Friday, July 27, 2012

PETA as a domestic terrorist group

I don't know if you have seen this but apparently PETA is taking bets on when Sen. Grassley will die.

Peta takes bets on Sen. Grassley's death

Now how does this not qualify as inciting violence? If for a wild example, The NRA was taking bets on when the head of the U.N. would die (because of the UN Gun Law up for review today), people would be all up in arms (no pun intended) about this. The FBI would be looking into the NRA and charging them with inciting violence or dometstic terrorism.

Here is PETA's own words about this....PETA about Sen. Grassley

Now who is to say, one of their members won't bet on his death and then carry out actions to make sure they win the bet? How is this not inciting violence?

Me, my stance is firm.

I'm all for taking care of my animals, taking them to the vet. Bear as we all know is spoiled rotten. But I'm not above looking at him and telling him when TSHTF, I'm so gonna eat him. As a matter of fact, I asked Grey Knight last night if I could tazer the cat. (The cat will not stop lying on my neck and face at night, waking me up all night!)

Just saying, I'm tired of the double standard for groups around here. It's okay to say something if you are a liberal group and or a minority but most of us are supposed to keep our mouth shut!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Herbs as Medicine Week 1-Bee Balm

                                                        Stock photo of Bee Balm

This week I will be profiling Bee Balm, also known as horsemint, oswego tea and bergamont.
This plant does grow in the wild, so learn what it looks like and how to identify.

Background: The Blackfoot, Menominee, Ojibiwa and Winnebago tribes all used this plant to treat illness in their tribes.

Let's get the standard warnings out of the way: I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on the Internet. Always ask your doctor before trying new herbal remedies, it's bound to get you a few odd looks. I have asked my doctor about the use of this herb and in my present physical condition, I got the green light to use it.  However if you are pregnant or nursing or using this on a small child, always be cautious with any herbal remedies.  If you are using this herb as a homemade essential oil or you purchase this herb as an oil, DO NOT expose area to direct sunlight. You will look as bright as a boiled lobster!

Now that the doom and gloom warnings are out of the way. Say the end of the world has hit, you managed to survive on your preps for the last 13 months. You've started a garden, your animals have been producing and breeding things are looking up but your medicine stock is way down or non existant. How are you going to replenish it?

Bee balm is one of those plants that can help you restock your medicine cabinet.

Bee balm has ANTI EMETIC action (from mint family most mints do)
Has a strong ANTISEPTIC action
(So what do these fancy terms mean??)

----For fevers, pain and nausea----Crush dried or fresh leaves and make a hot tea (use 1 tbsp per 8 oz of water)
----For skin infections----Crush fresh leaves and put on top of affected area. Draws infection out.

Here is my #1 use for Bee Balm. Let's face it, after TOTW dentists will be few. Brush, floss daily but I can speak from experience, this is a LIFESAVER.
                                                            Bee Balm Tincture

This needs to be done ahead of time, takes 3-4 weeks. Gather bee balm flowers and leaves, wash, add to a mason jar and cover with vodka. Leave to sit on the counter where you will see it and shake daily. After 3-4 weeks, strain the bee balm leaves out. (Keep in a cool place after this)

Use this topically or as a mouth wash on gums where infection or affected tooth is. This gives temporary INSTANT pain relief and with its antiseptic effect helps with healing. I personally without giving too much personal info out have had this cut my healing time from 8 weeks to 4 weeks with dental surgery.

Just a side note here now--To save bee balm seeds, allow the flower heads to dry completely on the plant, cut them off and crumble the flower heads. The seeds will be small and oval shaped.

---If you are planning a herbal medicine chest in your preps, some items that I would suggest you get now are a mortar and pestle, a tea ball or press and seal tea bags, I would stock up on witch hazel and vodka as well for your bases for tinctures and such. Some use rum for tincures I prefer vodka since its clear and as a non drinker I tolerate it better.  A wooden drying rack from the hardware store and clothes pins help with the drying process when there is no power.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mid week update

Things have settled into a strange routine here around the farm. Normally this time of year, I would be in a mad rush to preserve and can pretty much every day. Not so this year.

Garden still hasn't produced much to actually put up. Pulled up the potato plants Sunday. Got probably 50 lbs of potatoes. Fried some up on Monday night after taking Bear swimming. If you have never grown your own potato, the taste is so much different from your store bought variety. This is gonna sound strange but it actually tastes like a potato.

Something has been into the melon patch and at my prize cantalopes. Eating perfect cup sized holes in them and sucking the insides out.

