Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Prepared are You?

As I look around my humble homestead, I can't help but notice all I've accomplished
And
all that still absolutely must be finished! 
How prepared is each of us for any disaster? I can honestly say I am not nearly as prepared as I should be. Snowpocalypse proved that. I was a bit low on fresh liquid milk and firewood just did not seem to be as well stocked or organized as I would have liked.
Now, I know we have a good tent, but, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to stake it down so rain doesn't blow in! 


I've managed to stake it well enough that it hasn't lifted off during the tornado watches we've had. Good to know we won't be visiting Oz while we're bugging out!!!

I have some nice areas to relax~ my favorite being the front porch! Pull up a chair and let's chat!!! It's nice to have a place to sit peacefully and think as you plan.


But, on a side note, how much of your everyday life are your neighbors able to see? In other words, how much privacy does your lot really afford? Well, to check it out, I went to a nearby park and took a photo of the back of my lot as view-able from the park. For now, with my tent up and the neighbor's trees in full leaf, my lot is hidden. Hidden from those at the park. 
However, with the current fencing I have, I am view-able by my close neighbors very easily. That is not okay and must be addressed down the road.

Please, bare with me as I learn to upload photos to my blog and show you more details of our prepping, or prepping I wish I was doing, as the  case may be! 
Check back soon for more updates!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Taming the Weeds!

Good Morning!
Isn't it a blessed and beautiful day?!
Glad you stopped by so I can show you what I've been doing! Have a seat here in the hammock chair and we can chat a bit.
What do you think of my front 'yard'? When we bought our house this area was a flat wasteland of grass. It was a stark boring canvas ready to be painted (planted). Over the last three and a half years I have improved this painting bit by bit. This transformation has been an integral part in making my home a refuge for my family.
My latest endeavor has been to create more of a park-like feeling while eradicating weeds. To accomplish this I am laying down multiple layers of cardboard covered by old bed sheets and thick layers of mulch. Where I simply want walking paths, that is all I do. Where I want more edible landscaping, I toss in a variety of seeds.
I am modeling my homestead after the Dervae's on Little Homestead in the City blog. The differences would be that I live in a completely different climate and I am going for more aesthetic beauty so as to not upset county inspectors or my neighbors.
Still in all, it unbelievable calming and peaceful to hang out out here in the hammock chair knitting and watching the world hurry past while I sip iced coffee!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Quiet Sign

I love how the 'quiet sign' works at Pack Night to bring momentary quiet to a group of happy rambunctious boys! 

 Wouldn't it be great if we could harness this to bring the same to other situations?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Not Spending..../ I'm in Trouble!

Well, I said I would update you on the not spending concept.... my results are not good.... but they are very revealing... I started out strong and felt quite confident I could do it... really I did! I even had an understanding with myself that I was only going to buy the fabric softener I had planned on before this project began... 
Then
I ran out of liquid milk... for some reason powdered milk gives me stomach aches... but only if I drink it... not if I use it in place of creamer for coffee or a recipe... odd, I know, but true...
So I bought a gallon of 2% as La Loma's Grocery does not carry skim milk... 
That set the disaster in motion...
I had already decided that I could buy reasonable drinks o munchies if I was driving around for work... I could also buy gas so I could drive for/ to and from work... 
But...
the sweet faces and big dark eyes in the car with me caused me to hit the drive-thru for dinner... I am owned by those big dark eyes!!!
So...
I am going to keep at this... 
I won't be not spending, but I am way more aware of my spending habits and lack of self-control... 
Paycheck, such that it is, is banked and bills must be paid... 
that leads me to thoughts of paying off the Jeep... but first, oil change, brakes done (squeaking), buy a spare tire... 
But, this not spending is a great exercise... everyone should try it! It certainly shows how prepared you are... how self-sufficient... how spoiled... 
also a good chance to do a run-through with the kids as a game so a real disaster is not so traumatic to them...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thinking About "10 Days No Spending"

I recently read a really good blog about not spending for ten days, http://whatifitistoday.blogspot.com/2011/06/10-days-no-spending-test-for.html#comment-form
as though you were going through a SHTF scenario. 
This is such a good idea! I'm going to do this for two reasons. First, to see how prepared we really are/ or aren't. Second, as a 'fun game' that allows us to live a post apocalyptic lifestyle in a way my son will see as fun. This will tie into our watching the movie "The Road' over and over to pick out all the mistakes made and decide what we need to do to improve our chances of survival. Sort of a 'Zombie Apocalypse' game if you are a ten-year-old boy!
I will let you know when we start and keep you updated on how it goes... obviously including photos so you can share the fun! 
Please, try it and let me know what your experience is with it!!!   

Pilcher Park

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rhubarb-Plum Jam


 Good evening! How are you on such a lovely evening?
Tonight I was feeling ambitious and made up a fresh batch of rhubarb-plum jam. Yummy eating is ahead! 
The rhubarb has been ripe for a bit, so it was high time I got around to making jam. The older rhubarb root stock is quite a huge hearty plant with good sturdy stems and leaves. The newer plant is quite small in comparison and has gone to seed! 
For this batch I used the two cups of rhubarb from my garden and four cups of plums I had in my pantry. 
 The resulting jam made my kitchen smell like heaven while it was processing! 
 Home canned goodies are heaven in a jar!

