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Everything posted by quiltys41

  1. I ordered some of the new #10 cans of prep stuff walmart has now and a stand of lard, etc...it came fedex in large brown UNMARKED boxes. It's good and it's lots cheaper than EE and the others that mark their stuff in bold letters on the boxes. Plus delivery is only .97 if you order 45.00 or more in stuff from them. It's not a bad deal all the way around. Q - who's glad to have a puter again
  2. Thanks everyone...hard to get online still at times. Very busy here still with clean up, flooding, and still NO garden spot tilled. Ground is so saturated that it's taking weeks to dry out. Already past our prime planting date here of May 1st. I hope we are at least able to get it tilled up b4 it rains again. Who knows..,we may even get it planted! Birthday was great,,,,,,NO RAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! Q
  3. Thank you so much! It was a pretty good day today. Even if I did turn the big 50 LOL! Q
  4. Happy Birthday Darlene!! I hope you had a great day!!
  5. came through here too...just getting internet back. Tornados, flooding is bad, bad, bad. We are up on a hill and we even got flooded. Our garden was almost all planted...now it's a total loss and we will have to start over. But praise Him through it all because we still are on the top side of the grass!! Q
  6. We are much the same here Darlene...wanting to only live on what we can produce or kill ourselves for food. It means giving up some things like chips and such, but that's okay. I'd rather stick around awhile! Q
  7. Hi everyone..no I didn't drop off the face of the Earth. It has just been "different" around here lately and we are struggling just to keep ourselves upright and sane at this point. And now gardening season has begun and we are trying our best to get ours planted. Only have half done now and it takes up most of our back yard...1/3 of an acre maybe? I don't know for sure, just that it's as big as it can get lol!! Anyways, once things settle back down, I will be back to writing too. I just can't do it now, I wont post something that Ihaven't fully researched or put my whole heart into... Love and Q
  8. I tried it and it works like this...use edit right above the picture. When you go to edit there are lots of buttons, but there is one on the right hand side in the box with the picture. It is a slide that goes from a little hill to a big mountain. Just slide it over to 100% or anywhere you want it! If you can't get yours to work, let me know and I will pm you the pw to mine and you can do it there. I already uploaded your pic lol. And what you did for the little guy is just great! Q
  9.   August 12 - the Valley I didn't much feel like doing anything today. Still hurting over the loss of my friend, I prayed long and hard that they would make it to their new destination safely and would be able to get word back here by some kind of miracle that they were okay. Hubby got up with the children and made breakfast while I stayed in bed just a bit longer today. I laid there, listening to the sounds of my family gathering around the breakfast table without me. I worried about how they would make it if something happened to me. If I left them suddenly. I figured they would go on, but much like I was doing now, slowly getting back into the swing of things and praying for good. They were all having a good time out there and that did my heart more good than anything in this world could have done. Well just about anyways. There were a few things, like my other children and grandchildren being here too and Mother coming back, but those were just wishes that would probably never come true. I had to get up and go on. My family needed me now more than ever. I had to get a move on and direct what needed done before winter. I had been with mt3b and her gals on Friday. Oh what a great time we had out gathering things nature provided! We managed to even find some elderberry bushes too, which coupled with hubby's shine, would make the BEST tonics for flu and coughs that could be had out here in the wilds. I was SO happy to find those! I would be back in a few weeks when the berries were dark black to show them how to gather the heads and either dry or juice out the berries for it. One thing about picking your own, you HAVE to make sure you have the right kind! There is one kind of elderberry that can make you deathly ill if consumed. But knowing the difference from growing my own back in TN, I knew these to be the safe ones, which is what made me so dern happy to find them. We even found a bunch of milk thistle too and mt3b was happy to have that. I still had a little of the aloe plant left we brought with us and was trying to nurse it back to health, so I let her have all the milk thistle. Oh, there were just so many things we found that would be put to good use! See, it's things like that, the gathering from nature and helping others that got my behind out of the bed, dressed and went out to meet the day. And it was another busy one to be sure. I had tomatoes coming on and I had to get canning them into spaghetti sauce for this bunch. The next day would be just tomato sauce for what ever it was needed for during the winter and spring until the next crop came on. And the day after that would be for ketchup and BBQ sauce, of which we used tons of lol. Well having kids means having ketchup. I don't think they can eat meat without it, can they? Hahaha, I don't think so anyways. This bunch sure couldn't. Even Jerry had to have it on his burgers, along with hubby. If I didn't get it made, there would be an uproar at this cabin lol. So after breakfast was eaten and the mess cleaned up, the children and I went out to the garden to pick the tomatoes and a few other things that needed picking too. We had baskets