Monday, March 30, 2009

Every day worries

Evey single day I can find some piece of MSM that worries me about the future. I give up, I'm not reading any more news stories. I just won't be up on all the "current events". Let's face it folks, we're in a tight spot. Jobs are not going to magically appear just because the President says "have faith" or "the recession is over" or some other pile of cow offal he thinks we're going to believe. Things are NOT going to improve, the jobless rate continues to increase. Everything we all are currently buying with our hard earned, taxed to death dollars is going to continue to cost us more and more.

So, what do I plan to do to combat these things? What I always do, grow my own food! We just suffered, and I mean suffered(rods in my back told me so) thru a nice little cold spell with a bit of freezing rain. No worries tho, I've got all my warm weather plants going good indoors in the sunny kitchen windows. The cold weather stuff didn't even notice. Onions and garlic are still going strong, still waiting on the lettuce(seed might be bad). If the lettuce doesn't pop up by the end of the week, I'll replant some.

I've still got a good supply of food I grew last year in the pantry so I'm not real upset over when I'll get produce so that leaves me some time to enjoy the plants growing. I am out of onions and potatoes tho.....

It's time to decide which way you want to go. Do you want to continue to try to buy all your food and possibly not have enough because of prices or shortages due to world drought(read your almanac) or will you grow your own? You're running out of time to decide...

Stay safe and keep prepping!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Big Surprise

There she is, my college girl! My daughter just got a full scholarship for basketball to Rend Lake College. I'm so thrilled, of course, she is too! The school is 28 miles from the house and it's a beautiful campus with excellent academics. We spent all day there today, touring the campus and getting to know her team mates and ended with a nice dinner at the sports bar.

Congrats to my girl!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Feeling wore out

Yep, that's it, I just feel wore out. My mind is so full of MSM garbage topped off by a full helping of the O-man's cowshit propaganda; my eyeball twitches now. I've been listening to my idiot neighbors waste a couple thousand rounds of what sounds like 9mm ammo since Friday afternoon. At least the weather has been nice, yesterday was a bit windy with that storm pushing in on us, the one that dumped all the snow on Denver. It started the downpour around 6pm yesterday and rained pretty much all night. Everything looks pumped up and green today so that's good!

I've got small projects lined up left and right here, still working on finishing the laundry room and now the crappy, cheapass counter island drawers are falling apart. Just what I need. Wasn't planning on building a new kitchen island until more toward May or June. It's behind the chicken shed and pen and the goat shed. Maybe even behind the new barn lean-to!

Got the truck fixed, at least it appears to be fixed. The tranny yoke seems to have caused a bunch of small troubles with the truck but now that it's replaced to the tune of $450, most of the complaints have disappeared. Still haven't hooked the trailer to it yet. Spent half a day Monday pacing at the car dealer waiting on it.

This week is fill the cheese cave week. Made a big block of cheddar cheese, it's still got another 24 hours in the press. Good thing I whipped up that home made press since today I'm needing to make some eating cheese( I'm out completely) and I want to try some cottage cheese too. Gonna make another block of cheddar tomorrow and prolly Monterey Jack on Friday.

Did I tell ya's that I made another round of apple butter? I had a batch failure last week and it bugged me so I had to do it again. Guess you can't double the batch and have it work right ;) live and learn...

I'm watching for Morral(sp?) mushrooms now, I've got a couple of spots on the farm that grow them every year. I figure I'll dehydrate most of them this year instead of giving them away to people I know. They'll fit nicely in the preps for cooking later on.

The wild asparagus is nubbed up, that's something I don't eat but will put a couple bucks in the preps kitty, I have several people that buy it from me every year.

Well, guess that's all that's new here, so stay safe and keep prepping!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A New Toy

This is all that's left of a deep dish pizza I made this afternoon for lunch. It just didn't last long enough to take a picture of it whole. I picked the pan up from the Chef's catalog. It came in a heavy duty storage box with a nice pizza spatula and a recipe book from a Chicago restaurant named Uno's. Of course, I made the Chicago style with extra meats thrown in for good measure ;) Very tasty! The pan is very nice and heavy enough to make it in the brick oven. I might have to get a couple more!

I'm milking the cows this weekend so my neighbors can go to a family wedding. It's all good since it's off and on rain today with more predicted thru the rest of the weekend. Too muddy for any chicken house work. Going to hit a new flea market in the area tomorrow, maybe I'll find something interesting!

Til next time... stay safe and keep prepping!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cooper Vs. Terrorism

I felt this was appropriate for today... written by Col. Jeff Cooper in the 1975 Guns & Ammo Annual.

