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  1. dogmom4
    Latest Entry

    Over at Preparedness Pro a challenge has been issued to go two weeks without going to the grocery store for food or household supplies sometime during the month of August. My family is going to start tomorrow. We've actually been kind of doing this for the past 2 weeks to reduce some of our short term storage...less to have to move. But, I had a small budget for fresh produce since I didn't do a garden this year. The challenge I have this time is that the fresh produce I have now is not going to last 2 weeks. "sigh"


    Anyone interested in trying this? If we can't do 2 weeks comfortably...well...that wouldn't be good....



  2. Stephanie
    Latest Entry

    This morning I was doing some personal Bible Study and read the following scripture...


    Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.


    This made me think about being offended and what it means, how it develops and why it happens. Unless you are the Saint I Ain't, you, like me have found yourself offended at times. As a matter of fact, I'm struggling with an offense right now. Someone I love deeply and have invested a lot of my heart into gave me a 'low blow' and I'm still stinging from it a bit.


    If you know much about me, you know that this led to a word study, the word Offended. :)


    Here's the word in Greek σκανδαλίζω skandalizō

    It occurs 30 times in the New Testament Scriptures


    It means, for one thing, a stumbling block, to cause to fall away, to cause one to distrust, to have your foot entangled.


    You may pick up on the fact that skandalizō sounds familiar. Think the Latin word scandalum or our English version, Scandal.


    So, why were the people of Jesus' home town stumbling on the words of Jesus? What was the scandal all about? How did He offend them? Let's read the account in the book of Mark, starting with verse 1 in the NLT.


    Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

    Jesus left that part of the country and returned with his disciples to Nazareth, his hometown.

    2 The next Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astonished. They asked, "Where did he get all his wisdom and the power to perform such miracles?

    3 He's just the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us." They were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.

    4 Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family."

    5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.


  3. Today started as another ordinary Minnesota day.


    We have been slowly warming up to springtime. Our Northland weather systems have a distinct reluctance to sacrifice the familiarity of snow and ice and refuse to transition into spring willingly. Two steps forward and three steps back, spring comes peeking around the corner eventually but winter usually has to be dragged kicking and screaming out the door first.


    This day was one of the good ones. Temps were holding steady around 30 degrees which classifies as a "scorcher" in this neck of the woods at this time of the year. Smiling to myself and dreaming of the soon-to-arrive-near-tropical temps of summer, I got on with my day.


    Then the phone rang.


    It was my sister. She was breathless with excitement and said "Guess where work is sending me next week??? Just guess!! You will NEVER guess!"


    Off the top of my head, I flippantly said "Please do NOT tell me they are sending you to Hawaii or something."


    She said "Hawaii or something!" :)




    And then came the stunner: "You should come with me!"




    "I am serious, sis! You would only need to pay for your plane ticket and your food. The hotel and car rental are already taken care of!"


    Holy smokes!


    I stammered out some pretty legitimate excuses but she had some pretty impressive answers for each. Bemused, I said I would look into the details of it and hung up.


    Could this even be possible? Surely not.


    Researching plane fares online, I was stunned to find one for $652.00, round trip. Oh my.


    In the blink of an eye, I had suddenly moved from the realm of the improbable to the completely feasible.


    But what would dear husband say?


    I called him at work, waking him from his rest period in the process. He listened groggily, asked if we could afford it (well, not really, lol), said sure and then lectured me on the ramifications of getting myself blown apart in a plane crash and the (in his opinion) measly amount of life insurance we have on me at this present time before hanging up. Yeah, yeah, yeah.




    Like I can control THAT anyway.


    Unsure of myself, I log onto the shoutbox here at Mrs S and take an impromptu female opinion poll. Should I go? Amazingly to me, my dear friends said yes, encouraging me to step out and be courageous. Oh wow. In my lifetime I have traveled to China to get my daughter, and to South Carolina for my sister's wedding. The only way I survived the trip to China was to follow my husband's directive to stay close to him and not wander off. A world traveler I am not. But I would like to be one....


    Then the flurry of phone calls really began. I started tracking down older kids and grandparents, scouting babysitters for a week long outing. All the while, I am dreamily thinking about tropical breezes, island beaches, splashing in the ocean (wow!) and pondering whether or not I would blind people senseless in my bathing suit with my Minnesota-winter-cadaver-white skin. That is, assuming I could even ~find~ my swimsuit. Or bikini. Or fit in either one.


    I am starting to get pretty excited though.


    Then I connect with my sister again. We try to hammer down a schedule and realize we have to pare a few days off the seven we were hoping for, due to conflicts and schedules back here in the frozen tundra.


    Wait a minute.


    The cheapest flights we can now find are right around $1100. Major bummer. Way too steep for this girl's pocketbook. We search and look, hunt and dig.


    That's about as good as it gets.


    Poof! goes the dream. My sister is disappointed. Another time, maybe.


    But you know what? I didn't mind.


    For the space of a few short hours, I got to realistically dream and imagine a great adventure. And I didn't have to leave home or spend a penny to do it. There were no delayed flights, bad weather, obnoxious travelers, lost luggage, expensive food, or bad guys to worry about.