of nice big red ripe tomatoes sitting on the kitchen table. A few baskets of green beans, which never seemed to stop bearing no matter what the temps turned out to be. A couple of green peppers too, which would be needed in the ketchup and spaghetti sauces. I had the children wash everything up while I gathered the jars, canning pots, ingredients and anything else needed for the days work. It had been so thoughtful of Jerry to pack in a few flats of lids for my jars and even a few boxes of large mouthed jars with lids too for our supplies. He knew that I canned and that I had since he was a small child. I was forever needing lids and jars lol. I got the recipes on the table, put the tomatoes we needed through the Victorio strainer that removed the skin and seeds without all the work of boiling them and such. I had pots of tomato puree at that point. I started adding dehydrated onion and fresh green peppers. I put in the spice bags and set them on the fire there on the stove. It's not easy cooking on a wood stove and canning is just a bit harder. But once you get the hang of it, it's pretty easy and lots of fun! I kept the wood going in all morning, just a bit at a time so that it didn't make a big temperature swing causing me to have to move the pots all over the stove. The smell by lunch time wafting out the cabin windows was enough to make anyone hungry! The guys came in to find me making sandwiches and wondered where their spaghetti was lol. I told them I was canning sauce today, but if they wanted it for dinner, it could be arranged. Their eyes just lit up. I told them it would have to be loaf bread garlic toast to go with it if they didn't mind. Nope, they didn't mind. Not as long as they got their spaghetti! So I had Ruth bring me a quart jar of chopped deer meat from the pantry for dinner and scooped out enough sauce for spaghetti for the seven of us. Seven? Wow, seven! Lucky number seven! LOL I kept right on stirring and sampling and adding until I thought the sauce was just right. I took it off of the heat and started ladling the sauce into jars that I had keeping warm near the oven. Lids were added as needed and bands too. Then they were put into the pressure canner outside where hubby had thankfully made a fire for me earlier. I had to sit there with the canner the entire time, so we sat and strung green beans for 90 minutes. The kids loved it and since it was their first time doing it, things were a little slow. But that's okay, they got done about the same time as the canner. I set that canner off to the side while I loaded up the other one and got it onto the fire. I would let the other canner slowly go down to 0 pressure before opening and getting the jars out. Then they would get reloaded and done all over again until we were out of sauce. It would take four or five canner loads from what I had figured. But that is only about 40 jars of spaghetti sauce. If we had it once a week we would need at least 104 jars of sauce for the seven of us. So, I would need to do this twice more, if I got enough tomatoes, to have enough for a year! Lot of food and work isn't it? Well, I am so tired from all the work today. And to think I get to do it all over again tomorrow with the ketchup! I am about asleep on my feet so good night all... Q  
  10. Glad to see you made it back home okay! Q
  11. Okay ladies, I'll try. I wont promise anything but when I read what Martha and mt3b had both written, and others too, I felt like I was letting yall down. And I can't do that. But please do remember...it's spring. Our garden will be tilled up this week and the planting begins in earnest on Thursday. So I might be pretty busy here and I wont be able to post as much with all the work to be done. But I will try. Just for ya'll. Q
  12.   Sunday August 8th - The Valley Well it's been THE saddest day here in the Valley. My long time friend and helper, the one I had come to depend on for help here has left the valley. Her and all of her family picked up and left within days of receiving a letter from her brother. I can't say as I blame her, but I will miss her more than words could ever say. She had become my "sister" almost. Closer than some family with what all we had gone through. So when they note came that she would be leaving today came, I rushed to make plans to see her off. I had no idea they would leave at first light. I rode my horse as fast as I could push her, stopping only long enough to let her drink just a bit from the river, I pushed and pushed until the two of us were nearing exhaustion. I did SO want to give her one last hug, one last question to ask, one last note to pass to her only to be opened when they had been long gone from the valley. It was one that I had poured my heart out to her in. Where I explained all of my deepest worries about staying here without her to back me up. How afraid I was of the coming winter and worry about those who I knew without our help, wouldn't make it. I had to give it to her. I just had to. But as the horse and I, exhausted from the ride, arrived in the Hobbit, it was silent. No animals like there had been. No children squealing and playing near the houses. No men in the fields. No women out tending the gardens. Silence. I got down off of my horse and tied her to a post near the main house that I knew she had once lived in and worked in. How many hours did she spend here trying to keep it all together? How much time trying to get her family ready for the coming winter? How much energy and sweat was poured out in this kitchen which now stood unused? It was eerily quiet. I knew I had missed her. I stood there and cried. I cried the tears of one who had just unexpectedly lost a close family member. The tears just rolled down my face, the sobs loud and echoing off of the stone walls. I left the note, the one intended for her, on the cold stove. Maybe someone would know how to get it to her? I sure didn't. Hurt and alone I watered my horse, not caring if it would be dark before I got home or not, I rode away. Back toward my home. Where my family was worried about me. Where they had seen the tears and tried so hard to comfort me but I was inconsolable at that point. I rode home. At a lot slower pace than I had rode in here on.....and the note was left there with the words "For Mother, my Sister" written on the outside of it. Q