Have been hard at work inside the M109 working on cut work right now. Hopefully we will get the framing done inside of it this weekend.

Dried some partridge berry this weekend.

A mom to be best friend. Will make a dried tincture with it when needed.

Trying to work out a deal with the local Army/Navy store (who are prep minded). They teach a Israeli Combat class and I am trying to barter teaching a herb medicine chest class in exchange for training. While there this weekend, was able to pick up a sweet suturing kit. Check one thing off my medicine chest kit list!

Sign of the times hits close to home as well. Family across the street from us moved out this weekend to beat the foreclosure. Didn't even know they were in trouble. Didn't socialize with these folks much as they were more into your typical drinking/bbq parties on the weekends. Of course they left their yard a foot high. Neighbors are already pitching in to keep it mowed.

Well, I'm gonna try to beat the heat and storms today. Definitely an inside day for us with temperatures reaching 105 without the heat index. Forcasted to get some more rocking storms this evening. Area is just recovering from Monday mornings derecho.

Friday, July 20, 2012

M109A3 conversion

This is what has been keeping me busy over the last few days along with major construction plans this weekend.

Right now the front half is waiting for its 3rd coat of white paint. It has really soaked up the paint.
Trip to the lumber yard tonight to pick up the wood for the Bed/Fuel storage area and the built over cabinet.

The fuel tank will hold 325 gallons of fuel. Good for a bug out situation. The smaller tank is a water tank and will hold 70 gallons of water on board. This will all be enclosed into the bed area, hopefully with alot more storage options. I'm worried about Grey Knight's plans for this since it seems to me storage will be very limited. If all else fails bins can be piled on the bed area, I guess.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Pictures don't do it justice. This storm was so wierd. It was moving at us from west, with clouds moving northwest to southeast. It literally looked like it was swirling right on top of us. It's thundering and lightening like mad right over top of us right now and yes it is raining!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

For the Love of Water

                      (Bison at Land Between the Lakes Recreation Area, Cadiz, KY)

--Bison is totally unrelated just a photo from our April vacation. This bison and I had some sort of connection.

Snippets from farm life
--We have gotten .05 inches of rain in the last 2 months.
--Bought 3 lbs of strawberries for $1 a lb yesterday, they are currently in the dehydrator for fruit breads later this year.
--Bee swarm has taken over my mint, which is flowering right now. Must be 100 bees out there. No clue where the hive is, but after reading Pioneer Preppy's posts about his bees, I'm glad they are finding some food.
--Cicada killer bees have taken over the area in front of the barn, all attempts to remove them have failed so far.

--Heat wave is back which temperatures in the triple digits this week. Bear is gearing up for it already by being extremely lazy (sleeping most of the time, in the room with AC) and refusing most food except people food. He does this everytime it gets hot, so I'm not too worried. He is a pain in the keister to get to go outside to potty though. Have to drag him out a intervals. Maybe take him down to the river tonight to swim.

On my bookstand right now..

Research book..

Fiction for night time reading is ..
Ordered the 2nd James Rawles book, Survivors and A Joe Nobody book, Without Rule of Law they will be here sometime next week. This was after going into Barnes and Noble and having them look at me like I'm clueless looking for these books.  Should have known better since they aren't mainstream reading.

Basically just trying to stay cool this week.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Yuppies and the Drought

Reading the local new sources sometimes causes me to turn the air blue in our home office.

Drought stories are popping up at a greater rate locally and restrictions on watering and burning are being mandated for most towns near me. While we are on well water and don't rely on the town or city to provide water for us, the yuppies believe I should not be watering our food.

They comment on these drought stories with comments like prison terms for those wasting water on their gardens  (in my mind's eye, they are commenting as they drink their Double Lg extra Grande double shot something or other from Starbucks- who draws off the local water well) and sit in their corporate offices who are still watering their lawns (that don't grow food with town water).

Went out and about tonight (paying the insurance) and went by 3 golf courses who were actively watering at the time. I'm growing food for the winter and to put up for tough times. Last winter there were times we would have gone hungry if it hadn't been for my garden, but their 18 hole recreation time is more important!

We only water for an hour a day after dark and even that isn't keeping the veggies alive. I will be lucky if i pull a few melons this year. The pumpkins are baseball size and already turning orange. Corn is knee high and putting out tassels, definitely not a good yield sign. Beans are drying up. Taters are about dead, might be able to pull 20 lbs or so with what was grown earlier this season. Sure, I've harvested a bushel of onions and a nice container of garlic, but that's not going feed me for a year.
Can't tell what the salisfy is doing under the ground but the broccoli has yet to flower.

