Saturday, February 27, 2010

Got Sprouts?

This morning was a pleasant one, the Borage and the cucumbers are sprouted. I have some Romas looking like they're going to go any second now as well. I need them to sprout so I can move them off and put new seeds in their place!

I'm feeling pretty good now, I've been drinking the Reliv shakes and I'm sleeping all the way thru the night now without waking up! That hasn't happened since 2002 so I'm pretty happy about that. Reliv is a complete nutritional powder and I'm pretty glad I tried it! Even with eating as well as I do, it's amazing how much nutrient/vitamin combinations I was still missing. I even have more energy.

The baby goats are doing well. They are so darn cute. Skeeter has starting climbing and Oreo is doing the bounce and hop today. I'm looking forward to the mud drying up so I can turn them out in the paddock.

Not much else going on around here, got some garlic cheddar in the press and some Ziti in the oven........

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Snow Day

I woke up this morning to snow flurries and a light dusting on the ground. It was all gone by 11am, still a little bit cold tho. Skeeter and Oreo had a romp around the barn while I did chores. The chickens are finally laying again like they should.
I got my Roma tomato seeds started and it looks like I should have sprouts by tomorrow. I also started my broccoli, cauliflower, celery, borage and the Chocolate Beauty peppers. I may start the brussel sprouts and more peppers today or tomorrow.
I'm ready for spring! I'm resisting the urge to start lining up my canning jars, a long way to go still before I'm ready to start canning. I just get so excited tho!
All the critters are doing well and I have 3 rabbits bread for late March kits. I hope to have the chicken house finished in time for spring hatching. I hate to lose any chicks to the barn cats this year since my flock is so depleted. I have finally run out of roosters to eat! Should have deer hunted in the freezing cold. Oh well, we won't starve, LOL.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Here they are! The newest additions to Double M Farm! 2 beautiful baby goats born over night here. Skeeter and Oreo. Not sure on boys or girls yet, I just haven't looked!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This weeks Cheese winners!

Thanks to you readers that went over to Pioneer Living and signed up, i won the seed giveaway contest sponsored by Seed for Security! So, in celebration, I drew 2 names for this weeks cheese giveawy. The winners are- dicity and Darryl. You two need to email me at and tell me where to send your gift. I also have a 3rd piece of Farmers Cheddar available for anyone that just can't wait to try some. A donation of $16 to offset shipping and that piece is yours.

Looks like I'll be starting some seeds this afternoon, I just can't wait any longer! The spring seed bug has bitten me hard and I must feed it, LOL. Pictures coming soon.......

Friday, February 19, 2010

This weeks Cheese Giveaway

It's that time again, a new cheese giveaway! The Reliv complete nutrition products have proven outstanding as I am over my cold while hubby is still sick! I even slept thru the night last night without waking up even one time. That has not happened since I injured my back in the coalmines back in 2002.

This week I have a 1/4 wheel of farmers cheddar. It's a slightly drier cheese than regular cheddar with a smooth, mild taste. Everyone that commented before is still in for the giveaway. Anyone that hasn't commented for an entry, do so on this post and you will be entered in. Anonymous posters please give me a first name so I know who I'm drawing, LOL.

Well, the weather forcast is ugly. Rain tonight, tomorrow and Sunday with snow flurries for Monday and Wednesday! Where is spring? The temps seem to be moving up by the end of next week, maybe i can get some seeds started then. I just hate to get them started and have them catch a draft.

Baby goat update- the daddy goat got moved to the half finished chicken coop/yard so Momma can have the goat stall all to herself. Her bag is full and she's as big as a house. if I don't have kids in the morning, I'll get a pic or 2 of her. Baby goat(s) is on the horizon! I don't even have a stand built to milk her from, this should be interesting.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It's a Thursday

I've been kind of busy, just a little. I'm almost over this cold, the daughter had a conference game, the sheep got hung plus the bread got baked and I tried out a new recipe.
We've got a little snow/sleet/ice storm headed our way, according to the weatherman, so I have not started any seeds yet. I just hate to start them and have them mold.

