Jared's Kitty :)
We indeed did get a freeze last week. Last minute scrambling ensued of getting house plants back inside and harvesting from the garden. (Then working on preserving all those goodies one way or another!)
And of course, the temps have swung back into the 70's, but it won't last long. Cold air is coming and it will feel like Fall again, not Summer!
Pat is down with a sinus issue/cold and feeling pretty crummy since Sunday. Kyle I haven't seen much of, school, work, girlfriend and other stuff keeps him on the go. (Accidentally on Purpose I think.....) HA
Jared is out in the field for a week. I asked him what they would be doing, his first reply: "Freezin' my ass off!" Their daytime temps won't be bad, but 45-50' at night won't be so nice plus maybe some rain. We all know it could be worse, but it's not like he has any choice in the matter in the first place! ;-)
He does not know where he'll be going for Thanksgiving, poor kid misses out on another one here. Sigh......
My oldest sister was back a couple weeks ago, it was nice to see her and sit and chit-chat and drink coffee. Miss those days from when she lived next door! I find it funny that many times she knows more of what's going on here than I do, and she lives 1,000+ miles away! (I'm just a recluse I guess!) ;-)
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Not sure who has/hasn't seen this yet, but here it is from Accuweather:
We are to get frost tonight and a hard freeze tomorrow. The house will resemble a garden for a few days with buckets full of "stuff" that needs processed in one way or another. (Or just eaten!)
Correction on my last entry: Jared was in the Arms Room (I said Armory). Guess they had a meeting to see who qualified to be a Dog Handler. Then they asked who was interested, of course he said "sure!". So change of course for him with training. (He thinks 'Fluffy' is a good name for a dog.....HA HA)
Pat and Kyle changed the starter on my truck Monday--it went out Sunday. They also changed the oil. Pat finished getting the nieces' baseboard heaters in so they won't freeze their butts off the next few days! :-)
OmahaDave: Nettles are actually medicinal--sounds like you've got a good plot for growing more food next year! You're an inspiration to other City Dwellers that it can be done! Good Job!
OK that's the quick update for now!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I was moving last year's canned salsa around in the cupboard to make room for more canned stuff from this year. As I grabbed this jar, the lid moved.
Uh-oh, NOT a good thing! The seal must of been bad, but took this long and my nudge to pop off.
Anyhow, this is what it looked like (those black dots near the dis-colored top are tomato seeds--see the 'normal' ones down lower in the jar?).
Then I snapped a photo of what it looked like when I poured it into the sink. See the brown color at the top? YUK-BLECH!
No way would I have eaten ANY of this......botulism comes to mind, and I'm sure a risk of a host of other food horrors I can't pronounce or have a clue of how to spell them!
I guess the motto is: If In Doubt, Throw It Out! (I wasn't even going to risk the chickens by giving it to them, either.) Good call/bad call? Safe call I say!
I've ran across some folks over the past 6 months who have canned or processed home-grown meat(s) for the first time. I hear over and over: "That's alot of hard work and takes time!"
Ummmm yeah, I call it a labor of love (I like to eat ya know!).
Did you notice a TASTE difference as well?? Not nearly the same as your cheapo or name-brand can of whatever factory produced food many are used to. Home grown/canned/preserved whatever excels over factory food because WE have quality and freshness control over the whole process. An added bonus is we put in more/less of what we like/prefer and tweak it to "just right"! :)
Do I SAVE money by doing my own? That is the big question (subject to interpretation) and many can argue the point all day long. For me, its about QUALITY of food.
Yep, I can get it on sale at the store.....but the quality is just not there. (Quantity is.....) If 90% of the ingredients I grew, then the new lid and say, spices is what I paid for, yep its cheaper. I had to buy sugar for the Apple Pie Filling, the rest I had on hand. So some things are cheaper, some or not.
One good thing is: We know how to do it, and Food Preservation is a skill I believe most should have. Meat/food recall? Thankfully, most of the time I can ignore it. Lots of what we eat came from HERE, grown/preserved by US. I don't need to look at a conglomerate of dates/labels/processing codes on the packages to see if it's "safe".......
Take milk for example; an older-than-me co-worker asked me the other day (insert accusing tone now!) "What do you need all that milk for? What do you do with it?" When I replied I can make Sour Cream, Creamed Cheeses, Cottage Cheese, Mozzarella, Butter, Creamed Soups and other Cheeses she about choked. (I saw the "lighbulb moment" click on in her head--gee we've only worked together for three years! I guess she doesn't really "hear" what I say I do.....).
I guess many look at "milk" as milk, not realizing all the foods you can make with it. They don't realize the industry skims most of the cream off and uses it to make 'value added' products that invariably cost more. (Yes, she did comment on "How high that stuff is getting in the store".) She is another farmer that do not really USE what they grow, they just make money off of it. So sad, really. I see it over and over and over here in the Heartland. Farmers who do not consume nor use any of what they grow. :'(
Maybe I'm not so crazy to can/preserve/grow food and have a milk cow in her mind. (Ask me if I really care what she [or others] thinks.......HA) But EDUCATION is amazing and comes in simple conversations.