Meanwhile Mother Nature keeps teasing me. Out with Bear dog this afternoon and could see the storm clouds to the south of us and hear the thunder even. Rushed in to look at the radar. Was a pretty picture..
 But of course it stayed to the south of us and we didn't even see a drop. That will the news that next week we will be seeing triple digit heat again, the news just keeps getting better!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Do It yourself MRE Drink Mix and more!

This post was inspired by K over at  Every week it seems, he reviews MRE's  and I was paging thru his back posts today about them. I noticed the price tag on the MRE drink mixes and then got thinking about how the Grey Knight likes these little Wylers packets to mix into his water at work.

 Now last time we bought these several months ago I was shocked at the price. Was roughly 3.50 for a box of 8 of these, which makes 16 8 oz servings. However at Aldi, I got this container of drink mix for less than 2.00 for 60 8 oz servings.

So quick math just to give myself a headache...
 .21 a serving for the Wylers
 .03 a serving for the cheap Aldi brand

Now we all know, carrying around a container of drink mix while hiking, camping, bugging out, etc takes up alot of room in any pack. How about a easy way to tote these around?

The bright yellow package with all the fancy labeling is of course the Wylers package.

The other one is mine. Here's how you do it. It's very simple and can be adapted to hold instant coffee, powdered creamers, any dried beverage mix.

First off you get ahold of some clear straws. One straw gets cut in half. This half will hold your individual serving.

You will need a candle, any one will do and a pair of needle nose pliers. Pinch the straw between the pliers at the end leaving a small tail to it. Hold this tail over your candle to heat seal the plastic from the straw... like so...

 Pour 3/4 tsp of the drink mix in (may need all of the straw for things like coffee etc.) This is a tedious job, something to do while watching tv or a movie or such.  Heat seal the other end and you are good to rock. You could probably fit 50 of these or more in a qt ziplock bag. Just throw in a pair of nail clippers to open the end of your homemade drink straw and add to your water.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Prepper Overload?

Anyone else experience this? We have realized that we are severely disorganized in our preps. In a bug out situation, we would most likely end up leaving essentials behind simply because we couldn't find them.
The Grey Knight works from 5 am to 7pm 5 days a week, and we had been trying to get things done on the weekends along with prepping tasks as well as running the farm. I've kinda woken up and realized that since I'm home 7 days a week with just me and the dog during the week, I need to light a fire under my butt and take this organization on myself.
Of course, this also comes with my household chores, farm chores and all the drying, canning and weeding that comes with that. I'm not having a pity party just feeling a tad overwhelmed.
Right now I'm attempting to work at least a corner in the back shed clean and organized making lists of things we need to repair and/or get while cleaning and organizing that area. I'm also trying to locate indoor preps by category in one spot as well. One indoor, one outdoor project a day plus chores.

Of course, the type A in me feels this isn't going fast enough or that I'm not doing enough, anyone else get this kind of prepper depression?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Survival Blog down again

Thanks to Orange Jeep Dad for the info

Find the info here ....

Even the dotted IP address isn't working for me as of 10:30 CST time.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Updates from the Garden

I know I have been doing vacation posts for the last few weeks, so I figured I would catch all of you up on what's happening on the farm.

As of this morning, the weeding is finally done in the main gardens. The heat hampered us alot in getting out and weeding but plugged at it a few hours in the morning a day.
So far it looks like it isn't a totally loss.  The carnival peppers are coming into colors, the jalepenos are there though not abundant. The cherokee beans seem to be loving this weather and the onions are flopping over giving sign they are ready to be pulled and cured.

The potatoes are looking like they will be ready to harvest soon. Think I messed up and got a early variety this year. The amish paste tomatoes are looking amazing. It's hard to believe I grew them from seed this year. Usually I have no luck growing them from seed. The radishes are putting up flowers and I've been saving them for seed along with saving seed from the Egyptian Walking onions and the chives. The salisfy is doing its thing underground (first year for this). The corn is in the same state as the rest of the corn in the state, though I do have a few tassels showing. The dill is thin and hopefully will go to seed and fill out the patch next year and the sunflowers are slowly pushing their way skyward.

The broccoli should have flowers by now but doesn't. The ghost pumpkins (white ones) are very sad with only one bitty one trying to survive. 1 of 4 of the sun and moon watermelons is alive still. 3 of the 4 cantalope (this amazing orange and red striped one) are thriving. The sugar pie pumpkins are taking over the rest of the plot. Looks like a few of the basket gourds and dipper gourds will make it.