    There was just a happy expectation that something good was coming my way.


    And it did.



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    Dear Procrastination,

    I am so glad I have this tool, of writing to you, it will allow me to express my feelings about you and the role you are playing in my life. Procrastination, you have really jumbled up my life. When I realized how helpless you make me feel, the lies you tell me, how much of the devil is in you, it certainly ticked me off. I do hate the grip you have had on me in the past, and the insiduous way you still, so subtly, sneak into my every day life still, despite the actual fact that I am working to get rid of you. Despite my low energy, my chronic fatigue and fibro affecting me and my back getting painful periodically.

    My place is small and still cluttered, and it is distracting and frustrating that it takes me so long to organize it, partly because of the above factors, but mostly because of you Procrastination, as the physical stuff is improving. Having to wait constantly to be able to go get things just to organize my place is a sore point, I admit, with lack of money and transportation at hand. The clutter is a distraction and you use that as a weapon with me. Make it seem overwhelming in my mind. But, Procrastination, you can take ANY issue, any concern or worry, and you make me feel absolutely rotten all the way through me if you can. ( You can be quite successful with this, especially when I see how much others do get done from day to day. )

    Well, Dear Procrastination", I have been and will continue to take steps, babysteps some days, bigger steps on other days, when I feel true, clear, strong motivation or need to do a chore, a projec, hem up some second hand pants, tear up and throw out cardboard, a tedious task here since I cannot recycle from where I reside, move that pile of books, clean my kitchen or my bedroom, simply to make that little effort that truly overcomes you and I know I am now winning battles more and more with you.





    P.S. BTW, The Lord is on my side in this matter! He can do anything! You, Procrastination, are nothing compared to Him. As long as I remember this and remind myself, I will win the war against you, Procrastination.

  4. I am just giving a Praise Report.


    God sure does work in miraculous ways.


    I was sure yesterday that there were no sales at WalMart or Target for school supplies and even if there were sales, I knew I couldn't afford to buy the things we needed to get the kids ready for school. Even if there were happening.......l I didn't have the money. I had avoided the dreaded ADS!


    Yesterday my son and I found an IPOD Touch. Calls to Subway (where we found it -- outside the shop in the road) No luck. Then today taking it into IPOD Store in the mall and they were able to find the owner! He had registered the IPOD. They took our name and number and the IPOD and said they would be contacting the owners of the IPOD. (My son tells me they are worth several hundred dollars for a 16gb IPOD touch) Ricky wasn't really very happy about doing the right thing, but I felt at peace with the decision, and hoped that my son would learn that doing the right things, for the right reasons is it's own reward.




    BEFORE we went to the mall, we went to Chick Fil A and dressed like cows for their free combo meal. Yummy. Fun.


    The table we sat at was right next to the spinning wheel where they were giving away prizes. I started talking to the lady who was doing the spinning wheel about how I loved the resturaunt, and it was a rare treat to be able to come there. We got in a conversation about how we both loved that the company is closed Sundays. She was giving things away left and right (whith the spin of a wheel) but every so often someone would have been 'happier' with a stuffed cow or an ice cream... and she gave them that! She was really a sweet person. Anyway she asked if I came in often and I told her no, that I was disabled, and after the bills were paid, the money was gone for the month, that going out was a rare things, and that eatting at ChickFilA was a rare treat for the kids and I (and I told her I brought two 'friends' kids with us). Anyway, she pulled a wad of cash out of her pocket and said "Here. I want you to have this".


    After a little debating with her, I found out that she was the OWNER of this particular Chick fil A. and she said she wanted to tell me a story. She said that several years ago, she had been able to help someone who was out of work, and she paid for a car repair he desperately needed. She said, "About a half an hour ago, he came in and handed me some money to 'repay' the car repair" She said she hadn't counted it, but thought that since it was unexpected cash that the reason she got it was to put it to work again!


    I took the money. I didn't count it. There was a 20 on top so when we left there, I headed straight to my Mom's to pay HER back the $20 she loaned me the day before for gas. She didn't want to take it. I told her the story and she said "I am sure happy you were able to pay this back like this, I can use this next week while your Dad is in the hospital for food and things" I counted the money as I was in my Mom's drive. 200$!!!!


    I did some pre-shop planning. School supplies are on sale NOW for the year. I got what I could in school supplies -- folders, notebooks, color pencils, glue sticks, glue, pens, pencils, paper, protractors, compass thingies, erasers, markers, dry erase markers, crayons, sharpies, composition books (woo hoo 50 cents each!!!) etc.


    I got Ricky a pair of jeans -- on clearance for 7 dollars -- there were two pairs and NOW I wish I had gotten him both pairs, since he only has two pairs -- three now. I also got him two shirts and a pack of white tshirts. I didn't get him shorts, though he could use those. He is in a 16-- ack! He is just 13 and he is big foot -- he wears a MEN's 8 and a half! If he ever grows into his feet and appetite he will be a HUGE KID.


    Tya I bought two shirts. Both on clearance. 3 bucks each! She has outgrown all her 10/12 and is in a 14/16.


