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I am a Christian woman who loves her family and tries to live with a purpose. "I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13


Friday, November 15, 2013

What Will Your Holiday Plans Be?

We have chosen, for many years now, to make homemade gifts for Christmas.  I'm not saying there aren't any store bought gifts, just not as many.  Some of this has been done because of economics and some because, as a family, we decided to share the true meaning of Christmas with the younger members of our family. 

It's funny how even if you know what you're getting you still have the same childlike excitement.  My sister-in-law knits socks for everyone in the family.  Now it takes her all year long to this.  We all know that's what we will be receiving from her but we can't wait to receive our socks.  What color will they be or what pattern this year?  I don't know why, we just can't wait, even the children. 

Children have the same excitement with homemade gifts as they do with store bought.  Sometimes I think even more.  I say this because, think of the many times you gave your child, niece, nephew or other child in your life the newest whatever.  How long did it take to lose interest in it?  I also dare to say they may have had more fun with the box the newest whatever came in.  I'm not saying we need to give up completely on store bought gifts.  I'm just saying that maybe just maybe they don't need all they get. 

All the Christmas commercials are filling the airways with ideas of things you didn't know you needed, but do.  I wonder how folks celebrated the birth of Jesus before commercials?  I wonder if they felt cheated not knowing of all the things they didn't have?  Could it be the real meaning of Christ Mass was understood?  Could it be everyone understood the true meaning of the celebration?

With the holidays quickly coming upon us, you may be making your plans; think of those without.  Without friends, family, means or purpose.  Maybe your plans could include someone you know who will be alone, a gift for a child who does without all year, a hand for someone who has no one else.  These gifts will be the ones you make memories with, you teach with, you hold close to your heart.

Of all the things we do on the homestead, the most important is to give of ourselves.  "No man is an island", don't try to be.

Have a great and blessed day.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Arrogant, Shortsighted and Stupid!

We had our first hard freeze of the year and I have to tell you, I'm not impressed.  When I was younger I really liked the cold weather and wanted snow a lot.  Now that I'm getting older, I'm not so thrilled with the thought of cold weather especially if I have to go out in it.  Though I have to tell you I'm not a fan of hot weather either.  April; I like the weather in April, and maybe a nice October.  If I could find a place where the weather was like that all year around I would so be there.

All the planning in the world isn't the same as actually living the plan.  The canning we did this year is in fact helping with the grocery bills but...  There's always a but...  with daughter and family here now, we had to adjust the amount we canned.  My calculations were just a tad off.  Ok a lot off, but we know how much we canned and can calculate what we have, the length of time it takes us to use it and find the difference we will need for next year.  Luckily we only have four months until spring and we can start all over again.

Some would say that our miscalculation was a mistake.  Not learning from our miscalculation is where the mistake would be, however being able to learn and to adjust is crucial.  I say all this because I am dumbfounded by the amount of folks who are willing not to learn.  How can I say this without offending?  I can't, so here it goes.  Very rarely will you be a complete success by yourself and you will never be a success if you rely solely on yes men.  Meaning one sided, your side, unable to intelligently discuss the cons to your pros.  This is shortsighted, arrogant and stupid.  Yes I know stupid is a hard word, but it is an accurate word.  Thinking you and you alone have all the answers to the woes of the folks is stupid.

Thinking folks can't think for themselves leads to the second word, arrogant.  Arrogance is thinking you know what works better for the folks then they do.  I will agree there are those among us who make poor choices in life.  Lets face it, all of us one time or another made a poor choice but that's how we learn.  Believing you should take care of us so we won't make poor choices is arrogant.

Now for our first word shortsighted.  How shortsighted must you be to think everyone needs the same things in life?  How can you believe a sixty year old mans needs are the same as a twenty year old young woman?  How shortsighted is it to believe one is more valuable than the other and how shortsighted is it to believe everyone should and will conform to your way of thinking?  Ok maybe that last one belongs under arrogant; you can choose for yourself, at least for a little while longer.

May GOD save us from our elected leaders.

Have a safe and blessed day.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Experiment Not A Failure!

My experiment with pallet gardening is coming along.  What I am finding though is it seems to need a bit more nitrogen.  I noticed no matter how much I watered, the garden seems to do much better when it rains.  So I'm thinking though slow going, this was a good lesson and will continue to pallet garden.  The pluses are very little to no weeding (as long as you put lawn fabric down first.)  The down side (and not really a down side), the garden will need more fertilizer.  I'm very happy to find this experiment was not a failure. 

Trying to give the animals more land is causing us to find more ways to grow.  So there will be a lot of container, raised beds, pallet and upward gardening.  Though I'm very happy to increase the animals, so there will be less and less meat being bought, I am not willing to give up gardening.  Where there is a will there is a way. 