  13. And I cried too when you left the valley Mother. I don't know if I can write anymore after that. Really. I just don't know.... With all my love... Q
  14.     August 5 - The Valley Just a short note tonight since we are all tired and worn to a frazzle. We have all been busting behinds to get hay/wood/food in for the winter. The greenhouse is up and attached securely. I am slowly filling it with seedlings and plants for the winter. I am also doing canning and drying food most of the days with laundry thrown in for good measure. Ruth is proving to be invaluable to me. She has been doing the lions share of the meal preparations here lately. You would think she was a housewife instead of just 12 years old! I just thank the good Lord that her mother taught her how to get around in a kitchen! She is learning quickly how to prepare different foods and her best is still those biscuits which we have often with gravy and meat over them for a quick hot meal at night. Oh, the nights are cooling here on this end of the valley. I have started pulling out extra quilts already. I have to wonder just how many we will need once the snow hits? Oh one bit of good news to report...Jerry is back from the "hill" and brought his equipment with him that was brought in on the last wagon train. He couldn't pack it all on the mule train so it had to be brought this way. He has a huge looking thing he calls his cell phone. I guess the way he explained it is that it isn't dependant on towers but satellites? It's pretty high powered and he is supposed to have it near him always because Uncle Sam isn't ever going to be done with him due to the kind of work he did. So he now has it on and sitting on his dresser. If we hear it ringing, we are NEVER to answer it, just let him know that it did and he will take care of it. Then he has all kinds of different guns, ammo and equipment that I have NO idea what it is for lol. There are LOTs of ropes, that much I do know. And he has some crates that he had hubby help him put out in the barn. He said they are for "just in case" what ever that may be. I asked him if he was expecting the end of the world or something and it looked like a dark cloud went across his face. He looked at me so sadly and said "Maybe so Ma, maybe so." I don't like that look or the way he is acting now. It's like every time there is a loud noise, he jumps. I know that has to be from getting shot at. But this is a little more out of the ordinary. Like he is waiting for a dern bomb to go off or something like that. I don't know. But what I do know, he is expecting a call from some of his old buddies from the Army that he "worked" with. Great. Just what I need, a bunch of burly looking guys running loose eating me out of house and home! LOL...nope, not going to happen. I hope..... Well it's off to bed. Here's to hoping that phone belonging to my son never rings.... Q
  15.   August 3 - the valley We got a note from SF and mt3b's today and it seems their younger ones have gotten the chicken pox! Well I agreed we needed to get herb and such gathered before the next wagon train got in. So we will go this Friday for that. I sent a note explaining that we will still bring the children with us. They don't remember ever having "spots that itched" on them at all. So we will bring them, let the be exposed and if possible, get the pox. It will save them from the possibility of getting it later in life which could be deadly. LOL I remember when I was little and had them! Every child in the neighborhood was brought over one day to play with me so they could get it too. We just didn't realize it at the time that was what our parents were doing. We just thought we were all having some kind of play party LOL. And here we are, doing the same thing. But it will keep them from harm later, so it's a good thing all around. They also mentioned that the wagon train is due in any time. When we told Jerry that, he loaded up and took off for the hill. There was no stopping the boy, possible chicken pox or not lol. He was going. Period. But I know it had to be nice having others that were already in the valley there to help newcomers feel welcomed and to help them get in safely. So he went with our blessings. Not too much else going on now besides gathering up produce out of the garden and processing it either by canning or by drying. One disappointment though, even if we did screen the cherry tree, we got very little from it. Maybe enough for three pies? It was badly picked over by birds even through the netting. They are just too used to getting free food from it I guess LOL. So next year, if it is still bearing, we will try something different, right up to and including chasing them away at the start! We do have other fruit to make up for it and the rose hips to make tea from for extra vitamin C. I think we will do just fine. Other plants in the garden are producing well for now. They seemed to have slowed down in growth though? Maybe since the nights are starting to cool some. I have a few tomato plants rooting out in the garden and in about a week or so, I will be able to cut the main stems from the body of the plant and have another one. That will get dug up and put into a pot to go into the green house to over winter. If by some miracle it does bloom, I will take a bit of cotton on a