Copper the sheep will soon be supper, he's got 2 days on him hanging now and I will finish the butcher on him in the morning. I'm already tasting the Gyros sandwiches, I can hardly wait!

Some of the worst ref work I have ever seen in the jr college basketball season and even tho our girls played the last 6 minutes of the game with just 4 girls (my girl and another fouled out) the team won by 2. The 2 that fouled out were basically cheated out of the game, given fouls they did nothing for, the 2 tallest on the team. Oh well, it's over now anyway.

The new recipe isn't anything special, just a simple chicken caserole with shredded cheese, egg noodles, chicken, mushrooms, peas, onion and cream. It wasn't too bad, the kids liked it. A nice change of pace from the stuff I always make for supper.

Not much else is going on around here, we're still unemployed, no word at all this week from anybody we know. It's frustrating to be "in the dark".

Ah, I have a 1.3lb wheel of colby cheese I will give away for a donation of $22 if anybody would like it.

I will be working on some cheddar for the next cheese giveaway this weekend!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Beautiful Monday

It snowed all day and all night and here it is, a beautiful snowy Monday morning. I'm nursing a dandy head cold we all seemed to pick up on Friday. It's sweet, comes with cold chills and a seriously runny nose. What a joy it's been.
I started a new nutritional supplement Saturday, it's called Reliv. It's a complete nutritional powder mix, quickly absorbed into your system. Hard to tell yet with this cold how well it's working but I already know I have more energy. I can hardly wait to get over this cold, I know I'm going to like Reliv. My Mom and Dad have been using these products for quite a while now and I have noticed a big difference in not only the way they look, but they're whole health. I was so impressed, I became and independent distributor for Reliv. Check out their whole video description, it's the changing logo in the middle of the page that says "learn more".
I have decided it's not a very good idea to make cheese while I'm sick with this cold. I've also geared down the daily cooking, no sense in spreading any more germs, LOL. There's plenty to eat in the house tho. I've been bundled up on the couch, reading the new issues of Grit and Mother Earth news. I've also done a little daydreaming about the coming garden. I always end up with a pretty good idea of what I'm going to do and where I'm going to plant what by the time I start my seeds. I did actually pull all the seeds out and go thru them. I haven't actually started any since I knew this snow was coming. Also, we've lost the thermostat control on the fireplace, it quit working Thursday night. The replacement part is $168! Guess we'll just have to adapt and overcome, that sure isn't in the budget. I haven't quite got it lined out to keep a decently regular temperature in the house so no sense starting seeds right now if they might mold from a cold draft. In our 10 day forecast, it's calling for snow on 4 days. This is one weird winter!
No baby goat yet but we're on the baby watch. She could go any day now. I'm so excited, LOL.
Chickens are back to laying but it's been so darn cold that the eggs are freezing and cracking pretty quick. It's been unusually cold here all winter. So much for global warming, more like global ice age!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Getting on with it

Here's my response to the overly intellegent people of Cambridge, MA, home of Harvard U who think "meatless Mondays" will combat global warming.... how can someone be so smart and so STUPID all in the same second??? They're proposals are all in line with creating some srious wealth for the county and doing very little to nothing for our real climate troubles. Hmmmm, let me think back to high school Earth Science, you know, the class that Al Gore slept thru? Complete lack of solar sun spot activity, the worlds population tripled in the last 50 years and we think eating meat and plastic grocery bags need taxed???? How will this fix our problem?
Folks, resist the urge to fall in with all these morons, they don't have a clue what they are talking about. These are the same people we trust to ensure of food supply is "safe", our drinking water is pure and our Constitution is upheld. Boy, did we ever screw up!
You really want to do something about climate change? Plant a few fruit trees and plant a garden. The trees absorb carbon dioxide and will feed you and of course, the garden will do the same. Recycle everything you can, don't run around in your car every day doing little chores you could easily wait on to do several at a time. Get rid of those gas guzzling SUVS and find a vehicle to fit your needs that gets decent fuel mileage. Stop thinking consumeristic and stop wasting and you'll be doing more than your share of "global climate change" control.
As for me, I'll keep baking my bread, canning my vegetables and eating my meat.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Next Winner Is.....