    Katy is at camp -- but there was NOTHING for her at Walmart or Target -- she is in a size 3 and I refuse to buy "Hooker" clothing for her. Apparently size three is a hard size to find - and that is proving very true for us! So I bought her nothing, and we will try goodwill the beginning of the year. She is easier to buy for in one way -- she is at home and really doesn't need much in the way of 'back to school' wear. Work out clothing and


    Gas -- half a tank 25$ (I spent 20 from my Mom and filled it up half way the day before)


    I have money left over to buy bread, milk, eggs, and fruits and vegetables to tide us over until I go to the chuch the end of next week or the week after (depending on how good the sales are!).


    Today I just feel God handed me a miracle, for planning and then following through on doing the 'right thing' That women didn't know about the IPOD and my plans to find the owner, but GOD KNEW. God also knew that I needed gas, food, clothing for my kids for back to school. That IPOD would have paid for ALL OF THAT. I could have sold it for about 200-250 --


    HE PROVIDES. God provides for us when we Choose the Right. When we have faith to trust that everything will work out for the best.


    Lately I have stopped worrying about things. Looking back, at times when it was darkest, and I thought there is NO light at the end of the tunnel. Things worked out. God provided for us.


    Right now I am recovering from knee surgery and it wasn't easy to drive to the mall and walk that darn thing with a cane, it hurt, but it was the RIGHT thing to do to try to find the owner of the IPOD.


    Monday I find out if I have anything wrong with my heart. God has it in HIS hands to take care of me, if there is something wrong.


    Two weeks from now I undergo a test to find out if the nodules (2cm anbd 1 cm) on my thyroid are cancerous. It is in HIS hands.


    Sometime in the next year (probably in the fall of '10) I will be having knee replacement surgery. Right knee. Sometime the following year they will do the other knee. Fun stuff. NOT.


    No matter what I face I know that God will be there in all of it.

    I have Faith in Him.







  5. Wifey told me I could only do 50 lbs. of tomatos today since I kinda over did it yeasterday. :P I started at 8:19 am washing and cutting. I ended up with 18 quarts and 1 pint of juice. I still have 25 pounds to do tomorrow. I may make sauce with them. It does feel good to rest.





    I just finished the last 25 lbs. I made quartered tomatos out of them. They were not very good at all. If they were green/white on the outside, they were the same inside. I only got 7 quarts. When I was loading them in the canner I know I heard one crack. :(


    I'll wait until they are done to find out. Now to plan my next tomato trip.








  6. In looking at what I can make from my pantry, how about Fire Sticks! those really hot hard candy!



    Grandmas Super Hot Cinnamon Hard Candy


    Greetings, thanks for taking the time to stop by! I am going to show you how to make some excellent cinnamon candy. I guarantee if you follow the instructions here, this will be the best cinnamon hard candy you have ever tasted!


    First you need to round up the simple ingredients.


    * 2 2/3 cups Sugar

    * 4 cups of light corn syrup

    * 3 tsp. Cinnamon Oil - Also known as Cassia Oil

    * 1/2 tsp. Red Food Coloring



    You will also need some cooking utensils:


    * A good Candy Thermometer

    * Assorted Measuring Cups, Teaspoon Measures

    * Cooking Sheets



    If you have a hard time finding the cinnamon oil, go to your local pharmacy. Most Pharmacists can order food grade cinnamon oil for you. The bottle shown in the picture above came from Eckerd Pharmacy.


    Before we go much further, I want to warn you that cinnamon oil is very powerful stuff. Do NOT get it in your eyes! Do not taste it by itself. It will burn your mouth badly. Don't leave it where kids can get into it. It smells really really good and would be tempting for a small child to taste.


    Combine the Sugar and Corn Syrup in a large pot. Heat on high until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium high.



    After the mixture begins to boil, The mixture will need to boil between 15-20 minutes to achieve the 'Crack Stage' 300-310. Check the temperature and stir frequently during cooking. The mixture will begin to turn a brownish color during cooking. This is okay. It is also okay if you smell a slight burnt sugar smell during the end of the cooking.


    While you are waiting for your candy to cook, grease two non stick cookie sheets with Vegetable Oil.


    I like to remove the candy mixture from the heat right when the temperature gets to 310-311 degrees. It will be a brownish color when you remove it. After it stops bubbling and cools a few seconds, add 1/2 tsp. of red food coloring.


    Allow the candy to cool some more and then add 2 1/2 - 3 tsp of the cinnamon oil.




    Stir the candy well after adding the cinnamon flavoring. It is very important to get it distributed well through the candy.


    Pour the candy out onto the greased cookie sheets. Be Careful. IT IS VERY VERY HOT and will burn you badly if you allow it to contact your skin. It is much HOTTER than boiling water. Use pot holders to handle the hot cooking pan.


    Allow the candy to harden for about 30mins to an hour and then you can break it up. Cover it with a sheet of wax paper when breaking. It will shatter and tiny little pieces will go everywhere if you dont cover it with something.


