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Everything posted by philomena

  1. Thanks, Vic! I will definitely try that recipe! I'll let everyone know how it goes, after I use up the bread we have. Nope, no teenagers yet. I would have already passed that task on if I did. My husband can do it, but even he finds it hard, and I'm usually making bread when he's at work. I might try to find a mixer on craigslist this week. I just want to make sure we get a good one that can handle all that bread mixing, and after the week we've had, I don't know if we'll have enough for a really good one, even used. Although I know over time, with all the bread making, we'll save
  2. Amishway, Thank you for the reply. Right now I'm using a mix of wheat and spelt. I hate using any white flour, other than to dust the kneading surface with. I may have to consider it though. I'll keep that rolling pin idea in mind. I think the hardest part, for me, is getting the flour incorporated into the mixture well enough. I might just have to break down and make four separate batches of bread in order to get it mixed without cramping my hand. I can't even get a spoon through it, I have to mash it with my hands. The kneading part isn't so bad though. Maybe I just need a
  3. Cat asked me to give an update, since I dropped off the face of the earth. We moved again. Yes again, lol. Husband lost his job, was unemployed for a year. We moved to Idaho, and he found a job within two months. We've been here over a year. Just found a nice place in the country to rent on 20 acres. We're pretty restricted on what we can do, as the landlord is very picky, but we have some chickens. Love to get a cow or goat, but there's not much open area, and the landlord would never approve. It was the only house that would take a family of 8. My kids are getting older,
  4. Hi Everyone! I haven't been around in a long while. But I have a question for the breadmakers out there. I'm trying to start making bread again. I've made homemade whole wheat bread before, but I always had a mixer or breadmachine to do the mixing (sometimes I'd knead the bread, sometimes not, but usually mixed it by machine). But I moved (yes, again Cat, lol) and sold most of my stuff, and I'm stuck for now with no mixer. My family is a big one, and I have to make a minimum of two loaves, usually four to make it more than a day. But I'm finding that mixing up four loaves of bread
  5. Oops, cut myself off! Anyway, I hope some of my ramblings help. I don't think you'll regret trying, even if you end up weaning early and going to a bottle. Good luck, whatever you choose!
  6. I'm probably uniquely qualified to answer this question, as I've just had my sixth child...all my children have been BOTH breastfed and bottle fed. The reason why is that for some reason, my body just doesn't produce milk well. I've tried it all...all the tricks, the herbal supplements, etc. I'm able to breast feed for about six months, then my supply drops off. My last baby was only for four months or so. The amount of effort I put into it has a big impact. One baby I got to twelve months. He was a good nurser, I co-slept with him, never used pacifiers, nursed on demand, pumped so
  7. I should add that these relatives have helped us out on many occasions. I don't want to make it sound like they aren't welcome here, or anything, or that they're the type to sponge, because they're not. I am just so frustrated that they (and others in our family) act like we're weirdos when we suggest they prepare...and then when a friend or other relative suggests it, they say "well, maybe that's not such a bad idea." Of course, they don't act on it, but they respect the suggestion coming from other people....never from us. (By the way, where are all the special smileys? Someone put
  8. Ro: ROFL!!! Fortunately I don't have to worry about anyone coming to sponge off of us. There are a lot of relatives much closer and that they like a lot more, for them to sponge off of. Plus, these relatives hate to spend money (hence, returning the generator, and refusing to choose a better one for a bit more), so even if it made sense for them to travel to stay with us, for their own well-being, they wouldn't do it. I'm very glad not to feel responsible for anyone in our families. I would have a hard time not feeling resentful if relatives (many of whom have said very unkind
  9. Here is an example of the lack of common sense in this country... We have relatives who lived in an area that had widespread electric blackouts for about a week. During that time these relatives were visiting us. They were talking about buying a generator when they got back, to run the lights and tv. (Yes, the TV.) We had to remind them that the important things were running the water pump, and the fridge--since they also wanted to buy kerosene heaters to heat the house when they got home. We told them to buy the heaters, generator, and fuel here, because it wouldn't be available
  10. Wow, if Walmart's laying off, you KNOW things are bad. When they start laying off store employees, we're really screwed. You think it's bad now, wait til they start printing up "funny money" to cover the spending...oops, I mean stimulus package. Can we say "hyperinflation"?
  11. Thanks everyone! Yep, been pretty busy. GirlNextDoor: well, he won't get more strapping any time soon, since our electricity is, thankfully, still on. But this all does give me pause...what will we do for water if the electricity goes out? We need to figure something out.
  12. Thanks, I'll check them out. My local HFS doesn't give you a discount. And they make it hard to pre-order stuff compared to other stores, because of their rules. I'm going to call other HF stores in the nearby metropolitan area, to see what their rules are.
  13. I love that idea! Did you notice the version for smaller cans, too? It fit into a very small-depth area in a closet--like the few inches between the closet door and the wall off to the side. Makes a great use of unused space. Looks easy to make, too.