Cooper VS. Terrorism
by Jeff Cooper

So here we are in the "Age of Extortion." Our local friendly felons have finally discovered what has long been taken for granted in what we used to call "more backward countries"—that crime does pay—in millions. All you need to do is threaten to do something terrible and people will throw money at you. You don't need any particular talent or skill to get rich this way, and you don't need education or training. The only requisite is nastiness, and that is no rare quality.

We can speculate at length upon why this foulness has come upon us so strikingly at this point in our history, but I doubt that any incontrovertible conclusion will result. My own suggestion is simply overpopulation. Like rats, we get testier as we get crowded. By simple arithmetic, if the proportion of goblins to people in our society remains constant, doubling our population doubles the number of goblins. And they reinforce each other as their numbers rise.

But such speculation is academic. We have the problem; never mind why. What shall we do about it? In a socialist atmosphere, the immediate response is to hand the problem to the state. Pass a law! Any law. Just so you can say that something has been done. And above all, spend money. We have come to assume that the more money we spend on a problem, the quicker it will go away.

Now it is quite true that the state can indeed abolish extortion, terrorism, and crime. History offers many examples of nations in which none of these things existed. We can start with Senacherib of Assyria and browse on up to Porfirio Diaz of Mexico. An iron fist will do it. That's the state's simple and effective answer to disorderly conduct. If you want it arranged so that the state will protect you, you can do so. What you give up in return is your liberty.

No deal.

The man to protect you is you. Not the state, not the agent of the state, and not your hired hand—YOU!

How often is our intelligence insulted by the fatuous claim that we should rely on the police for our physical security! I cannot believe that the people who advance this idea believe it themselves. The police do indeed abort a certain amount of violent crime by their coincidental presence on the scene, and that's fine. But to tell us that all we have to do is call a cop when confronted by a troll is to talk like a fool—and those who tell us this know it.

The "in" crime today is kidnapping. The police have never prevented a kidnapping. Not once. On the other hand, the intended victim often has. You don't hear much about these latter episodes, because a crime that does not take place is not newsworthy, but it is my business to know about such things and I keep track of them as best I may, and there have been at least a dozen instances brought to my attention in the last two years.

Hiring other people, public or private, to protect yourself, is perhaps not totally futile, but it must never be considered more than marginally effective. Both policemen and bodyguards can be suborned, and skill levels are problematical.

Pistol skill is not something to count on in a hired hand. Two recent examples stand out because they were caught by television cameras. These were the attempts on Governor Wallace and Imelda Marcos. In each case, guards were plentiful, and armed, but not sufficiently skilled. In each case, there was plenty of time to hit the attacker before he acted, but those responsible reacted only afterward.

On the other hand, the intended victim can seek his own skill level, and he can put it to use more quickly than any other person when he suddenly finds that he himself is a target.

Your best protector is you!

Apart from the skill factor, there is the matter of reliability. A man you hire to protect you can be hired by somebody else not to. It is nerve-wracking to be dogged about by armed men on your daily rounds, and it is also both conspicuous and un-private.

Some years ago, I undertook to train the personal guard of a certain chief of state in pistolcraft. When the course was completed, I was able to address my client thus:

"Your Excellency, 24 of your 28 men are now distinctly more efficient with their sidearms than the generality of those who guard the President of the United States. They are very good, but I don't know who they are—I hope you do."

He knew what I meant. One of his predecessors in office had been murdered by one of his own guards. Of my students who previously employed bodyguards, most now do not, except as car watchers.

Your best protector is you!

Still we hear, over and over again, that we should not be armed, that we should not resist, that we should rely on the police for our personal safety—that our best answer to violence is to give up. Such drivel demands a stronger stomach than mine.

One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that "violence begets violence." I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure—and in some cases I have—that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy.

Your best protector is you! The obvious way to eradicate crime is to eradicate criminals, but neither the lawgivers nor the constabulary seem inclined to do this. The man who elects to prey upon society deserves no consideration from society. If he survives his act of violence, he rates a fair trial—but only to be sure that there has been no mistake about his identity. If he is killed in the act, there can be little doubt about whose act it was.

But we don't want a "Porfiriato," in which the police simply shoot all suspects out of hand. Such a regime may indeed have a certain austere appeal in today's climate of urban chaos, but to trade one's liberty for security is to sell one's soul to the devil, as Ben Franklin noted. And, to quote James Burnham, it is both our lives and our liberties that are at stake.

