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Mother

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  1. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    No crib for his bed.
  2. Just be careful what you wish for, you may get it if MY wish comes true. My wish is that every one on this web site will have their wishes come true...
  3. Is that Eagle or store brand as in "sweetened" condensed milk?
  4. I HAVE rung out denims by hand not to mention washed for months in the middle of the yard in an old wringer washer, hooked up to the one electrical cord coming from a pole.. It's surprising how much electricity you can get off one cord!!!!! Not all at once of course... But yes, we all SHOULD be able to do it if we have to. Speaking of being a pioneer....(we were weren't we? ), you know the old saying for knitters that she with the most yarn wins. How about cast iron cookware? They are the best thing for cooking over an open fire. How many do you have?
  5. Hey Westy,,,I'll send my next nightmare to you, K?
  6. A word about ginger,,, If taken too close to bedtime, it can cause nightmares in some individuals. Not a serious side effect but something to note.
  7. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    and presents under the tree...
  8. Thanks for the info Lois. We only get four or five channels here but maybe if I contact the pbs one I can convince them to put it on. It really was interesting to follow them for a year through the web site even though I couldn't see the whole thing. In 2001 my DH and I experienced some of that life style for a year. No electricity, no running water, no bathroom, and etc. and I was grateful that I'd had lots of experience through the years so that I was prepared for it. It really was not that bad but the first time I turned on a hot water tap and got water out of it, I was overjoyed. Mother
  9. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    My guess would be A.. 1927. Pretty hard to have electric lights before they were invented at least. Or I think it is..... It's snowing here. Looks real pretty this morning.
  10. Canada's History Television had a wonderful reality series back in 2000. It was called Pioneer Quest, a year in the real west. It was two couples who actually went into the wilds of Mannitoba to build a homestead. From scratch. I never got to see the episodes but they used to have this wonderful web site, complete with a great forum, (obviously shut down now as I haven't been able to find it for a couple of years) where I followed the whole thing. That web site was full of lists of what they carried, recipes, film clips monthly, info and just generally pretty great. I understand that this series has appeared on some of the PBS stations in the last year but I have not been able to find them. One of the couples, (the one that very few people liked) has their own web site capatalizing on the series. www.pioneerquest.ca/. I have copies of the lists but little else. I'd sure love to see this series. Does anyone know any more about it?
  11. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    It was Max, I know because I asked the Grinch just friday night at our local Chrismas Walk!!!! Certainly he would know his own dog's name, wouldn't he?
  12. Mother