These are the type of people (with an all too-common mindset) that thinks "we" should work full-time and "garden" on the side. Work all week for the paycheck and turn around and give it to the store(s) for food. Make sense? Not in my mind.
I don't fit into molds very easily....and when questioned stopped defending my (desired) part-time work (paycheck) status a looooong time ago. My work at home IS important. If I don't have a job tomorrow, yes, I will have to tighten my belt some, but I am not going to starve or be homeless, that is for sure.
Prepping is always high on my priority list.....even simple things. Better to have extra food and not need it, than to have no food and need it! (Same goes with supplies, critter food, etc).
Looks like the low (night) temps are going to take a nose-dive next week. I got some more spaghetti sauce canned last week and will make more today. We'll be pulling up plants and dehydrating/freezing/canning what we can before a freeze comes.
"Baby" Nessa is 5 months old now--I've got to call and make her shots/dehorning appointment. The chicks hatched early this summer should start laying anytime now. I finally got them trained to ALL go into the coop at night--they were roosting on the stanchion and making a poopy and feather mess!
Jared had a jump yesterday, it was kind of windy and he hit feet, butt, head and got knocked out for a bit. He realized he also got dragged by the parachute. He had a headache, but Medics said he was fine. Today they get a new CO, so they get to march and stand for hours in place while the ceremony occurs.
He is no longer in the Armory as they put him back as a Rifleman. (Drat!) I get disgusted with the "politics" the Military does. (Basically they just used him to fill in a needed spot in the Armory until it officially got filled....and someone else got it who needed out of what he was doing and had to be put somewhere.) GRRRRR
Kyle has been busy all week, and managed to help with Security (via the Marines) at the Nebraska football game last week. So he got to watch the game as well. He is always on the go--this Saturday is All-State Band auditions. He was actually home twice this week to eat supper, so I made him one of his favorites: Beef Stew!!
Pat took JJ (outside cat) to the vet--and $67 later she is fixed up and has meds to take for a week. Not sure if she got hit by a car or what, but she is feeling much better already!
And that's the long and short of what's been going on here this week! Never a dull moment!
Rant Alert.......again! HA
On another note; I watched a documentary of a family that got lost in the wilderness for over a week. I was astonished--they depended on their car, well, until it ran out of gas. (Cell phone didn't work).
Here they had all these natural resources literally surrounding them, and they had absolutely no clue how to use them to their advantage, for signal fire, or heat or shelter or even food/drink.
I've been noticing how unprepared people really, really are, and that show I realized cemented the fact. Clueless!
Most are too worried about "entertainment [aka fun] value" of things....their "reality" is NOT what the Real World (Nature) has to offer, and it can be a very swift and harsh teacher. Everyone wants comfort and convenience, fast and easy is the norm.
Most people are also very naive and woefully unprepared and waaaaay too trusting. People NEED to learn to take care of themselves, and stop depending on others all the time.
Simple skills (and communication--let someone know where you were headed/change of plans) would of saved the husband and they wouldn't of been so cold, desperate and hungry and lost for so long. Wow, I was shaking my head.....what a senseless loss. I am sure all the families effected by this have a different outlook on dependence, planning and surviving/prepping now. It's just rotten of HOW the lesson had to be learned. (I don't want to sound judgmental, just the honest facts. I do have a heart!)
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
The trees know it's autumn, even if the temps aren't correlating! 80's+ for highs and 50's for lows is odd, but I'll take it!! :) I know soon enough it'll be chilly, rainy and plain ol' dreary!
We are all busy with work around here. The garden is still producing, so we keep preserving. I am looking at winter with a raised eyebrow, hay consumption here has doubled. Instead of getting one big round bale a month, I've been getting it twice a month. Prices have stayed the same (for me so far) but still, since they are eating more, it's double the price per month. I need to cull, but who is the question. I have wrestled with this all summer, and still do. Each critter has a pro and con list....when I got Anna a year ago, I knew all of these decisions would have to be made sooner or later. Since she calved early, everything got fast-forwarded one whole year, from milking/training, to (re-)breeding, to culling decisions.
I also have too many chickens.....I counted 11 hens now since the younger ones are about ready to lay. (I only need about half that many in reality!!) I put the pesky roosters in the chicken tractor and two older biddy's who I don't think lay very well into a different smaller tractor. The Axeman will come sooner or later for all of them, unless someone needs them for an occasional egg and lots of entertainment! ;-) HA
Here is Mr. Chase-Me-Rooster in the crockpot with some salt and pepper on him, about ready to get cooked (he weighed about 5#):
And the Tom Turkey in my sink, he verily fit!! (He was 24 1/2#!)