Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Keeping a food storage pantry

My food storage pantry would fall into the category of a Working Pantry.
The primary functions of my pantry are:

*To give me a level of comfort in my ability to provide meals going forward for a period of time.
 In the event of a natural or national emergency we will have enough food on hand.  We will not need to panic!

When that winter rain turns into days of freezing rain, when an early or late snowstorm dumps heavy, wet snow on the trees and power lines, I don't have to run to the store for "bread and milk"

While I pray that we never have a national emergency, it is still a real possibility.

Sickness or job loss/change in finances are a few other life episodes that could have you relying on your pantry for a while.

*To give me flexibility and convenience in our meals.

By having dry goods and canned goods on hand I can create a meal quickly or just open a can and eat.  A lot of these foods are prepared convenience foods.  They have been chosen because they can be opened and prepped with little effort. Remember:  these are MY choices.

Think:  a winter power outage, open a can of chili, vegetable, and mix up some corn muffin mix--pop them onto the wood stove and you EAT!

Think:  unexpected company and you don't have anything planned for a meal.  Cook up some rice, beans, tomatoes, veggie, or a pasta salad, or spaghetti!

Think:  You've had an exhaustively long day or you just aren't feeling well.  Husband is hungry.  He knows how to operate a can opener!  Dinner is served!

*To give me a place to stock up on sale items/special deals.

If the grocery store has pasta on sale for 50 cents a lb, buy lots!!!
The same goes for toilet paper, veggies, coffee.........if you have a designated spot to store dry goods then you can more easily spend less money on food every year.

Next up.......where to locate a food storage pantry

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Home/Garden/Personal Goals for 2017

I joined a group on facebook that focuses on learning new skills each month.  Assignment number one is to make a Goals list of 3 or 5 or 10 goals for the year 2017.  I already had a few goals lists written down here and there, so I pulled them all together into one place.  Turns out I have 20!

here they are in no particular order:

1.  Buy a book on sugaring (already on my amazon wish list) and begin to create a plan and assemble what is needed to start tapping some trees and getting me some maple syrup!

2.  Expand my garden into an area we have cut the trees down a couple of times.  I'm going to try sheet composting right on the rooty rocky ground.

3.  Build a hugelkulture (sp?) bed on the upper front lawn.  This seems like a wonderful possibility for our rocky, thin soil.

4.  Start some annual flowers from seed this year.  I need to plant tons in order to encourage more bee activity here in the deep woods.

5.  Grow more herbs--learn more aboutusing herbs and tinctures.

6.  Plan a greenhouse to be built over two of the raised beds in my garden.

7.  Learning to draw!  continue to work on this.  I have written a bunch of kids stories and i really want to get them illustrated and printed out.  then I can learn to bind my own books! 

8.  Buy a dehydrator.  I had one 20 years ago and sold it at a yard sale when I lost interest.  Stupid move.  I could really use one now.

9.  Complete more sewing projects.  nothing specific.

10.  Organize all of our photos into  photo boxes (already purchased & already set up in the dining room)  --i've begun this project.

11.  Lose weight.  This has been on my goal list for 30 years.  Well, no, longer than that.  I am 56 and have always said I was happy being fat and fit.  But the fit part is getting harder the older I get.  I'm happy with the fact that I learned to not get fatter!  I recently bought the Trim Healthy Mama book and reactivated MyfitnessPal.  I have a fitbit on my amazon wishlist.

12.  Hike more!  The last few years my sciatica has been awful (it's lots better! it seems driving makes it worse and since I stopped working in Sept. I don't hardly drive!)  I also injured my achilles tendon last spring so we didn't do one hike in 2016.  That also is better now.

13.  Build up my pantry again!  I need to get a better list going and spend more time weekly searching out the best prices on items for my pantry.  In conjunction with this I also want to work on a meal list again.

14.  Seek out more local foods.  Do more shopping at the various farmers markets.

15.  Spend less money!  I really don't want to go back to work, so I must get back to my frugal roots.  I need to work on a list of things that can be done to cut back, post them and keep at it.