Home as an Oasis of Comfort

Good Morning! 
It's so nice to see you on such a beautiful day! 
I wanted to share my theories on the atmosphere of my home and it's impact on my family.
My home is just that~ a home. It is to be comforting and comfortable. A place where my family can retreat from the harshness of this world and find safety and security in a loving atmosphere. 
My home is a home. 
It would never fit into a fancy subdivision. 
The landscaping is never quite yuppie-perfect. There is always at least one area that needs weeding. I am doing edible landscaping almost everywhere along with jungle gardening, so most won't understand the feel of it all.
The feel of my lot? Well, I am on a little hill near the top, so I am going for a cross between a cabin feel and a tree house feel! When you pull into my little drive, it feels as though you've pulled into the woods. When you look out my south windows over the tree tops, it feels as though you are in a tree house atop a rain forest tree! 
When my family is home, I want them to be able to just relax and be themselves. No stress. No worries. 
How important is a perfectly decorated house if your family can't relax in it? Yes, things should be as neat and clean as possible. 
My family needs to feel like their loved there no matter what. Comfortable furniture. A tent out back set up all summer even though all the grass under it will be dead. A swing in the tree built by my son that is definitely not increasing the property value. Flowers and veggies growing everywhere. Chickens clucking and crowing out back while they fight over bugs. 
Oh,
And,
sometimes muddy footprints across my floors. 
Home is a place to feel safe and loved! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sacrificing for Our Freedom

Have you ever noticed that a good day is any day you can wake up and freely thank God for the morning ?!
I can't imagine living in a country where I wouldn't be able to openly pray or read my Bible. So many times I have I sat in public and read my Bible... usually while waiting for dismissal time at Matt's old school. What if I not only couldn't read it publicly, but had to keep it hidden at home and read behind closed drapes?
I know those countries exist. I hear about it on the news (like CBN). 
Have you ever thought about how many have sacrificed so you and I can have that freedom? 
How many of our young people have sacrificed their lives? 
How many come home missing arms or legs from a battle?
How many come home so seriously psychologically affected by all they've seen and heard that they are unable to have 'normal' lives?
How much we owe them! 
All I can say is,
Thank You So Much!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Checking My Preparedness as I Clean and Re-Organize My Home

Yes, it really is up to each of us to take care of ourselves in a disaster! Hurricane Katrina should have jump-started everyone as obviously the GOV is not going to respond until most victims are dead. 
All this has me deep cleaning and re-organizing my home. Taking note of what is/ is not stocked as I go. 
Funny how just the simple act of deep cleaning and re-organizing can remind me all too clearly that I am simply not ready for any sort of real disaster! 
I gaze out a freshly washed window at the tent that is put up in such a way the rain blows in... can't figure out what I need to change! If we had to stay in it in a disaster situation, we would be in trouble... 
And there is my 'garden'... if you are a visionary, you would call it that... if you are a realist, you would ask what I cook from all the weeds?! Yes, you do have to plant veggies to harvest them!!!
I took my daughter her dorm size fridge and stacked empty canning jars where it had been... nice to have all those boxes out of the living room! But... why aren't they full of jams, tasty meals and salsas? 
I head to the linen closet to put fresh sheets away... uh-oh! Only six rolls of toilet paper left! Why didn't I restock that?!?! 
Well, tonight I intend to continue deep cleaning and re-organizing... by morning I should have a long shopping list! Hopefully my BOB and EDC will be completely packed by the time I go to sleep tonight...
How Ready are You Really?!?!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Flying the Flag

Well, good evening! What do you think of my new flag? I just finished putting it out along with the little garden cross under it.
This was an adventure in self-reliance for me as lately I have been relying on men to do these sort of things. Not such a good idea as I was quite rusty with the drill and what should have been a logical approach just wasn't.
My home is a little less invisible now, but I think it is worth it. And, once all my plants mature, the house itself will be invisible again. The parkway will simply be noticed more.
Regardless, the flag and cross look so nice out there (and off the desk in my living room)!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Family Teamwork!

Good Morning! 
Happy Wednesday!
Happy June!
Such a beautiful day today! Good breeze, 77.0*F, sun shining... 
Come on around back..
I was going to mow, but Matt said he'd like to do it for me! Isn't it so nice when family pulls together to keep things running smoothly?! 
Yes, I know you're thinking, "How is that lawn going to look when he's finished?" Actually Matt does a pretty thorough job. 
But, it will sure look better than it did before it was cut! 
Now, if I lived in a fancy subdivision, his mowing expertise would make my neighbors twitch, but, then, my whole 'yard' would make them twitch! 
And he took over a chore that freed me up to start another load of laundry and pick up a little in the house! 
Just think how much goes into keeping a home running smoothly. How nice would it be if all family members pitched in and helped? 
My way of explaining this to Matt is, "I can't take you to______, if I have to do everything myself. If you step in and do your share, we can hike, ride bikes or go to the mall more often!" I don't expect him to do an adults' share. After all he is only ten years old and the Autism spectrum gives him the maturity of a three to four year old. But, I do expect him to do what I know he is capable of. It sure is nice to have him do his own laundry, mow the lawn, weed eat, feed and water the chickens or clean his room! 
Teamwork makes a family a family. It shows love and respect for the other team members. It pulls the team closer. 
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