This heat wave is supposed to break tonight for us, but of course no rain in sight at least in the 10 day forecast. Hopefully this will allow me to get out more next week and work on harvesting in the herb gardens and getting the dehydrators going. House needs to be finished painting and we have been slowly working on putting tires on the M109 at night. Just changing one of those tires is a chore at 400 lbs a piece.

Of course there is still the wood to split, should have at least a cord when it is all done. Now to get the woodstove! Going to work on my fire pit later in the month, I believe for cooking more outside with the dutch oven and of course dying yarns and fabrics and such.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

More Vacation Photos

More vacation photos...

Flowers for Kymber
More flowers
Strange animal track...Wait I know this one!...It's a beth handprint! I was frogging by hand, then showing them to Bear. (He ate his share of deerflies and horseflies this trip and loved chasing the toads out of the campsite)  On the last night of camping, we had 3 ruffled grouse get startled by something and land directly 2 ft in front of Bear then roost on top of the tent.

North view from our campsite

also from our campsite, that bright area in the picture is the lake. Fishing gods didn't smile on us. Think we brought home 4 bluegills and 1 nice bass.

More tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th Now Pay up!

All over we celebrate freedom today on the 4th of July, that freedom won by men and women in the military.

Soon pardon me if I'm steamed by this!

President wants soldiers to pay up!

This affects many of the bloggers in our circles, including me. When we got in, we were promised free health care for LIFE if we did our 20 years. Now thanks to our present president, that is being yanked out from under us.

Frankly, I don't know how I'm going to pay for this.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Campfire Biscuits/Vacation

Yes, we are back but while I catch up around here, I will be doing short posts about our vacation.

While we were at Black Hawk Memorial Park, I cooked for the first time with my Lodge dutch oven.

While I can cook with propane while camping I have been concerned if we can't or don't have propane about putting meals on the table.

So this was my first attempt.

Biscuits ready to go on. 8 coals under the oven. 16 on top. In hind sight, I would have tried to elevate the pan more from the bottom of the oven perhaps inverting another pan under the biscuit pan

Cooking away. Took about 12 minutes for these to cook. Rather simple recipe as well.

1 tbsp yeast
1/4 cup warm water (dissolve these 2 together)

3/4 cup reconstitued powdered milk
1/4 cup sugar
1tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
3 cups flour
(I would add an egg to this recipe as well to make it better)

Allow to rise for a couple hours in a warm sunny place, covered.
Makes 10 -12 biscuits.
The bottoms were a tad over done, but they were tasty with some sausage gravy over them.

And now for the gratitous cute Bear photo.

His first swimming experience!
He loves swimming now! The leash is because he doesn't really come well yet but loves being in the water!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Vacation Post 2- Waving at Kymber

We are on stop 2 of our journey this week. We are staying in Chequamegon National Forest near Sailor Lake. As you can see, we are within waving distance of Kymber!

National Forest camping isn't for your people that want cable tv, bathrooms with lights and showers, or comforts from home. Most of the time we camp very rustic. However being so far out from civilization does have its drawbacks. 30/30 came with us for bears.

Hopefully by this time, we have a cooler chocked full of ice and fish. We are going to stop in Park falls sometime this trip near Fond Du Lac to pick up a couple of pounds of Obijwe wild rice. The Native Americans up here still farm it on the lakes.  Hoping as well to pick up a couple lbs of dried cranberries as they farm them up here as well. Cranberry Rice stuffed fish anyone?

We will be heading home in time for the 4th of July holidays, plus to catch up on weeding at the farm.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Vacation Post 1

Vacation Post 1- I have hopefully scheduled these for posting when we are away.

We are staying at a sweet county park that we found a couple years ago up in South West Wisconsin for a few days.

It's run by the county and to be honest is a gem of a campground. While you will find NO electricity, NO showers and lowly porta toilets for use, the park has so much to offer! A large lake that is teeming with bullheads, a river that offers a wide variety of fish, and a night sky that is unbelievable! There is no light pollution up here and at night it looks like a paint bucket of stars thrown across the sky. Just after dark, the hoots will start hooting at one another and won't stop til dawn!

The monument is something that I enjoy "defiling" or "counting coop" on everytime we come up here. This park was the site of a battle between Kickapoo Indians and the army where all the Indians were killed by the army. The Indians managed to take 4 of the army soldiers out and this monument is dedicated to them. Each year I come up here and lay white sage, sweetgrass and tobacco to burn on the base of their monument in honor of the Kickapoo warriors.

We took the dutch oven this time camping and hopefully I will be using it more this trip. Yellowstone Lake State Park is nearby and I'm hoping to get out and leave my crawdad trap out overnight. Low Boil anyone?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

How Dry it is!