    You will note that the edges and points on this candy are kind of sharp when you break it up. In order to avoid this, you can score it with a knife or use a ruler to make break lines in it while it is still warm. If you are serving it to small children, make sure you break off the sharp points before serving.


    she has pictures!!!!!!!! http://grandmascinnamon.tripod.com/




    This is the basics for all hard candy, hold the cinnamon oil and add lemon extract, or peppermint, or what ever flavor you like. If you dare, when hot, roll small pieces of candy into a ball.




    not to be canned


    Banana Nut Bread Jam

    10 ripe bananas, pureed (need 3 cups)

    1 tablespoon lemon juice

    4 cups granulated sugar

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1 1/2 cups toasted walnuts, minced

    1 box pectin

    1 teaspoon cinnamon

    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, optional


    Mix bananas, walnuts, lemon juice and powdered pectin in large kettle.


    Stir while bringing to a full rolling boil. All at once add sugars.


    Stirring continuously, heat until full rolling boil. Continue to heat 1 minute.


    Fill jars to 1/4 inch of top seat with two-part lid and ring. Boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


    Makes about 3 pints.




    Hawaiian Bannans < DON'T CAN THESE EITHER







    * 12 slightly green bananas


    * 2 1/2 cups fresh lime juice


    * 1/2 cup water


    * 2 1/2 cups sugar


    * 6 teaspoons butter


    * 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves


    * 6 cinnamon sticks (1 to 1 1/2 inch)


    * 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger


    * 1 teaspoon salt


    * 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg








    1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.


    2. Peel and slice bananas in 1 inch chunks and add to boiling syrup-all at once.


    3. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes-stirring very gently.


    4. Ladle into sterilized jars.


    5. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes at altitudes up to 1000 feet.





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    On Tuesday, Richard said: 'Ya ought to do something with that chicken in the basement fridge. What day did we butcher them?'


    Me: Uh, I don't know. Tuesday? (my day off)


    Him: A week ago?


    Me: Nooo! (hmmm) What day is it?


    Him: Tuesday!


    Me: Oh....No, it wasn't a week ago, but I thought we did them on my day off. We butchered chickens and THEN I went to work? Musta been Friday or Saturday. <shrug>




    Then I remembered that a lady had shown up to buy some pullets while we were butchering. I HAD written that down in my little record book- '5 pullets--$25--March 27'. FRIDAY! SHEESH!




    So, I figure if I start writing things in here a bit about what I've done for the day, then this can be one more place to go when I think: 'Now, where did I write that down at?' :24:




    Today...(actually yesterday since it's after mid-night):


    Jason (DS1-23) and I went to the elevator and got 100# goat feed, 100# rabbit feed, 100# layer mash, 50# barley and a bag of pine shavings.


    Chicks started hatching last night so it's time to rotate chickens. There's only 4 chicks (14-18 wks old) left in the little coop, so I shut them out in their run and cleaned the coop. Put down some wood pellets and pine shavings and put waterers and a new feeder that Richard made me today IN the coop (usually the food and water are out in the run). Then had to catch the 4 little buggers and put them in, (cuz I guess they were afraid of the new bedding :rolleyes: ), and shut them in there. Then Jason and I crated the 23 chicks (7-11 wks old) that were in the large brooder in the barn and put them in the small coop with the other 4 chicks. They will stay shut in there until Saturday, then hopefully when I let them out Saturday morning they will have enough sense to go back in Saturday night.


    Made some chicken and noodles out of the butchered roosters for dinner for Richard and Jason, then I went to work.


    Pretty boring day, huh?



  7. Thanks for stopping by.................




    I had hopes of putting the story I wrote here in a new blog but just couldn't get it to work?


    So you have to go to the fireside forum and look for it?


    SUMMER DAYS by Michael


    Sarah Johnson's Story about the summer of 1881

    at the Family farm on the Prairie


    Mainly a book for kids but you all will enjoy it - only 7 short chapters long.
  8. DenimDaze
    Latest Entry

    15% off at Harmony House foods - having a stash of commercially dried and sealed in a plastic jug vegetables, freeze dried fruit or precooked beans is a wonderful thing.


    In everyday life, the 'pantry stuffer' is amazingly convenient. If you happen to be out of celery - no problem! rehydrate some. Recipe call for shallots? or leeks? You've got it covered! I love it. Having a jug of jalapenos has also been convenient for my heat loving teenage sons <g>


    The free shipping is nice too...


    'MOM' is the coupon code.

  9. Some might have wondered why I haven't been posting or writing here in this forum.


    It was all part of my grand experiment.


    So, you will be seeing less of me, as the experiment showed me that not being in this forum makes me happier and I accomplish more and feel better.


    This place does not build me up. It's sick and dysfunctional and censored. It's crippling to be here, like walking on eggs with crutches. I love many people, but I don't love being here anymore.


    I tried, and prayed, and really honestly put my heart into posting for a couple of years.


    So...it's been "nice" but I've moved past the hurt of being here and will no longer post to the blog and will only post occasionally to the boards.


