothes this morning and hung them out to dry. I think only in the 20's today but enough of a breeze that they will dry. Hope you all enjoyed the holidays.
Someday is NOT a day of the week!!