16.  Build an arbor and plant grapes.

17.  Be very hands-on with the homeschooling of grandsons.

18.  work on plans for a new workshop/storage out back.

19.  Make decisions and have a firm plan in place for next winter to partially renovate the kitchen.  New bottom cabinets on one wall, new sink, all new countertops, paint, new flooring, and potentially build a movable island I can use for baking.  

20.  Paint the master bedroom and lay a wood laminate floor.  (the paint has been purchased and we are going to check out the laminate tomorrow)

ok, I lied, I have....

21.  Put a new roof on the house.

I know this looks like a lot, but I think it's all very doable since many of them are just "plan" things. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

What's going on?

it's been a while since i just wrote about life around here.
so here goes.........

it's winter.  lately it's been cold, then its not so cold.  then it snows, then it rains, then it snows again.  that pretty much sums up winter weather on the maine coast!  i like the snow in the winter.  i don't like the rain in the winter.  especially on top of the snow.  we haven't gotten any big snowstorms yet, just a bunch of little ones.  we have had one frigid cold snap and now we are just entering another one.  they usually only last a few days around here.

it's been quiet on the wink. i even got to go ramble around in the snowy woods alone a couple of times this week.  so nice!  sometimes you have to make things be quiet on purpose.  you have to slow down and remind yourself that it is possible and very okay to enjoy quiet days alone; just the two of us.

things are going well in chicken land.  so far they are doing great with the cold and snow.  this morning i got up at 5 and went to check on them and the coop was about 12F and the outside temp was 3F.  i brought them water and scratch and turned on their light to get them moving and eating to stay warm.  they are about 8 months old now and i pretty consistently get an average of 56 eggs a week from the 9 birds.  it sounds like a lot of eggs, but in reality if we both eat 2 eggs per day that takes care of 28 of them!  then with baking and other recipes and maybe once a week giving the chickens a scrambled egg treat, we usually give away only about 18 each week.  we would give away more if people would remember to ask!

my other big project this winter is organizing my photos.  i've got a table set up in the dining room and enough bins or boxes to cover the years 1983-2016!  now i'm going through every loose photo and falling apart album, writing important info on the backs, weeding out blurry, dumb pics and organizing according to date.  then these neat little boxes will be condensed down and put on a shelf jeff has put up over the doorway in my craft room.

another ongoing project for me is lesson planning for my grandsons preschool homeschool.  i've stated before that i purchased Horizons preschool from Alpha Omega pub.  so far we love it.  my job is to plan out the lessons and assemble what momma needs to teach it.  the best part is that i will be able to use all of these lesson plans for all of the grands that will be homeschooled.  so i only have to do each grade once!  i love doing it!

i'm hoping to get a new camera soon so i can add pics to my blog!  my camera of 8 years finally stopped working, and as i am also pretty newly not working also (lol)  it is hard for me (even harder for me)  to spend money on myself.  but i really miss having a camera!

so i'm still trying to figure out where i'm going with this blog and what the purpose is.  i just feel compelled to keep on keeping on.  i have been blogging since i moved to maine 12 years ago.  i'm a xanga misfit, i loved the xanga blog!  i've had this one now for 3 or so years and i just need to spend more time on it and less time on facebook.  that is my goal for 2017!

well, until next time!

Monday, January 2, 2017

i am washed by the water

this may be all over the place.  just a warning.

what i really want to write about, what i really feel an intense need to write about....is....gah!!!!!
see?!  the topic i want to write about is so complicated, yet simple.  so personal, yet universal.  so layered, yet of single, epic importance!

the title of this post should be

Men who won't spiritually lead their families and the generational consequences that could have.

that title is too long.....so i chose the other one

i've been having struggles lately......heck....i've been having struggles my whole stinking life.

and it all comes down to....

you got it!