    The experiment, by the way, was a grand success. I found out who my real friends were, LOL

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    So I know Stephanie noticed I was gone... did anyone else? :P


    I don't quite know what happened... my password was working fine, and then suddenly it didn't. And it was RIGHT in the middle of getting the garden planted, so I wasn't online much anyway, so I decided I'd get back to it when I had time... yeah. You know how *that* goes.


    SO... a nice long update, since my last blog entry was when Philip graduated which was a million years ago (or at least it seems like it!)


    The garden is planted and doing great. Except for the beans, which something is pulling out as fast as they sprout. I think it's birds. We finished up our Awana year and I'm enjoying the break... I love the Cubbies, but OHMYGOODNESS they are exhausting!


    And then Elizabeth decided she wanted to do a market lamb for a 4H project.


    Oh let me TELL you about that week. :wacko:


    So. On Monday, in the pouring rain, we went and got a 4 month old wether. Elizabeth named him Toby. On Tuesday we discovered that he could jump over the gate of his pen. Caught him, put him back. Added another rail to the top of the gate.


    On Wednesday Elizabeth came in from feeding him and announced "Toby has his grain bucket stuck on his head!" Rescued him from the grain bucket. Didn't get pictures. Pity.


    On Thursday, some friends came out to shear Toby and brought us another lamb. Because, you know, sheep get lonely if they're all alone. This one is just borrowed from them till after fair... when Toby gets sold, Suzy goes home. Suzy, by the way, is only about 2 months old and about half Toby's size. This is an important detail. And Rachel has decided that Suzy is hers till she goes home.


    Friday morning, though, was the highlight of the week. At 6am I wake up to hear a sheep baaaaing right outside my bedroom window. Hmmm. The barn is NOT right outside my bedroom window.


    Oh crud.


    I shot out of bed and pulled clothes on. Ran to the barn and checked the sheep pen.


    One sheep. Not two.


    Oh CRUD.


    Came back to the house as Betty was coming out. My MIL had heard the baaaing too, and was quick enough out the front door to see Suzy disappear into the horse pasture.


    Our horse pasture does NOT have sheep-tight fencing.




    (At this point I think I should add that because Philip is working night shift these days, we stay up veeeeery late at night. So please keep in mind that he and I are both running on less than three hours' sleep.)


    Philip and I grabbed a sheep halter and ran down into the horse pasture. Which is TWENTY ACRES. Of blackberry bushes and poison oak, mostly.


    At 8am we came back to the house, soaking wet (at least it wasn't raining that day, but everything was drenched from the rain we'd had the whole week) and without a sheep. We did, however, find some wool caught on the barbed wire fence at the back of our property line.


    Ok. So Suzy has left the property.


    I got Cathy (the gal who we borrowed Suzy from) on the phone. One of the fabulous things about living in a small town is that everyone knows everyone else. Cathy works at city hall, and was able to pull up names and phone numbers for all of the people who own property north of us and let them all know that we had an escapee 4H lamb. Then she came out to our place and she and I started hunting again.


    At noon (yes, it has now been 6 hours) we quit, having talked to all of the neighbors who were home. Cathy went back to work and I decided to try to salvage at least a little of the school day.


    At 4:30 one of the neighbors calls me. Someone has spotted Suzy. I call Cathy at city hall and let her know. She pulls up aerial maps of the area, and we decide to meet at the property where the sheep looks like she's headed.


    And at 7pm, THIRTEEN HOURS and SIX AND A HALF MILES later, Cathy, her husband Rick, Philip, Elizabeth, and I manage to catch Suzy.


    When we finally got her home we take a good look at the sheep pen. Suzy, who is much smaller than Toby, had managed to squeeze UNDER the bars of the pen. That issue has been remedied.


    So that was last week. THIS week we had to take Toby down to the fairgrounds for the official Weigh-in for 4H.


    Now, we don't have a truck. It's on the "to get this year" list. We *DO* have a trailer that I can pull with the van. But the trailer is open at the top, which isn't safe for hauling an animal in.


    So guess how we hauled Toby to the fairgrounds yesterday?


    IN MY VAN.


    I learned a few things from that. First of all, sheep don't corner too well. Each time we went around a corner or came to a stop, he fell over. (Which was highly amusing, but I digress.) Second, sheep are very vocal when they aren't happy. Third, the guys at the fairgrounds aren't used to seeing a sheep in the back of a minivan, and they react in quite funny ways. And Fourth....


    Sheep poop a LOT.




    Glad to be back!!!! :woohoo:

  10. Little voice belonging to Morning Star:








    Me: What is it Dear?


    Morning Star: Come outside.


    Me: Why?


    Morning Star: I want to show you something.


    Me: But Mommy's cooking dinner right now.


    Morning Star: But I want to show you something in the garden.


    Me: What's in the garden that mommy needs to see RIGHT NOW?


    Morning Star: Mommy you need to see it.


    Me: What is it?


    Morning Star: There is a dolphin in your garden, Mommy.


    Me: REALLY!!! :o( I live in the high desert, 100's of miles from an ocean.)





    (dinner can indeed wait.) :unsure:


    I allow Morning Star to lead me outside. She takes me to a lizard that is belly-up, graveyard dead.


    There is nothing, and I do mean nothing, quite like having an almost 4 year old around.