This weeks cheese winner is Did it MY Way. Drop me an email at and tell me where to send your piece of cheddar cheese! Congrats to you!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Every Day Living Self Sustained

This past week has been an interesting one. I've been watching the reactions across the country to the snow that has been falling and I'm really not very impressed. When did we as a country become so helpless? When did a couple feet of snow become a federal disaster? It's winter time, snow happens. When I was a child living in Chicago, we had a big snowstorm. The drifts were over the eaves of the house, all the roads were buried in snow and my Dad took the Fire Chief to the Firehouse on a snowmobile (he lived next door). I remember my Dad keeping the chimney clear of snow, checking the roof, etc. We did not run out of food or water and we didn't freeze even tho my brother and I tried very hard to buy ourselves in snowdrifts. The National Guard did not come and patrol the streets for us either. So what happened to this country since then? When, exactly, did people quit taking care of themselves and doing things for themselves? When did we lose the ability to even think for ourselves? Our ancestors, parked in log cabins in the middle of nowhere without paved roads and a horse for their transportation seemed to be able to live thru 3' of snow every single winter. Why can't we?

Maybe I've got a slightly skewed view of the world, who knows. The thought of having the National Guard showing up to "help" me is insulting. The whole point of working toward living self sustained is to be exactly that, self sustained. I put some serious attention and effort into feeding myself so I don't ever run out of food. I've made decisions that have intentionally reduced my dependence on the electric company, the water company and any other service that others find themselves unable to live without. It was a conscious effort to become independent. Even if 10' of snow fell here, I would find myself a little inconvenienced going back and forth to the barn but I would surely live thru it. So what if the local gas station is closed. So what if the mall is closed. These places do not dictate to my survival in this world. Frankly, if there is that much snow laying on the ground, I don't need to be out driving around in it. There is nowhere in this world I need to be so badly that it would require me to drive in 10' of snow.

So, instead of worrying about how bad the next round of snow is going to be, think about what seeds you need to be starting soon. Get thinking about the coming spring and the new planting season. Whip up some home made bread and a big pot of chili and wait for the snow melt!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is It Spring Yet?

Well, here it is, the big double whammy snow storm that dumped all the snow on the east coast and is now the second round to get them. It dumped a big whopping 2" here. What a disappointment. I love snow and all we ever get is a tease here. Sure doesn't look like just a few more days to seed starting, does it? Just 5 more days.....
Thanks to some wonderful people and the Grace of God, all the bills here are paid for this month, Praise God. I am proud to say that our electric bill was just $63 and $25 of it was the monthly "customer"(thievery) charge. Plus of course the $23 in taxes on the phone bill. I'm thinking of disconnecting it when hubby gets a job. Then all we'd have is the farm payment and the small electric bill until we can get comletely solar. What a glorious day that will be!
There's cheese in the press for this weeks cheese giveaway. Gen, my air headed daughter got the mail and left it in the truck, I just got it this morning when I went in there for the snow brush, your cheese will be on the way in the morning! I will be drawing the next winner on Thursday.
The critters are all packed away neatly in the barns, no baby goats yet tho. I am not exactly sure when the babies are due since these are my first round. I am excited about their arrival tho, I hope there's more than one!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Best time to Plant

Patriot Steve asked for a listing of the best times to plant so I thought I'd give you all a link to what I use myself as a planting guide. The Old Farmers Almanac online. There's a box where you enter your town and state and it will give you the best estimation of your last frost date and when it's good to start seeds indoors or direct sow outdoors, etc.