Swiped this from the NOAA site. The closer to red it is the dryer it is. According to NOAA we are at a stage D3 drought. I think its a little off since I believe we are in a localized area that is receiving less rain than most. Storms thru this area seem to divide and go north and south of us.

Places such as where Pioneer Preppy is are in a D2 or D1 drought. Down where MM Paints is is also in that D1 classification.

I have a feeling while certain crops of mine are enjoying the sparse rain, its going to be a failed garden year. Makes you think though.

If TSHTF and you were relying on your garden to put up for the coming winter, water and the means to pump it or carry it at least to your crops would be so important.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bear's Idea of an Emergency

 We are gonna be super busy today getting ready for trip on Monday (fishing!) so I will leave you with this update about Bear.

This is truly a dog emergency!


Friday, June 22, 2012


Gee darn I guess I'm supposed to feel guilty now..

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It just leaves me speechless...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Jam To Die For!

Okay so its not pretty, but fruit and chocolate seriously? you can't go wrong!
Gather your materials.

6 cups raspberries (I threw some strawberries in there for good measure)
4 cups sugar
1 box low sugar pectin
5 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup Dark Chocolate cocoa powder

Mash your berries and start bringing them to a low boil. Mix the cocoa powder and pectin. *Cuss loudly because you spilled some on the counter*
Once the raspberries are at low boil, add the cocoa powder and pectin mixture.

Stir well.
*Stop to say aloud and to the dog and anyone randomly listening thru hidden mics (just kidding) Wow, that looks like baby....*

Bring back to a rolling boil for 20 min. Makes 3 pint jars or 6 half pint jars. Waterbath for 15 minutes. Make sure you taste it before you can it, it may not make it to the canning stage if you do!

While it is in the water bath, click the link on the side of this postK's Fajita Seasoning and gather the ingredients.
Be sure to duck as the spices come falling out of the 3 little cabinets that you have to store food in.

Sneeze several times from the peppers.

Place in a mason jar for later use!

By the way, did you know that the tops from parmesan containers screw on perfectly to mason jars?

Thanks to Sherri from for joining our site. You should check out her beautiful huskies and she's a blogger for GRIT magazine!
Love that magazine when I'm lucky enough to get a copy. Grey Knight works in transporation and brags about my garden so occasionally people will send me farming and gardening magazines.

I'm off to can some Chocolate Raspberry Turnover Filling. Recipe to follow later!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Odds and Ends of Prepping

Just a hodgepodge of stuff going on here on the farm.

Made a new batch of a blended tea. It's a combination of anise (mountain mint), bee balm (bergamont) and spearmint. Tastes and smells like a minty black jelly bean!
Looks so pretty in the dehydrator as well.

Got berries everywhere! Even though we aren't getting any rain, the berries seem to love it.
Canned some strawberry desert topping this morning. Picking up more canning jars this evening and canning some chocolate raspberry jam/filling tomorrow. I'm envisioning turnovers filled with it!

And the gratitious dinner picture just for Kymber, since she always posts yummy food that she is eating!

It's what we call a gondola dog with a side of spaghetti. It's basically a italian sausage wrapped in pizza dog then I brush a mixture of olive oil, fresh herbs from the garden and parmesan cheese on it and bake.

As you can see we are keeping busy! Next week will be a round of fishing up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin along with forgaging. Hoping that we do as well or better fishing up there as we did in Kentucky.

Thanks to all the New Followers!

Just found that follow blog button. Yes, I'm kicking and screaming my way into the technology age!

I've add all your blogs and thank you for joining my small family here online!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beating the Heat

Here is a snippet from our weather forecast.








As you can see, it has been hot! Other than a slight soaking the other day (.37 of a inch) we haven't had rain in over a month. Yes, we have seen plenty of "forecasted" storms but they move south or north of us.  Meanwhile, we don't have ac except for in one room, the office. Bear's nighttime crate has been moved into it and frankly we spend frequent breaks in the office with the door closed to cool off.

How else are we beating the heat? Well with temperatures only cooling down to mid 70's at night, once dusk comes we close up the bedroom door, and put fans in the windows on high. Bear has been eating plenty of bowls of ice, even stopping to lay his head in the bowl on a bed of ice. He also has been spending time in his wading pool. (Need to get me my own since he hates to share it with me!)

Other things we have been doing are grilling outside to keep the temperature from going higher in the house, keeping lotion and body spray in the fridge for a quick cool off. I've found a quick cool shower before bed helps me to sleep faster in the heat.