  11. It's been a few years since I have had a nice garden, so I am going to give it a go again this year. I have done things here and there the last few years. I started a small strawberry patch, added some fruit tree's (ok, about 10 of them), and added some herbs to my herb garden. about 2 years ago I added an Oregano plant, I didn't expect much from it, since I had no idea what to expect. That Oregano bush has become my pride and joy! It's strange that I feel so accomplished by one plant. I also started growing Sage, which took off nicely. 


    I don't have any "goals" as far as the garden goes yet. Ok, that is not exactly true,,,, i would like to grow enough for a small roadside stand in front of my house, but we will see how that goes. Lord knows, I planted enough corn yesterday to do that, and I am going to plant two more rows tomorrow. 


    Last year a friend of mine taught me how to butcher chickens and turkey's. It has been a few years since I have had any livestock, so besides gardening, I plan to get the chicken coop ready for next spring and, something new,,, my husband wants to get goats to raise for food. So, my goal for that this year is to build a pen to keep them in. I think I have some left over fencing I can use, and an old barn.


    Happy spring!

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  12. Have you ever gotten tired of paying a fortune for laundry soap? Do you have a front loader and have to use low-sudsing expensive HE soap? Well, both those statements apply to me, and so whilst perusing an online forum I stumbled across a recipe tutorial on how to make your own gel laundry detergent for cheap.


    I watched the video a couple times, and thought, "Hey I can do that!". So I went out with Monkeys in tow this past week and bought my supplies.

    You will need:

    1 box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

    1 5 gallon bucket with lid

    1 box 20 Mule Team Borax

    1 bar Fels Naptha soap

    A measuring cup, a wisk to stir with, a pot to boil in, water and a cheese grater.




    First take the bar of Fels Naptha and the grater and grate the soap all up. You can use either the large grate or small, it doesn't really matter. While you are doing this, put 4 cups water in your pot and bring it to a boil.






    Now add your grated soap to the pot of boiling water slowly, and stir with your wisk, until the soap all dissolves. When you are done, it will look like this.




    Then dump it into the bucket. Fill the bucket in the bathtub, half full of HOT tap water. Now add your 1/2 cup of Borax and stir well. Now add your 1 cup of washing soda, and stir well. You will notice it foams a little with the washing soda, and starts to thicken some. Be sure to stir it well from the bottom of the bucket to mix it well.





    Once you have mixed it well, then you fill the bucket to about an inch or two from completely full, and stir some more. Then seal the lid on top, and let it sit overnight to cool and gel. When you check it the next day, it will be a semi-firm gel that stirs easily by hand and reliquifies as you stir it. Mix it well, especially from the bottom up, as the particulates can settle a bit.




    Now all you do, is take your dispensing container (old laundry soap bottle is perfect), and fill it half full of the gel goo. Add more water to the bottle, till full, and shake well. Measure out 1/4 cup of the diluted soap mix for a full load of laundry, and wash! This recipe will yield approximately 10 gallons of laundry soap!

  13. Crazy4Canning
    Latest Entry

    For some reason, although it's Feb. 14, 2010, the computer won't let me post with the 2010 date. So...I've given the date as day and month in 2009.


    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


    Living in a small house has its disadvantages. There never seems to be enough space for *anything*.


    At one time there was a basement pantry/ shelf-type thing along the basement stairs, but my husband says it was torn out in the 80's. You could tell something was there, for there was painted space...but sadly, no shelves.


    We solved that problem temporarily with a particle board pantry and a plastic shelving unit. It was fabulous until our cats discovered they could hop from the stairs to the top of the cabinets and 'people watch' what was happening in the laundry room on the other side...and oh gee, if something got knocked off the shelves in the process, it was a pure accident. :wacko:


    So, in sealing the basement, we have enclosed the stairs (much to the cat's chagrin) and built a lovely pantry space. Pure bliss! It's a lovely maple wood that be echoed in the rest of the room as we complete this laundry/ bath/ storage space.


    So, right before Thanksgiving (of course *before* the holidays!) I had to gut the pantry, move the shelves, and have all my stuff in boxes.


    NO MORE! This past week, the pantry was DONE! Hooray!


    I happily filled it and thought of the poem by Keats. It is such a thrill to have ONE THING done in the basement for storage....I've grown to dread this never-ending cycle of remodeling that comes when you buy an older home.


    Classically, though, I have found the cure for dread to be hope. So, rather than be overwhelmed with dread, I've learned to revel in the small things and take extreme joy whenever I can in whatever I can. This week, my joy was the pantry. For months, my pantry items have sat hidden in boxes. No more. :) Everything has a place. Truth be told, I could use another wall full of pantry shelves, but for now, it is sheer, unadulterated bliss.


    True, there are some who won't appreciate this, but it's my pantry and I love it. I love it for all it's four shelves that are 15" high and 25" deep and for its maple polished beauty...for it's smooth finished edges and secure non-wobbly, non-warped shelves, I love it for it's PERMANENCE. It's not temporary, it's built INTO our home. It's not some press-board cabinet made by underpaid workers in a third world country and shipped to a mega-mart. It was lovingly made by hand, making sure the walls were straight and true (as true as you can get in an 80 year old house).


