Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feeling better

I'm feeling a lot better. Yesterday I made pitas and opened a jar of tomato sauce I canned back in August and we all had delicious pita pizzas. The cheese was store bought, I can't make mozarella everytime we want pizza LOL. I've been wanting to make a baked pasta dish, anyone have a recipe they really like? This cold is making me crave baked pasta and cheese. I'd really like to make baked mac and cheese but the last time I did no one liked it but me, they said it was too greasy, I guess because of the cheddar.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Feeling like a failure

Yesterday morning I decided to make breakfast; biscuits, bacon and scrambled eggs. It is a breakfast I've made plenty of other times before. But for some reason yesterday the biscuits were dry and crumbly. I'm the only one who ended up eating them because I made them but the worms ended up with most of them. I've made biscuits before that were good but I have no idea why these didn't turn out. And I felt like a complete failure as a woman. Biscuits are easy! 100 years ago children made biscuits, even men made biscuits if they were single. Biscuits were made over open fires. How can someone actually make biscuits that no one is willing to eat?

I was really upset about this yesterday and felt like totally giving up on all of it and going back to eating pre-prepared foods. My husband prefers them to the things I make anyway. I wondered why am I bothering doing all this work to feed my family healthy foods when all they want is the crap from the grocery store? I wondered am I really a bad cook? And I wondered how the hell are we going to survive if the grocery stores run out of food at some point? Will my family become less picky or will they just complain all the time? If my husband doesn't like something he'll just refuse to eat it and will pout that he now doesn't have anything to eat.

It was very disheartening yesterday. I can't make pot roast either. I've tried a number of times following the directions exactly and it is always dry and tough. Mark says that is just how pot roast is but I know I've had ones that are moist and fall apart with a fork. But I can't even get it that way. So, I can't make biscuits or roast, aren't these the easiest things to make?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A great post

I just read this blog entry that I think helps to answer the question I posed in my last entry.

I think it summarizes things well.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Prudent or paranoid?

This is something I've been asking myself a lot lately, especially after reading Wendy's post about living in 2 worlds and how hard that is. Am I being prudent or paranoid? I really believe that we are heading toward major peak oil fallout. I think, although I know many don't agree, that things will go back to being like they were in the pioneer times. I think we are going to have to be pretty self-sufficient but that there will be small stores that will sell some things. But I find it very hard to believe this and live in this world where no one else seems to think anything is going to happen.

So, I go back and forth between thinking I'm being smart to prepare and thinking I'm being paranoid. A few examples:

Last week, JoAnn's Fabrics had bolts of fabric on super sale, so that it was $1.50 a yard for the fabric I make all of Logan's clothes out of. I bought a bolt of fabric and put it away in case we need it someday. I go back and forth between thinking that was a totally paranoid thing to do and thinking I should have bought 2 bolts!

My husband works in the chemical industry making soap on an industrial scale. They buy a lot of cooking type oils. He said the price of these oils have gone up a lot recently because of countries stock piling them to make into fuel since crude is so expensive. It is just a matter of time before we will see the price increase in the grocery stores. I belong to a food buying club where I could buy a case of canola oil and olive oil at last months prices. Would it be smart to stock up now while I can still get them at lower prices or is it paranoid?

I really want to get a grain mill but I go back and forth on whether I should get the more convenient electric version or the hand version that will still work after all the peak oil fall-out? I am honestly unable to make this decision. I got a Kitchen-Aid for my birthday mostly to knead bread. This is convenient in the world right now, but will I regret not building up my kneading muscles in the future?

Should I get an electric dehydrator or learn to use the sun to do it?

How far is too far?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I'm from Delaware

For those wondering what life is like in the wonderful state of Delaware and what I go through daily, go here:

It made me laugh but I live it everyday.....

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Turtle and Sheep scarf

I made a turtle to keep the sheep company.

And the sheep was cold so he needed a scarf.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Future Farmer

Here are pictures of me gardening with my Grandfather when I was about 4 years old.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Another farm expansion

My mother in law (Linda M) sent us a few things to expand our farm. Thanks MOM!

We added more animals and trees to the woods we plan to have at the back of the property. We made sure the wild boars were far from our farm animals!

We were able to add a feeder to the livestock area. No other changes here. We did expand the fence to allow more room for the animals to roam. In our garden we added a basket for collecting the harvest.

