Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gardening and New Adventures

We've got garden plants but no garden...
It's been raining so much we can't put them in the ground so they are thriving in our dining room.
A variety of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and melons.  The potatoes are ready to go in but the ground is so sloppy they will rot before they sprout if we put them in now. 

At least 3 more days of rain on the horizon but with a few breaks every now and then we can put the plants on the deck for a will water and sun (or at least fresh air). 

With all we do; homeschool, baseball, softball, soccer, bowling and we have to throw in play dates and working out we just couldn't say no to the new adventure God has brought to us.
We've bought a local bookstore for our oldest daughter Samantha to run and eventually purchase from us so it's her own store and a full time income for her.  Never a dull moment!  As a family we're helping her get the store the way she wants it.  It's coming along, grand opening in May 3rd but we're not closing while we reorganize.  We're expanding the store hours to Tues-Fri 9a-7p.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Raising Small Stock

         Having raised rabbits, chickens and goats several years ago I do have some suggestions.  Now, we haven't had anything but chickens for 8 years but we're looking at getting back into the game and adding some rabbits.  We're going to expand our chicken run so it'll be more like a chicken field and our rabbit hutches will back up to the chicken house so everything is convenient to feed and water.  I find that is the key, making it easy.  The kids can be involved, they need to know where their food comes from.  We let the kids get attached to the breeding stock but let them know in advance the babies will grow up to be dinner!  We've never had any drama since they know what was going to happen.  We didn't let our little kids see us actually butcher the animals but now our youngest is 9 and I think they will all be able to handle the natural way of things; if not there is still a lot they can do to be involved.  A great reference is the book The Manual of Practical Homesteading, John Vivian gives step by step directions for butchering, curing and even tanning the hides to use in many creative ways.  We're going to use the rabbit hutch design in the Reader's Digest Back to Basics it is simple and most families will have most of the materials on hand. 
          What can you do to make yourself a little more self-sufficient this year? Start a garden and learn to can your own veggies?  Get some chickens for eggs and maybe even meat?  What about 3 rabbits as breeding stock and learn to butcher and process your own meat?  All of these are attainable goals even for people who live in town with a small yard!  Don't look for negatives, look at the ways you can overcome any obstacle. 
         Be the first one of your friends to take the first step... let me know what you're going to do.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

e-foods, check them out, not your grandma's long term storage

What do you think of when you think of food storage?  To me it conjures up memories of the water bath canner, sterilizing jars and lids on a hot August day (really it reminds me of labor since I was canning peaches on August 16, 1993 and Nathan was born on the 17th, 3 weeks early).  Canning is a wonderful thing, growing your own food to help supplement your meals though the winter... but, looking at the every growing problems nationally and around the world we need to think a little further ahead.  That's where long-term storage has the advantage over canning your own.  Having food that is useable for years to come, able to hold its nutritional value, and requires very little to effort to create a meal (anyone who can heat water can use these). 

We are planning a garden, and are planning to can what we grow (if the kids don't eat it all before we get to that point, they are veggie fiends).  But, we are going to invest in our family's long term survival, being the ant and not the grasshopper. Creating a storehouse of sorts to sustain our family of 10. 

God calls us to be aware, He calls us to care for others and share our knowledge.  I care for you and your wellbeing.  I hope all my friends understand the importance of what is going on in the world and how it will effect you and your family. How it IS effecting us now, with higher gas and food prices.
Don't be caught unprepared, a little investing and preparation now can be difference between relevent comfort and hunger/malnutrition. 

I pray God's blessing on our country and our leaders but we can not put our faith in them.  Plan now, reap the benefits later.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Don't be caught unprepared!

I've spoke of gardening and preparing for an upcoming crisis.  I've reviewed books and still have many to go through and summarize for you.  But with the eminent decline of the dollar and many wars and natural disasters in our world right now I want you to consider having some long term storage in your self-sufficiency larder.  Check it out, get the samples and try them.  Everyone needs to have some food to carry them through a crisis. 
Also, have you thought of gold and silver?  With our paper money losing it's integrity and around the world they are refusing to accept it, how long will we be able to use it as legal tender? will give you the information you need to put away a nest egg for a time of need but also create a legacy for your children and grand children.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Cleaning

We have less than a week until spring is actually here but the spring cleaning has begun.  Today it was bedrooms, dusting, vacuuming, going through closets.  It's amazing how much "weight" we collect thoughout the year in junk.  The dressers are emptied of clothes that are too small, the trash has been tossed, the mess is gone.  Oh, if we could just keep it that way!  I'm terrible about cleaning, being a MESSY by nature it is very hard for me to see the mess.  I've got to make myself look through my husbands eyes to see it as a problem.  Today was one of those days, I kind of feel sorry for the kids, I wasn't always nice (probably as far from nice as night is from day).  I will try to make up for it tomorrow as we move on to other parts of the house.  Tomorrow is a new day and a good nights sleep will bring a nicer mommy.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Live Bald Eagles webcam... BEAUTIFUL!