Most of us rely on cooling to make our life's comfortable, what would you do without it if TSHTF?
Thankfully, I sold my beater truck last night and the money to fix the central air is now sitting on my desk (if they don't charge me a arm and a leg). If the company is too high on their estimate, several window units are getting bought for the house to help with cooling.

Here is hoping for some cooler weather!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Who are you to tell me?

Seems to me that everyone lately wants 2 cents into my life. My question is Who are you to tell me what to do with my castle, my body, my life etc.

We live in what I thought was a free country at least last time I read the Constitution. Now a days it seems like the federal government, state governments and even the local governments are trying to tell us what to do.

Lately in the news I've been seeing articles from NYC trying to ban certain types of food, California is another big one on that. It's my body! If I wanna eat a double sized movie popcorn and finish it off with a Big Gulp Slurpee (though I could see no instance where I would want to do that) its my body! Who are you to tell me what to put into it!

However I have seen some outfits on some people that should be illegal in all 50 states!

Now I read about small towns trying to fine and even jail people for non comformist lawns?
Let's face facts, we are preppers. We are really big on the comformists front. We reuse, repurpose and think outside the box with our properties. My township ticks me off because they have deemed I'm not legally able to have chickens (even though you can have chickens in the city of chicago on a postage stamp lawn) because I don't have 8 acres. Tell me, even free ranging do 3 or 4 chickens really need 8 acres to roam and how the hell do you find them or keep them safe if they are roaming 8 acres?

We grew 200 sq feet of wheat last year. Just an experiment to see if we could and what kind of harvest we would get. To most people that's a eyesore on a suburban lawn. We usually have various projects going on around the farm including wood to spilt, barrels that are being fixed into something new, etc. My point is I bought the property, it's mine. It's MY CASTLE! Who is the town, state etc to tell me what it looks like. Out of respect for my neighbors and myself I try to keep it looking cleaned up and maintained, mowed etc, but there are times when it's not.

My neighbor has flipped out for 3 years because I have no plans to reseal my driveway. Can he report me for that under these new laws? (of course this the neighbor who mows every 2 days, we have a special name in this house rhymes with Rain all?)

I know big rant today, but seriously govt and people should keep their noses where they belong!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Raspberry Pecan Jam

Ambitious this morning after finally getting a night's sleep. Bear has developed this new habit of wanting to go lay down outside in the middle of the night. He barks when he wants to go out. Night before, I didn't get to sleep til close to 430 am and up with him again at 630 am. The training collar seems to be helping though I still have to get up to tell him No and to go back to sleep but less times last night.

Anyway, made Raspberry Pecan Jam this morning. This is the first year that our bushes have really produced and I am picking a little over a quart a day with no end in sight. Still plenty of green berries on the bushes.

Recipe is your basic jam recipe.

Raspberry Pecan Jam
4 quarts of Raspberries (roughly 6 1/2 cups)
2 cups of sugar
1/2 package of powdered pectin
scant tbsp of water
tbsp of lemon juice
1 cup of ground pecans

Combine everything but the pecans in a pot. Bring to boil and allow to boil for 20 min. (220 on candy thermometer). Last 5 minutes add the ground pecans.

Process in hot sterilized canning jars (pints) for 15 minutes at a rolling boil. Makes 4 pints.

It's like a peanut butter jelly sandwhich in a jar! Makes a impressive Christmas gift as well.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Doings at Farm

I know I've been quiet lately, just have been really really busy. Here's one of the reasons why.

I'm in the midst of painting the house this summer. I figure since we have no rain (haven't seen it in ages) I might as well paint.
Harvesting the raspberries has been a daily chore as well. The front center bed in the picture is our new Native garden. All plants that are native to this area including wild garlic, wild onion, wild ginger and the little tree that will get about 15 feet tall is a paw paw tree.

Last night we made the first of many purchases for our bug out truck, the M109a4.

I know what in the world? The large tank will hold 325 gallons of diesel fuel, and the smaller tank is a 35 gallon water tank.  These two tanks will be the base for a queen sized bed/storage area. A wooden frame will be built around them, making for a very tall bed =P. As you can see there will be 3 windows in the bedroom type area. More storage units will be built onto the walls. The Grey Knight is hoping to get a rare day off mid week to start working on the framing for this.

The heat has been oppressive but good training I quess if TSHTF. With no ac, anytime it gets over 90 here its uncomfortable. The house was a small lake/camp house and has itty bitty windows that don't allow for good circulation. Bear has been spending tons of time in the pool! Just really wish we would get some rain. Ground is like hard cement between waterings.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


 Or better titled Call us Crazy Preppers...