Men who won't spiritually lead their families and the generational consequences that could have.


i've been struggling lately.  a few days ago I felt God telling me to write out psalm 119.  it took me days.  it's long.  go look it up!  i never gave up.  the message was clear.  put nothing before God.  nothing.  no one.  nothing.

sometimes i wonder if i do whats right.  if i stand for what is right.  i have no doubts.  God is clear with me.  i just gotta listen.

even when the rain comes, even when the flood starts rising, even when the storms come, i am washed by the water.  even if the earth crumbles under my feet, even if the ones i love turn around and crucify me. i won't never ever let you down.  i won't fall, i won't fall, i won't fall as long as your around me.  (needtobreathe)

so this post may have just been a preview of a much deeper conversation about christian men and their responsibility before God to protect their families, physically and spiritually.  it may be a preview of a much deeper conversation about being a church goer giving you an extremely false sense of spiritual security.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

the prequel and the sequel to christmas

my post from yesterday
about christmas
actually flowed right out of me while i was writing in my journal on christmas morning
i'm going to share what i wrote

*christmas morning
up at 5:30 to water the chickens
quiet in my room (my bubby cave)
kitty & coffee
looked at internet
a video on Voskamp
i need a techno break
right. now.
there is too much of the world that comes into my life through SCREENS.
i.   can't.    handle.     it.
church.  i'm not feeling like going.  i would much rather go off into the woods.
God is with me.
i don't need to go to church to find Him.
i don't need to go to church to satisfy a legalistic need to participate in organized religion.

yep.  i wrote that.  then my post from yesterday just flowed out onto the paper.
sometimes you just need to write it.  get it out.  some things are worth sharing.  most is not, and thankfully i don't.

what i wrote above.....about church........
it had NOTHING to do with church.
it had EVERYTHING  to do with ME!
i get people overload.
i get situational overload (i may have just made that up but its real, people)
can i get an amen?

in the woods i can talk to God.  i can sing, i can pray, i can cry! or i can do nothing at all and just sit quiet before Him.

let's face it.
the boundaries are there.  the line you have to toe.  everyone likes to pretend it's not, but it is.
the judgments are there.  everyone likes to pretend they are not.  but they are.
we are all human.  i get it.  and i'm honest.  at least here.

so, when i'm already emotionally drained......
church is the last place i need to go!
again, i'm talking about me.  i'm talking about what i know is best for me.
when i go to church i have to "put my game face on"

this post is NOT about church
yada, yada, yada
i get it
don't preach it to me
don't forsake it
i don't
i just don't crave it
........maybe if i lived under a rock from monday through saturday and had no contact at all with other christian people............
but i don't

this seems rambling and all over the place but i'm getting to the good stuff, i promise.

this morning i went back to my regular bible study in the morning.  i had been studying isaiah before the advent break.
i opened my bible to where i needed to begin again

isaiah 29
v 1  what sorrow awaits Ariel, the city of David.  year after year you celebrate your feasts.
v2  yet I will bring disaster upon you and there will be much weeping and sorrow

i won't go on.......
i found this passage interesting
ironic even
in light of my brain dump about christmas

God works in mysterious ways.  

Monday, December 26, 2016

thank you Lord, its over for another year!

think about it.
think about the excess.
excess decorations....lights.....food.....gifts......
most of it is nonsense.
there is no "awe" in that.
if there is, then it's the "awe" of excess.
is it just americans?  i think most of the world can't nearly afford this excess.  and that most of the world could live...eat....have clean water and a roof for the amount the average american spends on christmas frivolity.
how do we justify this?  i think it's impossible to justify it.
the "celebration" of christmas as we know it is totally about giving in to the flesh.
sure......there are some spiritual "moments"
but it is OVERWHELMINGLY a physical, irreverent celebration.
too much food is consumed.
too much money is spent.
it is about more.  more things.  "what do i buy so and so, what do i buy for dinner, what do i buy for breakfast"  it's all about more.  everything is bigger in christmasland.

the "celebration" of christmas is completely opposite of what we should be concentrating on.
more of God.
more peace.
more stillness.
more prayer.

there are two sides to the christmas dilemma.  in both instances i will be talking about "christian" celebrations.
one side throws themselves into it with wild abandon.  embracing and enjoying everything about christmas.
the other side shuns it altogether.  they see the paganess and excesses and can't justify any of it.
there are those like me.
those whose hearts and minds are torn between the physical and the spiritual aspects of this celebration.
the christmas celebration has pagan roots.  there is no denying the truth so we won't argue the point.  it is mostly paganism wrapped up with a shiny bow.