stick and dab it into each flower and pollinate them myself that way by hand. Should be an interesting experiment. Our survival will NOT depend on having fresh tomatoes in the winter, but it would be nice though. Hubby and Jerry have gotten in quite a bit of hay and wood for the winter. Not as much as we will need for sure, but they have made a good dent in it with Adam's help. And Ruth and the youngers have been helping me can and dry veggies and their help also has been invaluable! I surely couldn't do it all alone either. Those 4 children have been a god send to us. Well another long day tomorrow so will close for now. Maybe this winter I will have more time to write! We have started putting plants in the green house though and the men did cut a doorway for me into the kitchen. They will rough in the door frame and that on a rainy day, but they have to make hay while the sun shines! Q
  16.   August 1 - The Valley We were up way before dawn today to get breakfast in, wake everyone up, and to get the wagon packed with the barter items we were taking up to the Lodge today. The children are staying here to do chores with their big brother Jerry who will be keeping an eye on them. He quickly agreed to stay here with them saying that it would be good for them all to spend time together alone and get to know each other better. And he needs them to teach him how to do the milking LOL. I got a chance to talk to Jerry about my fears last night after dinner. Hubby sat and listened as I explained what had me so upset that Jerry had seen it written all over my face. Smart man. So I told him all that I was worried about, building up this place, working so hard and maybe having it taken away from us right before it would become ours and given to the friends and family who only seem to be interested in hand outs and will not learn how to do anything out here! And that there are so many of them that we are supposed to feed and dress and build for? When did that come into the deal? He told me a real shocker...that he had talked to his brother before we had even left on the wagon train. He knew we were coming here and he also found out Mr. Rock needed good security people. So he signed on there just to be able to keep an eye on us!! I had NO idea! But he told me not to worry. That he was here to help us no matter what it was that we would need. And not to forget he still had lots of friends on the outside and still had to carry his .mil cell phone which had a lot longer, farther range than a normal one did. He was sure that if something bad did happen that he could be in touch with friends on the outside in no time. It was something he insisted on and so did the .mil lol. Still, it was a shock about his knowing, but also a comfort that he cares enough about his family to do such a thing! So we got the wagon packed, kissed and hugged everyone good bye and set out for the Lodge. We told Jerry not to worry if we didn't get back until tomorrow, that if trading was going well, we might stay later. We would head out and stay in the messenger shack over to the big river, get some fishing done in the morning and be back by about lunch time. If we were any later than that though, load up Adam on a horse, and come looking. Ruth could watch the two younger ones for a few hours. I didn't want to have to do that or leave her alone with the youngers, but if we come up missing someone would have to come looking for us. So we set out to the Lodge, way before the sun rose over the mountains. I was worried that we were leaving too early, that hubby wouldn't be able to see in the dark but he did just fine. I would have drove us into a tree LOL. When we got to the big river, it was still dark yet but you could see a little better letting us know that sunrise would soon be upon us. I snuggled a little closer to the hubby. Even though it was August 1st, there was a chill to the air and I couldn't help but wonder how soon it would be before snow fell here. Hubby and I rode along in silence for a long while. He seemed to be lost in thought over something and I didn't want to intrude upon what ever it was that he was thinking about. I get like that sometimes too. And I like having time to think even if someone is near to me. I got to thinking how much I missed seeing my friends from the wagon train. Especially those I didn't see often. I even missed Chef's cooking. Mostly because it meant I didn't have to cook lol and it was good. I was hoping to catch a nibble of something or other for lunch that Chef made. I got to wondering about him too. He was hired for the B's on the wagon trail to cook for them. I guess they had never been camping or cooked over an open flame, which only meant that they had never grill out either. Only folks I know like that are those really rich people that hire others like me or the hubby or Chef to do their grilling/cooking for them. Oh well, Chef was a good one and I did miss him too. Maybe I could get a tour of the green house and ask him a few questions now that I had one of my own that needed filled. If I was lucky, he might let me take a few cuttings of his spice plants before we left the Lodge. And I needed to check in at the medical building. It had been about forever since I had been in there. No one had come by our place with any messages either that I had been needed anywhere. I wondered if we were all that healthy? We could be with all the work we were doing and finally eating right, all of us getting away from sodas and junk foods. And the sun started coming up just about then, lighting up the tops of the western mountains. Soon they whole valley would be awash in sunlight and the water of the river sparkling like diamonds. Coming around a big bend in the river, we could make out the Lodge in the early morning light. There were people outside already moving