Here is the new beast....

Our plans are to turn it into a rv/bug out truck. Bought it at government auction and drove it home on Thrusday. Of course, par with military trucks, we broke down on the way home. The Grey Knight has lots of mechanical knowledge and is slowly teaching me. I even managed to change the tire on it today (which is no small feat considering the tires weigh 450 lbs each)

The trip was nice though. Bear was a stellar dog! So well behaved considering the long trip.
We stopped at a wayside (remember those?? hardly any states have them anymore!)

Here is the gratitious cute Bear photo...
Begging for the last piece of my lunch. Bear allows me to eat a little of my ...wait no Love the soulful.

Later we stopped at another wayside and while The Grey Knight walked Bear, I used the lovely pit toilet. 2 Seconds later, he sees me running to the car chanting I need my camera, I need my camera..Grabbed it and raced back to take this picture for my fellow bloggers!

Well my p

hoto is as fuzzy as they are!

I called them Baby Round Beavers...they had tiny flat tails.
Huddled together for warmth, no mama in sight, just outside the bathroom door.

Needless to say traveling with us is always an adventure!

Try this one!

Monday, May 28, 2012

So you wanna honor Vets? Open your wallets!

Okay so it's a 3 day weekend. Okay, so I've spent most of it catching up around the farm. Okay, so most of us are gonna fire up the grill and party with family this weekend.

Just like Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Columbus Day most of society just sees it as a 3 day weekend, forgets the meaning behind it.

Well this weekend is not just a 3 day weekend, or time to catch up outside work. It's Memorial Day!
Time to honor those that have served in our armed forces and gave their lives so that we have the freedoms and others have the freedoms that allow them to have a 3 day weekend!

What better way to honor them but by taking care of their fellow brothers and sisters in the service?

The Homesteading Neophyte is hosting a blogathon later this month. While she hasn't opened up for pledges yet, it is a great cause that honors our service members. Pets2svets gives service animals to disabled soldiers. The Grey Knight's son in law (a active duty Marine) has just received a service dog to help with his injuries received in Afghanistan.

So this weekend earmark some money for this blogathon. Walk the walk instead of just talking the talk!
Blogathon for Pets2svets!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

DNS Attack?

I have tried to bring up survival blog several times in the last 12 hours. Keep getting a DNS. Of course dumb ass me didnt write down the number of the ip like JR says all the time. Is anyone else getting this? Does anyone have the number?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Blogathon : Note from Bear

A Homesteading Neophyte is holding a blogathon next month for PetsS2Vets.
The concept as I gather is that she blogs every 30 minutes for 24 hours, holds raffles for donated prizes and others donate money to the organization to support her staying awake all night.

Note from Bear:

If my people hadn't taken me in, I could have very easily become a shelter pet. My lady owner is hoping to train me (ick more training! can't I just play!) to work as a search and rescue dog or a therapy dog. She also tells me that her and the Grey Knight have kids in the military, one of which is being forciably seperated from the Marines for a injury he got in some wierd place named after a dog (Afghanstan). So this charity is certainly a worthy one!

Red Barn Farm has donated a box for this blogathon. Check out the blogathon details here....Homesteading Neophyte's Blogathon

Check out our donation here and please consider pledging a few dollars to help this cause..Our Gift Box

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fire in my Soul

I know that I haven't posted a update since we came back from vacation. We especially I came back from vacation with a fire in my soul when it comes to preparing.

I don't know if it was the sheer sense of accomplishment in being able to bring back 5 lbs of catfish fillets, and 3 nice healthy sized bass. Not to mention learning the skill of skinning and cleaning a fish.
I'm not sure if it was saving found seeds including paw paws, or putting up a nice mason jar full of file (sassafrass leaves used to season gumbo).

We came back and threw ourselves into preparing the garden and weeding and planting more veggies. Looked into several local classes to learn skills. Another thing that I realized when on vacation is that I need more range time on weapons. I'm not sure if just the sight of a 12 guage shot gun being held by a 100 lb woman is gonna scare them dead. I was proud of myself, I haven't fired a gun since I was probably 10. The 30-30 scared the hell out of me but I put on my big girl panties and fired it anyway. Hell of a recoil!

Bear came back much better trained from doggie boot camp but the grooming there was horrible! We had to cut alot of the large mats out of his fur. Is a shame since he's such a pretty dog normally.