    I'm sure there will come a day when I have to leave this beautiful thing, but for now, I'm seriously groovin' on my pantry. :cele:


    Keats was right - beauty is not just in the eye of the beholder, it can be that which causes us to stop and smile and sigh - joy in our hearts forever.


    Enjoy the poem & the pics!





    A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever


    by John Keats


    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:

    Its loveliness increases; it will never

    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep

    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep

    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

    Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing

    A flowery band to bind us to the earth,

    Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth

    Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,

    Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways

    Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,

    Some shape of beauty moves away the pall

    From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,

    Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon

    For simple sheep; and such are daffodils

    With the green world they live in; and clear rills

    That for themselves a cooling covert make

    'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,

    Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:

    And such too is the grandeur of the dooms

    We have imagined for the mighty dead;

    All lovely tales that we have heard or read:

    An endless fountain of immortal drink,

    Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.


    Nor do we merely feel these essences

    For one short hour; no, even as the trees

    That whisper round a temple become soon

    Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,

    The passion poesy, glories infinite,

    Haunt us till they become a cheering light

    Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast

    That, whether there be shine or gloom o'ercast,

    They always must be with us, or we die.


    Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I

    Will trace the story of Endymion.

    The very music of the name has gone

    Into my being, and each pleasant scene

    Is growing fresh before me as the green

    Of our own valleys: so I will begin

    Now while I cannot hear the city's din;

    Now while the early budders are just new,

    And run in mazes of the youngest hue

    About old forests; while the willow trails

    Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails

    Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year

    Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer

    My little boat, for many quiet hours,

    With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.

    Many and many a verse I hope to write,

    Before the daisies, vermeil rimmed and white,

    Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees

    Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,

    I must be near the middle of my story.

    O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,

    See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,

    With universal tinge of sober gold,

    Be all about me when I make an end!

    And now at once, adventuresome, I send

    My herald thought into a wilderness:

    There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress

    My uncertain path with green, that I may speed

    Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.

  14. Ginger
    Latest Entry

    From Ginger’s Heart To Yours….



    Have you ever thought yourself to be a woman of influence?


    Influence :1. an effect of one person or thing on another [Latin influere to flow into]


    Each one of us has been entrusted by God with an area of influence within in our homes and community. Someone today is watching and witnessing how you handle yourself in everyday life and ultimately, it is up to you whether that influence would be a positive or a negative one. I’d like to share with you what two of my favorite Bible passages have to say on how our lives are meant to flow into one another for God:


    But Ruth said, "Don't force me to leave you; don't make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I'll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I'll die, and that's where I'll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!" (Ruth 1:16-17 The Message)


    This is a true account of a mother/ daughter-in-law story that portrays a positive theme contrary to our society’s negative spin on mother-in-law relationships. Naomi was a seasoned woman of faith to a much younger Ruth. Naomi’s love of God and obedience to Him greatly influenced Ruth. Ruth saw something truly life-changing in the older Naomi and in her God, so much so that Ruth desired to pattern her own life in the same way as her mother-in-law. Ruth’s faithfulness to remain with Naomi led her to future husband Boaz. Ruth is recorded in scripture as the great-grandmother of King David, and thus is included in the lineage of Christ our Lord! A study of Naomi also reveals the importance the influence a younger woman has to an older woman. Naomi needed Ruth just as much as Ruth needed Naomi. This further goes to show how vital every generation is within the Body of Christ.


    Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior. Also, guide the young men to live disciplined lives. But mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself, incorruptible in your teaching, your words solid and sane. Then anyone who is dead set against us, when he finds nothing weird or misguided, might eventually come around. (Titus 2 : 3-8 The Message)


    Our second New Testament Scripture reference is one that is my personal favorite and the call upon my life to be a Godly woman of influence. My life has and is blessed with many “Naomi’s” and “Titus 2 Women!” These faithful ones have come alongside me in grace and wisdom, teaching me to live my life out loud for Jesus! First and foremost, these seasoned women of faith taught me to prioritize God 1st, my marriage 2nd and my children 3rd. I have learned that I cannot be a Godly influence for others unless these three priority areas that God alone has entrusted to me are well cared for. Why would you feed the neighbor’s children if your own at home were starving?? It’s the same with how we care for ourselves and the well-being of our families. If these 3 areas become neglected, it is a red flag that we may be focusing on other areas that will distract us from our God-given priorities. When our priorities are in order, then God may also lead us to be His influence with our friends, neighborhood, workplace, church, ministry, etc.


    We have many women in our midst, who long to know Jesus more and follow Him. They need Godly women of influence to show them the way of this wonderful life of faith we share. It is a poignant reminder to my heart to know that I am now the older woman J (when did this happen?) following in the footsteps of those that have led before me. It has been said that there is no retirement for the Christian soul and I know this to be true. To God alone be the glory!