around. I wondered if it was the folks living there in close to the Lodge or if it was some of us showing up early already like we had. Finally there, we pulled up out back to the corral. Hubby wasn't sure where they would have the trading today, maybe just off of the wagons for now. There were no tables set up this early anyways. I went over to check in at the medical building while hubby got the team unhitched and watered. I went inside and there were all new folks there. I asked after the old receptionist. No one seemed to know who I was talking about and I wasn't going to stir up a mess. I asked after Dr. Mt. R. and was told he was out at his homestead. They wanted to know if I needed to make an appointment with him lol. I just said no, turned and left the building. I guessed those that needed me would know where to find me. I would take care of the South end of the valley come winter and I had enough supplies for that. So I left there and went back with hubby to see how he was doing. He had a bunch of men he was chatting with out there so I didn't bother and went into the Lodge to find Chef. He was in his element, showing off his kitchen and green house to some folks lol. I didn't recognize them so I walked up and shook hands, introduced myself to them. They were very nice. Had come along with the second wagon train. I asked them how bad was it outside the valley? They told me that supplies were thin if you could find them and for a pretty penny too. The trucks were often hijacked and found along the roadside empty and the drivers long gone. Electricity was becoming spotty and there seemed to be rolling blackouts taking place, but unannounced. President Smith was still in office and on TV often, smiling and talking about how fine everything was in the country when folks could plainly tell it wasn't fine at all. Shootings and burglaries were on the rise and often times, no police showed up at all after being called to the scene. Firefighters were the same. No to little service at all. Some were tired of being shot at in different neighborhoods, some were mad at the Executive Orders being handed down and others just up and quit. And that strange bird flu was back making another round. That was why they came here, to get away from the flu mostly and certainly for the rest of it all too. They were from a large family but the only ones in it that seen what was coming enough to get out while they could. They were very worried about what would happen to the rest of their family but didn't want to take the chance of staying with them either. They had their own children to take care of, in fact they had 12! From ages 19 on down to 2. The oldest was their daughter Maria who was unmarried yet. A real beautiful girl who seemed to have a head full of smarts. Ha! Being the mother that I am, I filed away all the info on her I could get. I would tell Jerry about her later! She was so friendly too. I wouldn't mind having her for a daughter in law LOL!! Anyways, I talked to Chef for awhile then too. He took me around through the green house which was coming along beautifully! Everything looked so lush and green and healthy too. He promised to give me some cuttings in some water before we left today. Just to come back and let him know which ones I needed and he would set me up. What a sweetie! I promised to bring him up some kefir on my next trip to the Lodge so he could be making his own buttermilk and such with it too. He seemed excited to be getting it. I wandered around the Lodge for a bit and then went back outside. Mother!!! Woohoo! I ran over and gave her a really big gentle hug lol. I sure missed seeing her or sitting around the campfire talking with her! Annarchy was there too!! Only thing was missing was MT3B (she stayed home with cranky kids...hope they aren't getting sick!) and sent word back with SF that I would be more than happy to go with her out gathering stuff in the wilds of the valley lol! Mother and I got to talking and I told her about most of my fears of the valley since she IS on the counsel. I almost didn't though. I didn't want to add to her burdens and give her just one more thing yet to worry about. But she listened to what I had to say, to my worries. Instead of poo-poohing them, she did seem to pay attention and want to find answers for me so that I could lay those fears to rest. I got the impression I wasn't the only one having them too. Maybe it was just the pressure of getting ready for the winter and seeing so many that didn't seem to be ready at all that had me so upset. I wanted no body to be lost to what could happen when it is so cold. Cold and hungry is no way to be, believe me because I have been there, done that and the tee shirt is long worn out lol. Anyways, we did some trading with Mother. I gave her 4 quilts, made especially for winter. Some deer meat and jerky, some dried berries that filled a 5 gallon bucket. I was going to split it up to trade with others, but Mother looked at it like it was her long lost friend lol, so I gave her all of it. She has so many to feed anyways! That was all we had brought for the first trade, just enough to see how it went. We will try to bring more next time. Mother had some wonderful clay that would make some beautiful pots so I took that in trade too. I couldn't wait to get it home and try my hand at doing that, and it had been a few years but I knew I could do it. And since we had the children now, I was in dire need of larger mixing bowls and a few things to cook in that were of larger size. That clay was just what I needed! Hubby and I stayed for the service and had lunch afterward. We sat by Mother and Annarchy and SF even came over for a bit too so he could talk to hubby. Something about getting in enough firewood for the winter, so I guess the day that I go over to help mt3b gather some