Laws are not the answer. We have laws against murder. We have laws against kidnapping. We have laws against extortion. And murder, kidnapping, and extortion are on the rise. The answer, it seems to me, is wrath. Let the thug take his chances with an alert, prepared, and angry citizenry. It may very well spoil his whole career.

This is not a call for vigilantism: It is a call for self-reliance. For those who feel short on self-reliance, I have a suggestion. Take up practical pistol shooting as a recreation. It is a good game. It is fun. It is "relevant." And it does wonders for your self-reliance.

Your best protector is—as it always has been—you!

For more from Col. Jeff Cooper, visit FR Frogs pages, there's a link on my sidebar. This page is located here-

Stay safe and keep prepping!

The big 15

Today is my boys' birthday. The big 15. Happy birthday son!

FedEx delivered my Yellow Fin and German Butterball taters bright and early this morning. Too bad it rained 3/8" last night!

I haven't said anything about the project for the chickens yet, it's been iffy getting any help out of the hubby. But, all this week every morning the 3 of us, the boy, hubby and I, have all spent a few hours out there cleaning up the fallen trees, removing the old hog pen, rounding up all the junk that seemed to find itself into that spot and now we have a 50x150 spot I intend to put 2 chicken pens and tater rows in. Will take pics of it soon...

I made a wheel of garlic-basil cheese per request by my farming pal. It came out okay I guess, I delivered it last night.

Still waiting to hear from Mom, the cheese I sent her in the mail should get there hopefully today.

My tractor was on loan yesterday and it came home this morning with a bucket full of lime. Guess I'll be fixing the holes in the horse barn today! Also have the English Game Hen setting on a pile of eggs in between the straw bales in the old barn. She found herself a hidey hole. Will need to keep a close eye on her for the hatch and catch the chicks up quick or the cats will have brunch again....

I hope to have 3 litters of bunnies by the first of April, it's been since last fall I had any live babies. Rough winter and the freezer is empty of rabbit meat :(

Well, that's about all that's going on this fine March morning... stay safe and keep prepping!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the New gardening trend

I read this yesterday and bookmarked the story so I could find it easy this morning. I'm thrilled with this whole new trend, of course. Seems people are finally thinking about feeding themselves! Dollars From Dirt is a nice little news article about how more people are turning their tiny backyards into gardens! Way to go folks! None of you will be sorry you planted food for yourself.

As I finish getting my first crops out(taters, onions, garlic, lettuce) I will work on those self watering container thingies I've been talking about making. I will post pictures and instructions too. Will be useful for folks that don't have a yard to put a garden in.

Again, way to go folks! Keep gardening!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Overcast days

Well, once again, I'm annoyed by corporate greed and governmental stupidity. The Governor of Illinois is proposing a 50% increase in income taxes. Gee Pat, you didn't notice that the unemployment rate for the state is over 8%? Guess Pat hasn't noticed all the businesses in the state closing or laying off workers either. Guess the Governors mansion comes with a pair of cool sunglasses....

I made a batch of apple butter yesterday. 4lbs of frozen apples from the grocery sold as "fresh". No wonder they had such a good price on them. A little sugar, cinnamon and a touch of clove, a little simmer time on the stove and I've got 8 jars of a wonderful apple spread for my fresh bread.

The garden spots have been tilled into beautiful soft beds of fertile soil awaiting the seeds, tubers and bulbs it will soon be nurturing. Spring is upon us and it's about dang time! This will be an exciting year here, stay tuned....

Stay safe and keep prepping!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cheese making ideas

I thought you all might like to see something I made. Yep, it's a cheese press and it cost a whole bunch less than one you can buy. There's one thing I added that doesn't show in the pictures, I added a washer and nut to each threaded rod on top of the pressing board. I had no problems keeping the board level at low weights, but when I added the 50lbs for the final press, the cheese would randomly shift and throw the bricks off. So, I used the washers and nuts on top of the board to help keep level while it's pressing and keep the pressure on the cheese uniform. I also learned that the cheese will squeeze out the bottom on the cylinder if it isn't wrapped in cheese cloth. Since cheese cloth is so expensive, I'm using unbleached light weight Muslin from the fabric store to drain and wrap my curds in.

I got the parts from the local DIY place and just drilled my holes. I used 4" pipe for the cheese mold, 3" for the presser pipe, cut a slightly smaller than 4" wood circle I cut with a jig saw to press with and the wood is 12"x12"x 1" thick untreated pine.

So, here we go, a low cost cheese press so we can all make cheese! Now all you need is some starter culture and some rennet...