    Soap Making

    I've been reading the back posts and find them so interesting and informative. I love making soap and have used many different recipes with differing results. It's the variety that makes if fun. I thought some of you might want to hear about soap making in the past. The pioneer way to make soap was quite different but effective none the less. Lye was leached out of hard wood ashes in the "Ash Hopper". That is a wooden squared off funnel shaped aparatus (wider at the top than the bottom that is) that was set up so that there was a screen or filter of some sort in the bottom; sometimes cloth, sometimes woven reeds, sometimes just a thick layer of grass or straw or whatever they could fabricate. It was up off the ground on legs and a wooden or crockery container was set below it. Ashes from hard woods (those like oak, hickory, maple etc)were poured into the bottom of the hopper as they accumulated and then water was added to the top. Rain water was considered best. It was usually covered with a wooden lid and the water was allowed to slowly seep through the ashes. The resulting water was lye water. When run through the first time it was often not strong enough and would be run through again and again using more ashes each time as needed until a medium sized potato would float on top of it with only about a quarter sized area showing above the water. That would indicate the strength of the lye. This lye water was used straight for scrubbing the wood floors of the cabins, for making hominy (from corn but that's another topic)and for making a cooked soft or hard soap in a big iron pot over a fire. That is an art in itself and each housewife had their own recipe. The soap was made with fat rendered from butchering and/or leftover from meat that had been saved for months. The fat was usually clarified before use. Clarifying was the process of mixing the fat with water, bringing it to a simmer and then letting it cool so the fat would come to the top and get hard. The impurities settled to the bottom with the water which was then discarded. Sometimes, if they wanted a really nice product, they would clarify the fat several times. If the soap was going to be used for laundry and scrubbing, they might only do it once. Then on a nice day, over a fire in the yard (usually it was done outside because of the smell and danger), the housewife would hang a big kettle of fat to melt and when it reached the proper temperature according to her own specifications, she would add the lye water which she had previously heated. That was a pretty dangerous moment if everything wasn't just the right temp. Many a soap maker was left with burns in the process. When all was mixed, she would continue to stir, (in one direction only if the old recipes are to be believed) sometimes for hours, until the whole thing started to "trace" and then she would remove it from the heat and either dip it into molds or put it into crocks. If she wanted it scented she might add different herbs to her soap or attar of roses which she made herself. Molds were normally just wooden boxes or baskets with wet toweling lining them. (No waxed paper or plastic for our great ancestors. And actually, when I make soap I use a wet towel lined box to pour it into, wrap the extra around it and let it set that way. Not any neat edges this way but it looks like the old fashioned kind even though I normally use boughten lye and it all uses the same). This 'cooked' soap was often more a gel than a bar though, depending on her recipe or fat and is usually pretty brown in color because of the iron pot. If it was thick enough to make a bar, she let it set a day or so and then cut it and stacked it on a shelf or in a basket with air spaces between each layer to "age". This soap often took three months to cure or saponify so they were sure to make it ahead of need. The longer these bars aged, the harder and dryer they became and eventually they could be grated for use in laundry and etc The soft gel soap could be used for cleaning or heavy laundry in a few weeks but it too got much better as it aged. That soap was often harsh and hard on the skin but cleaned better than most of what we have now. It was often used to clean and rub into leather or as a lubricant among other things. This whole process could take days depending on how long it took the lye to reach the right strength and how many times she clarified the fat, so when you are making that nice white mild soap, give a thought to your great grandmothers who didn't have it so easy and be grateful that you have learned a bit of her wisdom, but be sure to pass it on to future generations. Who knows, they might need the information more even than we do. Here's another idea for your homemade soap or even boughten soaps. You can shave or grate the soap into a container and cover it with a little water. Let it set a few days, shaking or stirring it often and you will have a gel soap to use as needed. Or, if you want to fancy up plain soap, melt it down with a bit of water and add whatever ingredients you desire. Scents, oatmeal or corn meal, even rosin for a rough scrub can be added. Pour the soap back into a mold and let it set up again. This does not have to age and is an easy way to add more scent if you didn't get enough the first time. and happy soap making....
  13. Thanks Westbrook. I used black buckets stacked up in our attached greenhouse where we lived before. This greenhouse has very little room for anything but the big tubs in the center. Thankfully they are black and filled with dirt and several now have a layer of big rocks on them and I've been using one of the tubs as a composter so that is probably helping to keep the plants that are in there alive. Course, they are all tough ones too. We just might be able to get a big barrel in a corner in there. Glad you mentioned it. I love chickens but just last spring had to get rid of them AND the house birds which I had raised for years because I developed an allergy to birds.... I have lots of allergies but I've had chickens and many other birds,not to mention the hawks, owls, eagles and various and assored song birds for probabaly forty years. How I would LOVE them in this greenhouse. That reminds me, I have wanted to ask if anyone was into permaculture?