You've got to check this out!  The eagles have at least 3 eggs in the nest, the parents are so attentive, we can learn so much from them.  Love & attentiveness.  Can't wait for the eggs to hatch.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Your health matters...

In a time of crisis there is nothing more important than keeping healthy.  Staying clean, eating well, staying hydrated and making up the difference in nutrition with quality vitamins. 
If you have water it isn't hard to stay clean but if water is scarce what are you to do?  Having unscented baby wipes on hand is a great way to keep everything except your hair clean, a little hand sanitizer goes a long way at keeping germs away.  Having adequate food storage (enough for 3 regular meals/day and a variety to satisfy the palate) for each member of your household.  You can live several weeks with very little food if you have water (it will not be a happy existence) but only a few days without water.
You will need to have a water plan, rain barrels area a great way to start. *Make sure you have unscented bleach in your long term storage.
It is not hard to stock up on vitamins and OTC meds, you can buy them at the grocery, from an online supplier or co-op.  **Making up a good first aid kit is also important.

Don't get overwhelmed, one step at a time will get you where you need to be.  Evaluate what you already have. Assess what you need.  Keep things in perspective, don't do anything in a panic.

*1 Gallon water is disinfected by 8-16 drops of regular household bleach (visually about 1/4 of a teaspoon) - double that for cloudy water. Shake and let stand 30 minutes. One teaspoon will disinfect 5 gallons. Immediately after treating, water must initially have a slight smell of chlorine. If it does not - repeat the process.

**hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, antibiotic ointment, 1% cortisone cream, digestive remedies (antidiarrhea, antinausea, antacid), antihistamine, pain medications (ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, aspirin), cough and cold medication, toothache kit, thermometer, band-aids, gauze pads, first-aid tape, butterfly closures, elastic bandages, slings, splints, instant hot/cold packs, cotton balls, tweezers, safety pins, small scissors, suture kit, flashlight, magnifying glass, sanitary napkins (these are great as pressure bandages), disposable gloves, electrolyte replacement therapy (in liquid or powder).
Long term food storage ideas
For more information on being self-sufficient you can visit

Writing book reviews

I've been totally blessed in many ways but recently I was contacted by Off The Grid News to write book reviews for them.  Check them out at my review should appear on Wednesday.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Homesteading, not just for the pioneers.

    This is an excerpt from the preface from a book written in 1934, A Living From the Land by William B. Duryee, "Homesteading days are here again.  The present movement of people back to the land is of a different type and has different objectives from those whick prevailed when a continent was to be conquered and exploited.  Today we know that many urban industries will operate on a seasonal basis and we know too that periods of unemployment and shorter working days incomes for hundreds of thousands of families.  The utilization of this leisure thime to supplement incomes, to raise the standards of living and of health, and to attain some measure of economic security will tend more and more to settlement on the land.
     In these days of rapid transportaion and all the attributes and conveniences of modern country life, the hardships of the earlier period of land development are non-existent.  Although urban industrial development has reached a point which will not be exceeded for many years to come the individual who needs additional income may adjust himself to such circumstances by establishing a country homestead.".
     It is now 2011, and here we are again... many are choosing to ignore the signs and are just "rolling with the punches", soon there will be a punch that is too hard to "roll" with.  We all need to make sure we have the supplies, knowledge and skills needed to survive any circumstance this world may throw our way.  The loss of your income, are you prepared?  A large scale natural disaster, are you prepared?  An economic collapse, are you prepared?  All of these are possiblities, BE PREPARED!  I'm going to list some books that are a necessity for being prepared for just about anything.
Back to Basics / Readers Digest / ISBN 0-89577-086-5
A Living From the Land / William Duryee
Passport to Survival / Esther Dickey
Five Acres and Independence / M. G. Kains / ISBN 0-486-20974-1
Project Readiness, guide to family emergency preparedness / Louise Nelson / ISBN 0-88290-036-6
Natural Foods Storage Bible / Sharon Dienstbier & Sybil Hendricks / ISBN 0-88290-066-8
Practical Homesteading / John Vivian / ISBN 0-87857-092-6
Kelsey's Rural Guide / David Stone Kelsey
Raising Rabbits the Modern Way / Bob Bennett / ISBN 0-88266-067-5
Raising Poultry the Modern Way / Leonard Mercia / ISBN 0-88266-058-6
Raising Milk Goats the Modern Way / Jerry Belanger / ISBN 0-88266-576-4
Husbandry / Nathan Griffith / ISBN 0-9665103-0-5
~ some of the books may be out of print, and are great resources ~

I'm hoping this will be a blessing to you and your family.  Don't wait, looking back and saying "I wish we had..." isn't the position you want to be in.  Here are some tools to help you be prepared. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Definition: a feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger, trouble, or controversy.