stuff in the wilds, he and Jerry will go over and help them get in more firewood for the winter. We are taking the kids with us too so they can all play with their neighbors. Should be a fun day! Sadly we had to leave early so we could get home. I went to see Chef again and got some cuttings in a little water of about 12 different plants he had that I wanted to try growing. And we just took a snipping of each big enough that it wouldn't hurt the other plant but would also be big enough to root for me. So I went back out to hubby. I knew that there was tons of work there at home for me to do before winter and I really needed to get to it. We talked it over and just skipped the fishing and went straight on home. We got there just before dark. Jerry was just finishing up dishes with Adam and Ruth there helping him while the two youngest ones were writing at the table by the sink. Oh, it was so good to see our friends, but even better to get home to the family! Hugs were freely given and received. Hubby told Jerry to watch for a message from SF. He would send one after talking to mt3b about coming over. They would be helping the guys there one day to get in firewood for the winter while us ladies went gathering food in the wilds. The kids just lit up with the idea of getting to play with everyone over there all day! LOL, they practically ran off to bed chattering about what they would play and how and how long they had to do what. Amazing that children are so easy to make happy with such a simple thing as going to visit others lol. But I wanted them to meet their neighborhood friends more often. It was good for the kids to get together and make memories they could all share when they got older. Jerry just nodded his head yes, thinking of all the "Missions" I used to let him and his brother go on out in the palmettos with their friends no doubt lol. It shaped his future. And we had 4 more futures that needed shaping too. Well I am off to bed now. It was such a good day! I can't wait to go again. I want to see my friends as much as I can now before winter comes. I want to make sure they are as ready as they can be too. Maybe I worry just too much...or maybe, not enough at the right times?   Q
  17. On our homestead I wear either long jeans skirts and a top or else I wear a dress. Only rarely do I wear jeans. Mostly when we are out cutting wood for the stove when it turns cold out. All my foremothers (is that a word? LOL) wore were dresses too. And a good stiff apron or a long one. Somehow that seemed to help. Q
  18.   July 30 - The Valley Well we had a rider come through to Mt. Dew homestead today. He brought us a message from Mt. Riders. Seems there is to be a new holiday here in the Valley! Adoption Sunday and it is to be held the first Sunday after the last wagon train comes in. They want to openly declare the children to be adopted by them. I think that is such a great idea that we will join in with them too. Hubby and I talked it over during the day today and then after dinner tonight we put it to Jerry and the other children. We wanted their input into this idea since we didn't want to go against their wishes. All of them seemed open to the idea and the younger of the four wanted to do this right away. Poor Ben, he said he is almost to the point where he cannot remember what his parents even looked like any more. That is so sad! I got really misty eyed when he said he wanted us to be his parents now. I asked Esther and she said about the same as Ben did. I expected as much with them being so young. They may end up not being able to remember what they looked like, but we will make sure they remember the good times at their uncles farm they used to have, if nothing else. We don't want them to forget their biological parents all together, but we do think it is time for them to move on and have a sense of belonging to a family that is "theirs" and some sense of security. Ruth was worried that she would have to "divorce" her mom and dad first lol. Isn't it amazing what children come up with on just the bits and pieces of the adult world that they hear about? We assured her that it wouldn't happen that way and that her first parents would always be hers to remember. Adam had no objections at all after he heard what we told the other children. Even Jerry had to admit that it would be nice to have some younger siblings around to pick on. LOL the kids got a kick out of that. Adam has a bit of hero worshiping going on with Jerry. It would be easy to see how that would happen with all the stories Jerry tells him when they are out together working. But the children all said they would love to have Jerry for their big brother, so I guess it is all settled. We too will join in the Adoption Sunday services at the Lodge! Now, on to the other note we got today...Mr. S. sent one asking us to give him an approximate count on the game and fish in our area. Wow. Now that's quite an honor and a chore. We could tell him right off about the fish LOL! There are way too many of the larger ones. They are crowding out the smaller ones here and they are turning into food for the large ones. At this rate, with the smaller fish being consumed by the larger instead of growing up within a balanced system, there will be a noticeable decrease in the amount of fish available in about two years from now. That is if we don't do some serious fishing down here at this end and get rid of some of the larger ones out of the general population. I think we need to look at this seriously. If we can fish out the larger ones and bring back some kind of balance to the system, then we should do okay here in the south end of the valley for many years to come. As for the game, deer are becoming a problem and a nuisance. They are eating the corn fields here. I don't know about over to mt3b's place if they