Stay safe and keep prepping!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Quiet Days

Look what I got! The Arthur livestock sale on Monday, this pair of Alpine/Nubian babies. Came from the same Amish milking farm, different nannies.

A wicked storm rolled thru here last night and ruined the nice weather. yesterday it was 70 degrees, now it's 34. It should warm up right on time for me to get taters, onions and my garlic sets put out.

In the ziploc bag seed sprouters, I have tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, and various herbs all sprouted. This weekend I will start broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and zuccs. I'll probably start another round of coffee since the first ones molded on me from temp changes in the house.

Stay safe and keep prepping!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

As usual, crazy birthday!

"you say it's your birthday, it's my birthday too now...." I have that song running thru my head!

Thanks My Way, Hermit, Shy, Melonie, Grandma, Rhino and Zilla for the birthday wishes! You guys are great!

My daughter made me pancakes, hubby cleaned off the nasty coffee table, my son did all the morning chores all by himself and we've got a severe storm warning with a tornado watch!

I almost don't know what to do with myself today with nothing to do.... I'm going to have to cook something or plant something! Or at least go out and brush the mud off the horses when I put them in the barn.....

Today, life is especially sweet.

Stay safe and keep prepping!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Birthday Countdown

It's a couple hours to my birthday.... another year gone by. I spent the day playing in my kitchen enjoying myself. I also got another Wusthof knife I won on ebay in the mail today. I love getting packages, it's like Christmas ;) I just about have all the knives I wanted, one left to find. I've got a few Wolfgang Puck chef knives laying around doing nothing now if anybody wants them....

I made some ricotta cheese today so I could whip up some Lasagna. It was pretty easy, just a little citric acid and a gallon of milk. I ended up making 2 batches since I don't use cottage cheese in my Lasagna. Then, I made a 2 gallon batch of mozzarella cheese. It's the first time I ever tried it, it was a recipe called 30 minute mozz and you put the curd in the microwave to achieve the temp needed to make the cheese stretchy. It was a lot of fun making it. I ended up using the whole batch on home made pizza! So, instead of the Lasagna, I cooked up some home made italian sausage, some bacon and some ground beef, sliced up some mushrooms, onions and green peppers and we had pizza, meat lovers style.

We've had some gusty wind the last few days and the make shift door on the chicken coop blew down and let my new chickens loose. My son caught them all back up but one hen and she decided to fly up to the barn roof. Guess we'll be chasing her for a day or so...

Took a trip to the local Amish bakery with my friend and newest prepper convert today. I looked around at what they had and I'll just keep baking for myself. The Amish are getting $2.50 for a loaf of white bread, $3.50 for a loaf of wheat the same size I bake for my family every day. They're also getting $1.50 a dozen for eggs. Perhaps I need to expand my produce stand at the end of the driveway this year.....

Hubby bought me a birthday present today, a new craftsman heavy duty tiller and he tilled 3 of my garden spots for me while I was making cheese. I may set some onions in a day or 2 if the almanac says I can....... still waiting on the taters I ordered to come, I hope they hurry up and get here. I'm ready to get them planted! The 70 degree day we had today has me very ready for spring!

Stay safe and keep prepping.......

Monday, March 2, 2009


Aw, my MurrayMcMurray hatchery order came today and the US Postal Service killed every single chick. They were all dead when they arrived at the post office this morning. 25 little baby chicks, all huddled together in the corner of the box, froze to death because some ignorant Federal employee couldn't read and keep the box warm.

Thanks USPS, you're the greatest.

Stay safe and keep prepping......

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Just a quickie

Okay, just a quickie as this weather front has me down in the back something fierce. Here's what I've been up to today...

I made myself some cheese I could eat now instead of after a 90 day aging period. Turned out halfway good. I'm going to try to duplicate it and put it on some home made pizzas later this week.

And of course, the day would not be complete without a cockeyed shelf picture! I whipped 2 up for the front room and got the DVD player and surround sound off the top of the TV, got the kids video games off the floor and made a home for all my books that end up piled on the floor or on the fireplace, or whatever flat spot I can find, plus I got hubbys mess out of the pile in the corner he likes to keep it all in. Oh, I also put the last 4 boxes of wood floor I had sitting around down to finish that project up. Nothing special, just the lock n seal stuff from Sams club. Better than crappy, wore out and smelly carpet any day!

Can ya'll tell I'm getting antsy for spring to get here? I'm ready to be outside, on the farm, planting, growing, baling hay, anything but this cooped up in the house thing!

Stay safe and keep prepping!