Don't be afraid to try new ideas, even if the experiment fails you are still learning.  Just as Thomas Edison said when asked he didn't fail, he found 999 ways not to make a light bulb.  Homesteading is all about finding what works for you and how to make it work with what you have.  Even if you had all the land in the world, you would only be able to work so much of it.  You would still have to make the most of what you could work.

I will also be moving water barrels closer to these gardens.  Go out, experiment and learn.  Life is not about sitting back and just plodding along.

Have a great and blessed day. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Who Needs A Knight In Shining Armor?

Yesterday hubby had a doctors appointment, so on the way we were listening to the radio.  Among the other commercials there was one from FEMA, the department of Emergency Management for the government.  In this commercial they discussed several scenarios, like hurricanes, tornados and such.  They talked about not knowing what might happen tomorrow and were you ready for tomorrow.  Their very strong suggestion was that folks have a couple weeks of food on hand to care for yourself.  More and more you're hearing, if you're listening, the government telling people they may not be able to be there if something goes wrong.  So you are going to have to care for yourself. 

I was struck by this commercial on a couple of levels.  The first that folks would have to be reminded to care for themselves.  When did this happen?  How is it that folks would not know to have extra on hand in case of an emergency.  To have food, batteries, water, extra clothing, medications, a way to cook if power went out, a way to defend yourself if someone else's plan was to take what you have.  Have we become such a nanny state that folks no longer think for themselves?  Do many think the government is the only way to survive an emergency?  How can anyone not have the basic instinct to survive?

The second was that folks don't have the inclination to care for themselves any longer.  The belief that someone else should be there in case of an emergency or not even an emergency.  The disservice which has been done by telling folks we will care for you, don't worry.  Almost as if the government is the knight in shining armor riding on a white horse to save you.

I know being responsible is not in vogue any longer, however basic survival should be.  Planning and acting on the plan is not hard.  I understand folks saying they don't have extra money to put food, batteries and other life supporting items away, but you do.  When grocery shopping remember if it's buy one get one free, buy two and get two free.  When you do this you've started putting away for emergencies.  The Christmas season is upon us, so shop the sales.  Many stores have batteries and little lanterns and camping equipment on sale.  After Christmas the stores have candles marked down.  Some years I have even gotten candles for as little as twenty-five cents a piece.  How about storage containers, after each season plastic containers are marked down because they have not sold.  So pick them up.  Eventually you'll have all the seasons and you can use them during the right season or if you don't care you can use them to put up flour, sugar, cereal and most anything else you need a container for.

Have you thought of the dollar store as a place to prep?  You really should, they have many items you can use.  I have purchased canisters, bandages, aluminum foil, decorations, food, clotheslines, LED lights, batteries, medical supplies, and so much more.  Look around you can help yourself with just a little work on your part.  Don't look for the knight in shining armor, he might have too many conditions to actually get the help.

Have a great and blessed day.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Weekend Update

So here is the update on the weekend, so much fun.  Daughter and son-in-law's friends were so funny and had such a beautiful family.  We really can't wait to see them again.  We met them at a festival that was a couple of hours away and ate, laughed and enjoyed the music.  Then we all came back to the homestead, where everyone jumped in and helped with the evening chores.  Then they all jumped back into the vehicles so friends' children could see the beach and water (they don't live near water.)

Update on the does, no stork yet.  We're really not sure of the date when our buck jumped the fence, but we know we are very close to the blessed event.  So the last thing we do before going to bed and the first thing we do in the morning is to look for the new kids.  I promise pictures when they do arrive.  Hoping it's soon because it seems to be a colder autumn than usual (don't want it to be too cold when they're born.) 

Have a safe and blessed day.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Out Of Town Friends

Daughter and husband are expecting out of town friends.  Everyone is excited to see them (for us it is to meet them).  All the grandchildren are sharing stories of there friends and are just giddy with anticipation.  Daughter and husband are so looking forward to the visit.

I was talking to number two grandson (age 4) about his friend coming to see him.  I asked if he was happy and excited and he said yes.  I asked if he thought his friend had grown as much has he did and he replied yes.  Then I asked his a question that I really just threw out there.  What if he hasn't grown as much as you have?  He looked at me with bright eyes and answered "well then that would be awkward." 

When speaking to children you really never know what's going to come out of their mouths.  Sometimes it's good and well sometimes it's... hmmmm.  The one thing you can count on, is you will laugh more times than not and laughter is always good.

We are all hoping that the stork comes to visit while the friends are here.  We are still waiting on the new kids.  Every night we check before going to sleep and first thing in the morning, but you know old Mr. Stork comes in his own good time.  I will try to see if I can post a video of the new kids when born, but if I can't you can be sure of a lot of pictures.

Just wanted to get this quick update out, more to come soon.

Have a great and blessed day.