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!