  14. Hey, great lettuce. I have a few things growing inside and also in a make shift greenhouse my DH put up over some of the big tubs that I do all my vegetable gardening in to extend their growing season. I almost always bring in a couple of pepper plants. I usually try to choose one that's loaded with small peppers so that they just keep growing. I only have to polinate when they start to get new flowers on them and I too use a small paint brush for them. I have an heirloom plant, I believe called Sweet Frank pepper, that I have had going for a couple of years now. It has small, bite sized sweet pepper on it in various colors of red, orange, yellow and green. They aren't very big but they are so nice all winter. I have various and assorted herbs that I bring in each year, some are annuals that I start outside in pots just specially for that purpose, others like my bay, rosemary, mexican oregano, all my scented geraniums and stevia are just too tender to leave out. Then there is the perpetual supply of sprouts and wheat grass for salads and juicing growing on the counter and wherever I convince a growing plant to reside. I have clip-on and hanging grow lights that I move from place to place as needed. I have kale, beets, carrots, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, spinach, some fennel, and chives growing in the plastic green house yet even though we lost the yellow beans and summer squash about two weeks ago finally. Though I've had attached heated greenhouses before, this is my first experience with a plastic unattached greenhouse so we'll see how it does. It's made from the old metal pole frame of a yard canopy topped with chicken wire for support and covered with double layers of 8 mil. plastic. It has a plywood door, insulating boards on the north and bales of straw around the bottom. I have nothing in there but the tubs the plants are in for a heat sink but I think that perhaps water storage might have helped. I was sad to lose my beans and squash as there were literally hundreds of blossoms on those plants and tons of beans yet. I can tell you this, that little greenhouse is my favorite place to be when the sun is shining. It's like a sauna in there. My own little (10 by 14 feet) sweat lodge.
  15. Hey Lois, thanks, that was pretty interesting info. I don't have silverfish but I was wonderning if it would work with some crawlies in my garden without harming beneficial ones. Thanks again, Mother
  16. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    Red antlers are even more interesting than an orange deer. Did you ever wonder what HE thought of the red antlers or worse yet,,,did the other deer laugh and call him names and not let him play in any reindeer games? Your riddle is too deep for me but I can hardly wait for some replies to come in. I bet there are some good ones out there.
  17. Hi Rita, How about making sour cream out of it? If you make yogurt, you can make sour cream. I have not made it with instant milk but I make mine with half nd half or whole milk so I would suspect that if you used the powdered at double or even triple the strength it would work fairly well. You can use the same recipe that you use for Yogurt to make sour cream, just use a natural sour cream with no fillers in it in place of the yogurt culture. Daisy is the brand I use. Sour cream supposedly doesn't need quite the heat that yogurt does but it does well in my family sized yogurt maker. I culture my yogurt and my sour cream both for 24 hours as that converts more of the milk sugars into a usable form and also helps with the lactose intollerance. I've not tried making the sour cream with a shorter time so you might have to experiment. But the home made product is SOOOO good and natural. If you try it, let us know how it works with the powdered. Another suggestion is cheese. You should be able to use it to make cottage cheese with at least. I would think it would work especially well if you are using a rennet to set the cheese with instead of an all natural souring process. You might also be able to use it for a soft vinegar cheese. That's extremely easy to make. Do you need the recipe for it? Mother
  18. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    Gosh Dee, you have lots more snow than we do, I envy you....I think!
  19. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    We've had a ton of deer and fawn over the years, not as pets exactly but we've had a few who stayed around a long time, though they were free. One, Felicity, even brought it's twin fawns back to visit us but then she was the 'pet' of the whole neighborhood when she was young. We had to paint her orange during deer season as she would walk right up to a hunter and lick their face or worse yet.......drink their coffee. She loved coffee with cream and sugar in it. (sorry to borrow you Nana) I don't know the answer to the question but would suspect it could be Teddy Roosevelt because he was a nature lover and would perhaps believe that it was a waste of a good tree? Mother
  20. I know that silver fish like it best where it's damp so anything that will dry an area should help. Also lighting up an area helps to dry it even if it's just a small night light. Perhaps diatomaceous earth, the kind you buy in garden centers, not swimming pool types, would probably work also. I know it works for certain insects and it's non toxic to humans. That's my best two guesses. Mother
  21. Mother

    Christmas Fun!

    Hey, I resemble that song, Gramma got run over by a reindeer. That actually happened to me and my kids sang that song incessantly.... As pretty as a Christmas card, anyone else have snow?
  22. Of course we want to know how to make cordage out of it.... But, would that be better posted in homestead or somewhere? I know I would go searching there for the info. Mother
  23. I'm like Karen in that I can't take meds of almost any kind. But, there are other things to be stocked up on for the flu besides the common meds. Herbs, herb teas and Homeopathics come's to mind first and are surprisingly effective. Then there are things like tissues, aroma therapy inhalants and nourishing broths and foods that are easy to eat. I almost hesitate mentioning Lysol or hand wipes but that might be something some would want on hand. AND if we ever get to a pandemic in this country, it's possible that we would want to stay out of the public as much as possible to avoid contamination. It might be wise to be just a bit extra prepared from what you/we are normally ready for so we don't have to be in the grocery stores and malls and such. Who has other thoughts for things to stock up on specific to the cold/flu/ (fever) season that might also apply here? Mother
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