One of the highlights of the trip for me (besides fishing every day and actually catching fish!) will sound strange. The campground hosts (federal employees) were a husband and wife team. They have a sweet deal. They camp there for free for 8 months of the year and the feds pay them plus provide a camper. The 2 of them were also preppers! In talking with them, the subject of trapping specically squirrel trapping came up. He told us how easy it was to trap them using number 1 traps and peanut butter. Simply nail the trap to a tree and bait with peanut butter.
So I'm now the proud owner of 6 number 1 traps and 2 number 3 traps. Can't use them in this backwards state , but I have them if the shit hits.

Meanwhile the gardens continue to grow and the herbs are in full harvest state. Put up a full tray of oregano yesterday, sage currently is in the dryer. Chamomile needs to be next.

Friday, May 11, 2012

We are back!

Just a quick note to say we are back, tons to do outside to catch up. Isn't that always the case with vacations!

This was a working vacation for us with everyday (except travel days) spent fishing and foraging. We both came away feeling more confident of our skills.

Bear comes home tomorrow and I must get a ton of stuff done before that, will post more later with pictures to follow.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's Happened ....TSHTF

As I mentioned we will be leaving for ten days this week. We orginally were going to take Bear with us, but fortunes changed and we have decided to put him in doggie training camp for the 10 days to work on his manners. I think this will greatly reduce my stress level and allow me to get more done around here. So we dropped Bear off today and The Grey Knight just came in with a funny story!

(We have two rescue cats named Jethro and Horatio)

Jethro: OMG, it's happened!!
Horatio: What?
Jethro: First the dog disappeared! Then the humans disappeared!! The shit has hit the fan!!

Jethro: We need to load up our bug out bags! You grab the cat food! I will get the bottles of water!

Jethro: OMG! I just remembered we can't bug out!! OH NO!!
Horatio: Why not?

Jethro: We can't open the door! I have no thumbs!!!!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

If I wanted America to fail...My Earth day post

If I wanted America to fail

Scary true...While I do believe in making your footprint as small as possible, this comes from wanting to lead a simpler life. America was great once...what happened?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Repurposed Mittens from A Sweater

Or...Sew along with Beth.

I know mittens are something we don't want to think about with just coming into spring. I like to have tons of pairs around since they get wet and then your hands get cold. These are great for shoveling snow, walking the dog, or just bringing in firewood.

A wool sweater shrunk up in the wash works best but I have even gotten away with using 50% wool ones. I happened to have this one that Bear nicked a large hole in. It went into the sewing pile to be used for mittens.

First cut your patterns.

You will need 2 pieces of each of these..They are rather simple shapes to eyeball.

and 2 of these as well...

Once you have your pieces cut, then comes the fun part. Pinning them together.

Here is a picture of one pinned. You will need to pin the other one opposite since you don't want to end up with 2 left hands or 2 right hands.

I am using some hand dyed wool and cotton thread to stitch these ones together. Don't you love my camp table by the way! The Grey Knight built it for me and it folds up to be carted around where we need it. Right now its serving as my folding table for laundry.

Now with the magic of the internet....A finished pair for you to see what you will end up with!

Of course this one comes out fuzzy and with the lighting they dont look like the deep purple they are. II'm a firm believer that winter clothes and footwear should be bright to help with the winter blues.

If you do this project and get stuck. Feel free to email me at!

Spoiled Rotten

Someone is spoiled rotten around here and it's not me!

He loves his new cooling pool. Though he was unsure about it at first. It quickly became the comedy sitcom of the neighborhood with neighbors coming out of their houses to watch Bear frolick in the pool. If you throw something that sinks in, he has to get it out of the pool, and he puts his whole face in and blows bubbles! The pool is good to stand and go around in circles for about a half hour then it becomes a game of tug of war to move the pool around the yard finally spilling it and then running around with the pool in his jaws like he won a prize or something.

Finally got Bears pack done and we have taken it for a test walk. He doesn't seem to mind having it on once he realizes that we are going for a walk.  Wasn't to much of a pain to construct even with the hand sewing.

We used a extra large dog harness and a set of Coleman ATV bags (19 bucks at Walmart).

Place the bag on table with bag openings to the table, then lay the harness in the postion that it would sit on the dog (this is the hard part making sure that nothing is tangled) The coleman bag has a circle hole in the center and this lines up perfectly with the dog's leash hitch on the harness. Pin into place and then tack with a hand sewing, making sure to use strong thread as this will see alot of wear and tear.  I went over some places with the sewing machine just to give it added strength.
And there you have a dog bug out bag or a dog walk backpack for less than 20 bucks (if you already have the harness.
Will try to get pictures this weekend of it on the dog.