had planted any other fields besides corn. But if they don't stop by other means, we are going to have to hunt them close to home. That would leave the populations up in the mountains and out in the unsettled areas to grow and reproduce without interference. It would give us meat and hides to use, help with the population control and get rid of a nuisance that could effect our even being in the valley if we cannot produce enough crops for feed for our own animals without having them eat into it. As for other animals...we did have a possible rabid animal the other day and I think that needs to be paid serious attention to. I only hope it was a lone incident and not something spreading in the valley area and surrounding mountains. But I think everyone needs to be warned about the possibility so they can watch the children and livestock closer. As for natural foods to be gleaned, I knew we had a ton of berry bushes here and grapes too that could be harvested and there were other natural foods such as arrowroot that had duel purposes. Some like rose hips for teas that could bring us much needed vitamin C during the winter months to prevent scurvy from becoming a problem. But these new folks coming in...seemed the majority of them didn't know a blackberry bush from a peach tree! Seems like mostly cityfied folks to me and the hubby. And if that was the case, either someone was going to have to do a fat lot of fast teaching or get the stuff gathered up for them in order to be anywhere near safe about it. That could be where the bartering/trading would come in and made no hesitation about noting so either. I don't want to see people starving this winter but seems to me, just handing it too them was draggin along into the valley the same kind of bs that we sought so hard to leave behind us. Handouts aren't any good for folks to get used to. They end up depending on it that ways. With the old tired line "Well you did it for me once so now you have to do for me all the time. I deserve it!" Which is another boatload of bs. I was all for them trading for the stuff this year. But by hanged they had best be off their behinds and learning and out getting their own next year because this family was having a hard enough time doing for our own, let alone have to do for some other unknown family too! Oh that just burns my keester! And I knew before he would even ask, so I noted that part down too and added a PS, yes I would help teach the parts I knew. I told him in the note I was already teaching those around me this year to help them help themselves, but they were willing students. Would these folks be willing? Or, were most of them just looking for a safe rabbit hole to hide in with handouts thrown in every so often? I sure hoped not. But until some of them started asking me to teach them, they were highly suspect. And I didn't know any of the other first families that had it any easier than we did. We are all struggling to get in our stuff before winter. But, since they owned the valley and this land we were working wasn't ours just yet, I kind of had to tone it down. Which just struck me and my blood ran cold with fear. Say we made all these improvements on "their" land. We worked it, improved it, raised all these animals, built homes, etc...I'm sorry, but I didn't know these men from Adam. And not our Adam either. What's to say they wouldn't pull the rug out from underneath us and kick us out after all was said and done. Turn around and hand out our places to all these new folks coming in, most of which were family to the J's, the S's, and the H's? I mean, here we uprooted lock stock and barrel. Moved to someone else's land that we had never even met before this. Heck, we never even heard of them before this trip. How do we know that it wont happen just that way? I didn't like the way thinking like this made me feel, but something is nagging at the back of my brain. Something just don't feel right here. I don't know what it is. Maybe I am totally off base here. I don't want to think this way about anyone, but isn't that what we are all about? I mean we are trying to save our family aren't we? To keep them safe, make sure they CAN grow up, to provide a roof over their heads, a bed to sleep in and food to eat and all that? How could we blindly trust these men we never even knew? I suppose we should have asked all that before we took off on this little trip huh? Well hind sight is 20-20 they say. I talked to hubby about all of this earlier as we laid down to sleep tonight. He thinks I may be on to something but that we will never know until or if that time ever comes. I asked him what the heck we would do if that time ever did come? He told me not to worry that he was going to talk to Jerry in the morning and they would start making a back-up plan. For just in case. Look, you may know what happened already dear reader. I don't. And it is my job as the Matriarch of this here family to see to their health and well being. If I notice something like this and let it go by without ever discussing it with my husband, the Patriarch lol, then what kind of wife and mother would I be? What kind of Proverbs 31 woman would shirk things off that are so important like that? That's right, N O N E none! So we will continue on just as before, hoping that all will be okay. We will continue to put our hearts and souls into the land yet again, just like we did to our place back in TN. And all the while, I will keep on praying that all this never happens. That if they have that in mind, that the good Lord will change them. But for now...now that I have it all wrote out on paper, I am beat. Tired to the bone. I think I will go back and lay down with Mr. Patriarch again lol. Maybe this time the old brain pan will stop working overtime and I can get some rest. Before the rooster starts crowing.... Q