  14. MTRider: When I said "I" will have to haul water, I really meant "we"...which is really code for "my wonderful strapping husband will haul water"...while I watch (from the window inside the warm house) and smile appreciatively. ;-) Actually, so far the crisis has been averted. Upon more investigation, I had more options than the electric company was willing to let on. The gas company was much more helpful and kind. We think we'll be alright until spring, at least. On a happier note, the baby was born already, a few weeks ago. The docs were worried about my heart condition, and
  15. Anyone know someplace online I can order some good quality, triple-cleaned organic wheat, and other staples? (oats, etc.) They are going for $1.69 a pound at the local health food store, and I know there has to be SOMEwhere online I can get it in bulk, cheaper (after all, the store gets it from someplace), butevery site I found, by the time I add in shipping, it's not worth it. I spent an hour online looking. Does anyone have a cheaper source? I don't want conventional, only organic. I also don't want cheap stuff with mouse poop and pebbles in it. eeew. ;-) Thanks!
  16. Thanks for all the responses, everyone. I'm going to try to reply to some of the questions and/or give more information: No, we don't live in a split level. There's a door in the middle of the upstairs hallway that leads to the basement. I don't think the house is terribly well insulated, especially the two end bedrooms. I could still leave the door open if I did put a kerosene heater downstairs. We've used kerosene and wood heat before. I supervise my kids pretty well, even though there's a lot of them (I admit it, I'm a bit paranoid and overprotective, lol). I'm leaning tow
  17. Hi, We are faced with the possibility of having to go off-grid. (Not by choice...apparently the electric company is happy to take those "fees" to "help the less fortunate" pay their bills...but we aren't considered the less fortunate even though my husband lost his job, so it looks like they may cut us off. Apparently Minnesota allows this, even in the dead of winter. ) We are trying to prepare for this possibility. If it happens while it's still cold, we think we'll either be using kerosene heaters or a woodstove, if we can somehow find a way to get one. The problem is, our hou
  18. Do you think I need the sugar? I wanted to do this au naturale, like in Nourishing Traditions.
  19. Okay, thanks! I was ready to despair! Like I said, I'm not patient, and I just don't know if I could keep going through this over and over if I was going to keep messing it up. I'll go feed my poor starving starter...and leave it where I'll see it next time!!
  20. I'm trying to make sourdough starter, and I don't know if I've ruined it or not. I started it a week ago Sunday. Everything was going fine until I forgot to feed it Friday night. When I went to feed it Saturday night...the jar it was in had cracked! I don't know why. It's the kind with the flip-up lid, but the lid has always been kept in the open position--I flipped the metal locking tab up, which kept the lid open at least one inch. Then I would cover the whole thing with a fine mesh bag to let in the yeasties but keep out the fruit flies. The only time the jar was closed was o
  21. Necie- That's what I've been hoping for. All I've seen on craigslist so far were a few Buff Orpington crosses that were going for $10 each. I may end up getting those if she still has them, since she's also fairly close to me.
  22. Ugh! I hate mice. I love living in the country, but I hate mice, snakes, spiders, bugs, you name it! (Okay, I admit, I'm not much of a real country girl.) The best place I ever lived was in a valley in a cold, semi-arid area. LOVED it, no mosquitos, hardly any bugs but flies. Okay, still mice, but it was an improvement! Once, I went outside and got the a 5 gallon bucket my husband used to bring food out to the dogs (dog food is kept in the house). I brought it inside to the closet where the dog food is, reached in to grab the scoop kept inside it, and I saw a skittering little creat
  23. CrabGrassAcres, What do I use for them, if not chicken wire? I've never had a problem with that before, but then it seems I haven't had chickens when I've lived in an area with typical chicken predators. Well, except once when we used a chain link dog run, and a neighbor's dog got to one. Although in that case, the dumb chicken scratched a ditch at the edge of the kennel, and tried to get out...chicken buffet to any passing dog! To my knowledge, there are no predators here, not even dogs. (It's weird, we have the only dog around here--she doesn't run loose.) All we seem to have is fro
  24. Well, we have a choice. There is a small metal shed that the former owners used. It's not insulated though, and the roof leaks. I wouldn't use it. Then there's a very small pole shed building. Half is a run in shelter with tiny corral, the other half is a little garage with cement floors, a garage door, and an exit door. If I used the shelter, I'd need to build an enclosed area and chicken-wire the corral fence. I thought about using the garage area temporarily til spring, building nest boxes and roosts, and maybe making a cave out of straw bales for chicken-cuddling in case of a b
  25. By the way, has anyone noticed that the prices for year-old laying hens has gone way up? A few years back, they could be had for under five dollars. The last time I looked a year or two ago, it was $5-7. Now, I look on craigslist, and it's $7-10. What's going on? I actually saw one person on there asking $15, but I think they'll be hard-pressed to get it, being the highest priced on craigslist. I only saw one ad for $4 chickens, and I suspect it is from a commercial laying operation. Anyone else notice this?
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