And we added Mark to the farm! He has no interest in the farm side of things so he is cooking up the animals we've processed. He is happier by the grill than in the fields. You can't tell from the picture but Logan also added a shovel and a gun in front of the barn. He says we need to protect our animals from predators. I guess I will need to get a gun someday. Any recommendations?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Give away

My blogaversary was a few days ago and I've seen that a lot of people do give aways to celebrate and I thought that might be fun. So, I'm going to give away either a pair of slippers like these I made for Logan:

or a pair of slippe socks like these I made for my Grandma.
I'll be using this yarn to make the winners choice.
To enter, leave a comment to this post and I'll draw a name Sunday.

Edited Sunday: Congratulations Erikka!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Goals for 2008

First I want to thank you all for being so supportive and really giving me the boost I needed!

OK, moving on from my pity post of the other day. I'm ready to refocus myself on my goals.

Goals for 2008:

  • Learn to make cheese other than mozzarella, particularly sheep milk cheese since I plan to raise sheep

  • Learn to spin wool

  • Learn to make bagels

  • Learn to pressure can

  • Learn to butcher chicken

  • Learn to sheer sheep

  • Go to more farm conferences

  • Make my own laundry detergent

  • Learn to make soap

  • Make a more efficient solar cooker

  • Learn to dehydrate food

  • Grind my own flour

  • Plant fruit trees

  • Learn to make herbal remedies

  • Get more experience with sheep

  • Hatch eggs with an incubator

  • Dry more of our laundry on the drying rack

  • Visit farms to see how others are doing things

  • Research and decide on breeds

  • Knit a sweater from wool I spun

  • Learn to felt (needle and hand)

  • And of course my biggest goal - Move to our farm! Doing this will add many new goals to the list since there are many things I can't do until we move. So, this list is very much subject to change. And I'm sure I will think of other things to add.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008

    Feeling Down

    I'm feeling down and discouraged today. I try to keep this blog positive for the most part but today I'm not feeling it. I started this blog a year ago tomorrow with the goal of recording our search for our farm, moving to our farm and our successes and failures getting everything set up and going. A year later, nothing has changed. I'm still in this suburban neighborhood where I can feel the neighbors closing in on me. I literally feel like I'm suffocating!

    I'm usually able to stay positive, staying focused on my goals and trying to take a step everyday to get closer to those goals. I've been focused on learning everything I can now before we get to the farm so I can then focus on getting the animals set up and going. If all the other stuff is already established I won't have to think of any of that. But I feel like I'm running out of things I can do and learn here. I'm beyond ready for the next step!

    I think the reason I'm feeling particularly down today is because one of my closest friends moved yesterday. Back in April she was talking to me about how unhappy her husband was at his job but that he didn't have any other options in this area. I suggested they might want to consider moving to another area. At first she was opposed to the idea but after talking to her husband more she encouraged him to send out resumes. Within a few months he had a job in Michigan and had moved out there to get started and settled in. My friend and the kids stayed behind to sell the house and get everything packed. They moved for good yesterday. I'm happy for them but it also upsets me. I've been wanting to move for almost 2 years and my friend who didn't want to move at all has moved in 8 months and I'm still here with no move in sight. We are no closer to a move than we were a year ago.

    It also doesn't help that over the past few months I've been feeling a sense of urgency to get to our farm and get things going. I feel like the future is looming over me and I'm not ready for it. I've been having dreams almost nightly about not being ready for things. I don't think we can survive what I believe is coming in this house. We don't even have a fireplace that we can actually use!

    I've been focused on staying positive and being thankful for what we have now. I've been trying to live life as if we already have our farm and trying to keep my thoughts focused on my dream. I've been trying to bring the Law of Attraction into play. But I have to admit it has been getting harder and harder as time goes on. It is very hard to be focused on a goal that you have no control over.

    So tomorrow I will be back to focusing on the positive and being thankful and all that, but for today I'm going to let myself feel down.

    Edited to add: I'm feeling a little better already. My mostly outside cat came in this morning because it is really cold out and she is lying on the floor playing with a toy mouse. I haven't seen her play in over a year! Something about going outside seems to take the playfulness out of a cat. So it is a joy to see her playing!