    Ginger Warren




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  15. Years ago (in 1999), when I first joined MrsS, we had a forum called Extreme Realities, where we discussed self defense with all sorts of weapons (remember the reverse Z?). Some of you might remember Armorer leading that forum...


    well, he taught me a lot, and inspired my husband and I to buy compound bows, which we learned how to use, and although they are not ideal weapons for self-defense, they are certainly better than nothing, and are definitely useful for hunting should the s**t hit the fan and food become scarce.


    Being (at the time) a city dweller, I was a bit nervous, especially since the crime rate was rising as our population swelled over a million people. Although we lived in a good area of town, it was becoming more and more common for gunshots to be heard close to come, and violent crimes happened within blocks of where our young children played.


    One night, I awoke to a noise in the house. I listened in the dark, just to be sure. I often heard noises, and often woke my husband, only to have him climb back into bed, annoyed that there had been no reason to be rousted from sleep at 3:00 a.m.


    That night, though, the noise was real. My husband got out of bed and grabbed his samurai sword. I joined him, compound bow in hand, an arrow nocked and ready.


    We crept downstairs, knowing every spot on the floor that creaked, careful not to alert whoever was in the house. As we approached the lower level, the sounds grew louder. There was definitely someone there, rummaging through boxes.


    We came to the last set of stairs (we had a four-level split), and my husband went down, then stood outside the door, his sword ready. I stood at the top of the stairs, my bow ready, prepared to put an arrow through the throat of whoever had invaded our home.


    Then, in a moment I will never forget, our interloper came through the family room door. And I will forever be thankful for the training that Armorer gave us... that we learned that our minds are our primary weapons. That we need to think first, before we act. And thank goodness we did.


    There was our six year old daughter... sleep walking.


    I learned a lot that night. I learned that I could master my fear. I learned that I could think my way through a scary situation. I learned that I was not a victim.


    It was one of many things I have learned at MrsSurvival.


    I will be forever grateful for it.

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  16. I have begged for relief and almost gave up until now and it hit me out of the blue. I think they call it an Epiphany??? I think it's God.


    Our son came home last weekend to take Crazy Girlfriend to prom. Bro-in-law drove him 18 hrs just to do this....even with my husbands sister supposedly in the hospital....INSANE. He was here from Friday until Sunday and did not come to see anyone. Needless to say there were some heated words exchanged and once again we were really hurt. We are positive that she would not allow him to come over. I even told him I would leave so he could come and see his Dad, little brother and sister. So we sat here on Mother's Day....cancelled any plans we had and waited on him to show which he never did.


    He would text very hurtful, disrespectful things and I finally told him not to contact me and he said that it was a "final goodbye". I was determined to stick to this for awhile. He continued sending me rude text msgs.


    A friend of mine gave me a copy of a devotional that she printed of the net and the following statement almost knocked me out of my chair:


    Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life. These problems are not random mistakes: they are hand tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth. When you start to feel stressed let those feelings alert you to your need for Me. Thus, your needs become doorways to deep dependance on Me and increasing intimacy between us. Thank Me for the difficulties in your life since they provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance.

    John 15:5, 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, Ephesians 5:20


    This spoke to me on every level and have realized some things.


    First...our son is wanting to be a man but he's still a kid. The reason we don't recognize him and all of this junk he is spewing is because it is not from him. He is taking on the opinions of others....the ones he surrounded himself with to get his way. Nothing would please Crazy Girlfriend and my husband's sister more than to drive an irrepairable wedge in our relationship. I will not allow that to happen. My need to speak my mind and speak up for myself must now take a backseat to saving my relationship with my son. The truth will all come out but it will never be accepted coming from my lips.


    At this point when I receive a text or something is told to me that hurts or baits me for an argument I will change the subject and never let on that it has bothered me.


    He will hopefully get his GED on the 17th. I'm going to pray hard that he does and I'm going to do everything in my power to get him started at school in the Fall. I'm sure that they will try to upstage me in this but I will still do what I can and if they do he will still know that I tried. I talked to him yesterday about his plans and offered him things from the house to get him started in an apartment and told him I would get the stuff he needed if he was in a dorm. He seemed suprised.


    Finally....I realized that this whole situation is hurting us tremendously and we have fought the situation, but maybe God has allowed him to be in this situation to teach him something and by me fighting it I am getting in God's way of teaching our son a life lesson. Who am I to do that? I know how much I love my son and I know that God loves him even more. This is a lesson to me in letting go and letting God handle it. I let go and take it back. God is working here....instead of gloom and doom which is all I have seen....I now see that this is God working. He is changing us and I pray that he is going to work hard and keep our son safe. He is teaching me that I need to put my hand over my mouth and since I have a hard time with that I'm going to ask him to put His hand there until I get it down. When I feel the need to vent...I will go to Him instead of a friend...because noone truly understands but Him and noone can protect or child or help us deal with all of this except Him.


    So that is my epiphany....I pray that I can keep this attitude.

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    Recent Entries

    Well it rained on us today so we couldn't start planting. Looks like its going to storm all day tomorrow too. I did let dd plant a pot of common yarrow today since she is so excited. I was afraid she'd have a meltdown if I didn't let her plant "her garden". :lol: She's so cute. She is so excited about the garden. She's going to be my big helper this year. :wub:

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