the santa aspect represents childhood fantasy, which i totally support.  but why does santa need a tree to put the gifts under?  and why does santa have to bring PILES of gifts?  excess is the reason why.  americans love the excess.

since the majority of the rituals surrounding christmas have roots in paganism, we must choose carefully and sparingly what we participate in.
if only christmas could be more like thanksgiving, and thanksgiving could be an every day event.

shouldn't we acknowledge daily our need for a savior?  and that one was provided?  shouldn't we celebrate continually that God came for us?  that He came right down here to rescue us all if we only let Him?
why we set aside one day to excessively acknowledge this while feeding our own flesh is beyond me, and it is a shame.
why we only pull out the Nativity and wonder at the story once a year is beyond my comprehension.  this needs to change if WE are to change.

i will tell you why christmas is celebrated once a year.  it is a celebration that is tied to the pagan celebration of the solstice.  it is chained to the pagan worship of the sun god.

why can we not break these chains?  the pull of the "world" is strong.  it is hard and seemingly impossible to do things differently than everyone else.

can we "celebrate"  the fact that God came down here to get us, sent Jesus to be a man among us, die for our sins, pay the price, so we may come before God blameless, if we only choose that?  can we celebrate that?
how about
every day instead of saving it for december?

what would the practical application of this celebration....all year long.....look like?
let's brainstorm
regular family dinners
inviting friends,
inviting acquaintances  for coffee, lunch, dinner, to go for a walk, to talk....
turn off the screens.  be more conscious of what else you could be doing.  write someone a letter, a note, a card....make a phone call.....pop in for a visit......make the effort
open your eyes for everyday needs, every day.
get someone a gift or make someone a gift.......for no reason at all other than you were thinking of them.......just because......
infuse your life with Godly things:  books, music, video? (oh be careful little eyes, ears, feet, etc....)
keep the Nativity our all years.  light a Jesus candle every night.
make simple times special
invite God into every moment.

i pray that God will bless our efforts to excessively  invite Him into our every day instead of just the one day.

Friday, November 4, 2016

what's going on?

i have come to the conclusion that if i'm going to make my blogs like others i read then i need to take more pictures.
and since all of the pictures i take are of my grandbabies, then my blog would only be about them!

so here is what's going on

home organizing and cleaning:  my winter clothes are in and summer ones are out!  some went to the rag bag!  i tend to wear the same things over and over and over again.  went through my bookshelf and weeded out a small stack for goodwill.  i need to get on a cleaning schedule now that i am home every day.  it would make it so i didn't have to think.

crafting:  i made a no sew fleece blanket for sophie in purple camo!
cooking:  apples, apples, apples!!!  i went apple picking 3 times and i think i picked about 100 lbs!
so far i've made a ton of applesauce, six pie fillings, and a few apple cakes.  i'm going to make a couple dozen jumbo apple muffins and a few more apple desserts to keep in the deep freeze.

outside:  cutting down trees, raking leaves, cleaning the garage, and winterizing the coop.  the garden cleaned up so easily this year with having the chickens right there to feed the spent plants to!  i've also been working on a new garden area.
we cut our own wood

charlie keeping warm first thing in the morning.  we have yet to turn on the furnace this season

family:  lots of birthday celebrations lately and family visits.  these boys all love getting together.  their favorite thing to do now is to play hide and seek (charlie calls it hide and sneak)
the television goes on when the grown ups need a break!

school:  cruising right along with prepping lesson plans for sarah to teach ethan.  I hear that calvin is paying lots of attention and learning lots too.  maybe they can be in the same grade at some point since they are only 18 months apart in age?  i've also started to put together a learning packet for charlie at his mom's request.  with winter on our doorstep it will be perfect learning time!

faith:  every morning i do bible writing.  i'm in isaiah 24 right now and its very interesting.  learning a lot.  also attend a bible study with a couple friends and we are studying Girls Gone Wise.  AND, i also do a bible study on facebook for me and the girls, right now its Conversation Peace. 

well, that's it from the wink!