When you click that link, it shows my hometown and my planting dates. As you will see, it's almost time for me! Yipee!!!!

Sidenote- I should have some cheese for a giveaway in the next couple of days, everyone that has commented before is still in the bowl. If you'd like to be in the giveaway and haven't commented, do so and you'll be added too. Anonymous commenters can also get in on this, just put your name so I know who you are!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More Snow?

It's Saturday and we've got another couple inches of snow! What happened to the global warming?? ROFL We all waded out in the mud last night and caught up soaking wet horses. I rearranged around 100 or so square bales of hay so I could get all the ponies in the barn with the goats and chickens. Those cold and wet ponies were happy to see me!

Today was a very nice day even with the slightly icy roads and sloppy barn lot. The college girl played an away basketball game close to home and a new homesteading friend joined me. What a pleasant time we had, I hated to come home.

Looks like the weather for southern Illinois is going to be cold with a possibility of more snow showers Tuesday but warming up a little by next weekend. Right on time for seed starting! I'm thinking I might start some cold crops in containers in the house. Carrots, lettuce, radish, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts all can handle the cooler might temperatures in the house. I will have to set my compost inside for a few days so it warms up enough to work with but I think it's time.....

I've been reading a new book called From Vines to Wines. I picked it up with the intentions of better learning about grape vines and growing them specifically to make a good wine with them. I'm just 3 chapters into it and I have already learned a bunch about making wine! I also learned why the grapes that were here on the farm when we bought this place didn't do so well or why the eating grapes I planted struggled like they did before the lawn mower accident(hubby mowed them). I've always just thought I didn't have the knack for growing fruit trees, bushes and vines but now I realize it's not all me. Whew, I was a little worried. I now know there is much more to growing grapes to make wine than I ever dreamed there was. Also, hey Pete! I know why your home made wine is yucky now! Email inbound, LOL.

Ooops, I didn't do a cheese giveaway post yesterday, i will do one on Monday........

I've got 16 bags of cans crushed with another 3 or 4 needing crushed for recycling on Monday. Boy am I ever glad there's lots of beer drinkers on the back roads around here, LOL. Hope we hear something this coming week from one of the places we've been trying to get work at, keep your fingers and toes crossed and say a prayer or 2......

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday nothing

There is nothing going on here at all. What a day. It's sloppy and muddy out with more icky weather on the way. The groundhog was right, 6 more weeks. I thought about starting seeds this morning but I decided to work on some cheese instead. The darn kids are eating it on me about as fast as i can get it done.
Still nothing for work around here, we were told at an interview yesterday that we were over qualified! That's not helping. We put the last of the money in the fuel tank this morning and we'll be taking some cans to the recycler tomorrow. What a life.
Soon as this little cold snap rolls past us here in southern Illinois, I'll be starting seeds.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Talking about Self Sustained Living

I guess I didn't say anything about this and I should have. did you know that there's a radio podcast over at Pioneer Living? The Milandreds were kind enough to invite me to participate in one of their podcasts, it is #5. I enjoyed it a great deal.

This evening, i was invited to join Matt over at Prepper Podcast. We talked a little bit about solar, gardening and just all around homesteading stuff. I think it went okay, I haven't heard it yet. I hope it went well.

A busy day for us today without much accomplished. Seemed like we were playing catch-up all day. Maybe a more productive day for tomorrow. Maybe a little seed starting? Maybe.....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Cheese Giveaway Winner of the week

Todays winner is Aaron! Congrats Aaron, email me at and tell me where to send your gift!
I still have a 14oz piece of cheese i can give away for a $12 donation. Gen, yours is waiting on you, it's safe ;)
Woohoo! I's Febraury! I'm gearing up to get all my seeds started for this years' garden. I am very excited about this new planting season. So much to share, so much to do!