  19. LOL I think that would have to be the big boss lady!
  20. And I promise to behave while she's not here too! Q
  21. I'll second that and thank you Darlene for being the secretary so we can get updates and good news like that!! Will keep all of you covered in prayer! Q
  22.   July 28 - The Valley Well hubby and Jerry did their hunting and found it was deer eating into the corn field. We have two bucks hanging and I will be tending to those in the morning. Most of it is going to go either to jerky or ground meat in jars for now. We use the ground meat rather quickly, so I don't mind putting it into jars. They will have a quick turn around time so I should have them empty again asap. I am going to jerk as much as I can though. Since it isn't cool enough to keep the meat, even in the spring house, for any length of time, I am going to have to do this or it will go bad. The dogs are going to love this because they are going to have some good eating the next few days with all the scraps they will be getting. I should throw some out to the pigs too. I want them as fat as I can get them. We are planning on butchering when the weather turns cold and stays that way. We used to wait for the first snowfall, but I haven't a clue as to when that will be here? I do know that we have to be ready for winter before we had ever even thought about it back home. But back to butchering. We are going to thin the herds as much as we can for the winter. It is totally unrealistic that we keep as many as we have now. There is NO way we can store enough corn or hay for them and I refuse to let them just starve. So, we will either sell or butcher. And we don't want to keep all that we butcher. Some of it is going to go to the Lodge one Sunday for barter for other things that we need. So here is the problem. We have to butcher soon enough so that we can take it to the Lodge without having to worry about getting stuck there in a snow storm and not being able to get back home until Spring LOL. So I imagine the good Lord will clue us in as to when the time will be right. We will also take up some live animals for trade/barter too. I need to make sure we have ALL of our stores in by mid fall here since we don't know when the first snow will be. That includes not only food, but the butchering and the bartering/trading done. And we need to make sure everyone has warm clothes for the winter. And either boots or I will make them all moccasins out of the deer hides I am fixing to tan. Every hide from now on gets tanned. We are going to need them at some point for shoes or even for clothing.   Hubby is a whiz at tanning hides! He has started the deer and brain tanned it. While they were out hunting what ever it was eating the corn, they also found a varmint out there that he said he knows hardly ever comes down off the mountains. That's why he killed it. Said something had to be wrong with it for it to come down this far in elevation. He didn't want the dogs or the kids messing with it just in case it ended up to be rabid. It's called a Marmet. I'm not sure on the spelling since I have nothing to look it up in out here. But hubby says they are kind of a western ground hog or woodchuck. They even call them a rock chuck out here or a whistle pig! That is because they live in the rocks at 5-6000' elevation and whistle back and forth to each other, warning of danger or just chatting away lol. Hubby says they are excellent food cooked on the grill and bbq'ed, but since this one had a chance of being rabid, we burnt the carcass. He did skin it out and used acorn tannin's to work it with instead of using the brain tannins. He told me that old trappers used these things for shoe leather often replacing soles or making shoe laces from the hides. He said some Indians used the whole pelt and made shoes from them, turning them inside out so that the fur is on the inside. He told me how you make shoestrings is the same way we used groundhogs back home to make them. You tan out the hide and then cut it into a circle about a quarter inch thick. Use the whole pelt. Then hang it up in a tree or out in the barn from something high up to dry. So, we will use them for shoestrings. Now, here is how you use them for shoes he says. You brain tan them, pounding the brains into the hide with a rock or he says a meat tenderizing hammer but he isn't using mine for that LOL. After you get it beat in good then hang it up to dry. Once that's dry,, take it down and beat lard into the pelt same as you did the brain then wash it out. Beating the lard in softens it up. He said otherwise we would have to do it like the old Indians did. I asked him how they did it and he said "The women chewed it" HA! Not this woman! I'll get out my old meat hammer first! But it is tough and will make fine soles for shoes as they start to wear out this winter and next spring. And I heard mention something about the men going up into the mountains this winter hunting. If they do, hubby says he will tell them abut these critters and have them bag a bunch of them. We are ALL going to be needing shoes soon. Well time to get to bed. Hubby is a waiting. Blessings to all... Q
  23. And adding mine as well. I'm at a loss for words. I just pray that YHWH will cover her in His wings, comfort her and give her rest and understanding. Q
  24. Just wondering if anyone else here uses kefir and if yall have any good recipes using it? I just had a friend mail me some kefir grains this past week end. I haven't got a clue as to what to use it for? Or how? Anybody? Bueller??? Q
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