Are you complacent?  Are you self-satisfied?  It is time to open your eyes and see what's going on around the world.  Governments are going bankrupt leaving their people totally unprotected and in poverty.  Food lines and riots are an everyday occurance.  I'm not a gloom and doom person but I do have a family that I need to think of.  If I'm prepared and nothing happens what's lost?  If I'm not prepared and something happens... well, that's another story all together isn't it.  I'm refusing to put my children in that position, I'm choosing to teach them to be prepared.  We are starting seeds for our garden now, we're getting our stuff together to prep the land and our raised beds (that the boys built last summer) for a garden this spring.  As a family we're learning about long-term food storage and being prepared for the worst (but praying for the best). 
Years ago, before we had a comfortable existence we had a garden and canned what we grew, we had rabbits and chickens that we raised for meat and eggs, we had Nubian dairy goats that we milked and bred to sell the kids.  Now, we've got chickens for eggs.  We've become complacent, there is no nice way to say it.  We are purposing to fix that problem.  Join us in the journey, there is room for everyone and as I said before, it's better to be prepared and not need it than need it an not be prepared.

Genesis 41:53-54 ...the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said.  The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Taken Flight

Back on January 5, 2011 we took our oldest daughter to the airport.  After many months of preparation and fundraising Samantha was ready to make her 3 month trip to Bangkok, Thailand to work at Concordia Gospel Ministries.  We are so proud of her and all that she's accomplished.  Not only is she making friends she's helping spread the Gospel of Christ.  Her 3 months there will be life changing not only for her but many others.  Times have changed so much, in the past when someone went overseas it was very hard to keep in touch, with today's technology it is so easy!  Skype is a wonderful invention!  It really is balm to a mother's heart to be able to speak to and see with her own eyes her child on a daily basis.  Thailand doesn't seem quite so far away, but, April can't come soon enough!
                                                                    Can you guess which one is mine?
Mark 16:15 And He said unto them "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ramblings from Mom7x

I told my self I'd never be a blogger...
Well, here I am blogging about what's on my mind.  This is really for my own benefit but if anyone else can can gleen anything from it that would be nice too.

My first question, what do you think about investing in gold and/or silver?  My thought on this, now is the time to diversify our investments.  Putting all of your eggs in one basket is a real silly thing to do at any time but now it is more important than ever to make sure you cover all your bases.  Having some in savings is good, it's liquid assets but banking (as seen in the recent past) can be unstable and basically unreliable.  Yes, it's backed by the FDIC but the FDIC is a government agency and right now is that who you want backing your money?  Gold and silver have historically been great investments, it is accepted in every culture/country around the world.  It is an asset that will continue to increase in value, it is a security that will give you comfort in times of plenty and a help in a time of need.

My second question, have you put in a garden?  It should be one of your spring projects. Even if you only have a patio or terrace you can have a garden.  Don't let your lack of space hinder you.  Container gardening is easy and fun, the fresh produce is better than any you can buy in the store and they take minimal care.  Larger scale gardening takes more effort but is infinitly rewarding.  You can have such a large variety of plants and the nutrition level is much better than store bought.  Using heritage seeds will give you the ability to store some seeds away for next year, hybrid seeds will not store well and you never know what you're going to get since they are genetically altered.

We are called upon to do our duty for our families, being prepared is important.  Having food storage, having a nest egg set aside for times of want will give your family a sense of security.  Your children will know you are concerned for their well-being and future.  In Biblical times, Joseph was a key player in helping Egypt prepare for the coming famine.  We need to be Joseph in these modern times.  Is your storehouse full?  Do you have enough to take care of your family in a time of need?  Can you look your children in the eyes and truthfully tell them everything is going to be ok?  Now you can, now you have access to the tools needed to be a Joseph to your family.

And just one more thing for my start of blogging; what about your spiritual self?  From "Daily Strength for Daily Needs" by Mary W. Tileston
February 24
These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace.  In the world, you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~ John 16:33
It is rare when injustice, or slights patiently borne, do not leave the heart at the close of the day filled with marvellous joy and peace. ~ Gold Dust
God gives us the knowledge and tools to take care of ourselves and others, we need to use them and share them so others too can be prepared not only for this physical life but for the spiritual life.  Don't let this world get the best of you, take the measures needed daily to stay on solid ground.  Daily devotionals, scripture reading, and prayer.  Spending time with your family and friends brings true joy, don't let others tell you it's quality over quantity; quantity is quality.  Time spent in the Word and with your family is time well spent!