Saturday, November 20, 2010

Book Shelf

In reading other blogs to find out the books I will want for my book shelf, "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving" has shown up several times. I bought it today and am probably going to be returning it. Unfortunately it is not really what I want which may just be my expectations. I am really wanting an all encompassing book including fermentation, canning, dehydrating, wine making, etc. So many of the recipes in this book are for foods that do not grow in the upper Midwest. Sorry Borders but it is going to come back. I obviously need to do more research. My son would say not to buy a book as everything is on the Internet, but what if for some reason that is not available.

The more blog reading I do the more I feel a need to start my food storage, especially this summer after a good garden. Will be home in the Midwest in January and am slowly going to start buying extra. My husband will have a coronary but that is okay. If I'm wrong and the economy doesn't go to crap no harm is done.

Will probably be ordering garden seeds this month yet. Probably will be looking at a 2 year (minimum) supply. One of the books I want to look at is Seed to Seed, on how to save seeds. I don't have a clue but may be a necessary skill to learn.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Reference Books

After searching several blogs and doing a lot of reading this past weekend I picked up the book:

The Backyard Homestead by Storey Publishers.

It is fabulous, I inhaled the book and learned a lot on where to start, what to look for as far as soil and drainage, beginning information on chickens and bees. The information regarding my Hardiness Zone Map was invaluable, I live in Zone 3 but looking at the temperatures that encompasses I actually dip into Zone 2 occasionally (-50 degrees).  Yikes.

The next step is to order some seed and plant catalogs and begin planning. Also I think I will contact our local Ag Agent and see if they can help determine what fruit trees will survive and thrive in our climate. I will spend the money to get good plants but I want them to be hardy enough to survive and produce the food I am wanting.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thrift/Estate Sale Finds

This past weekend D, J and I went to a fabulous estate sale. They are always kind of sad, going through someone else's stuff. Anyway I got some great stuff. The first picture is a Martha Pullen Pleater which I paid $7 for, $160 new. I'm not sure if it was every used. The stickers are still on it and the manual and warranty card are in the box.

The second picture is two packets of patterns for the American Girl Dolls. I really don't know why I got them except they were a good deal which is not a good enough reason, maybe I'll sell them on E-Bay. The origami I am going to use for Christmas. At this point I want to give gifts in a package that can be either used for something else or in a package that is recyclable.  Each was $1.

The third picture is cotton yarn. I don't have a clue what I will make but I think I have enough of each color to make something light for a baby in summer. There are four balls of the blue and three of the black/white variegated ( I wonder where the third ball went to, its not in the picture?). Each ball was $.50.

The husband did decide definitely to put his name in for the job. Obviously time will tell the outcome, I am just ready to stay put. If we stay where we are now I want to buy some property and quit renting. We have the money to get started, even though we still have our home in New England which has been for sale for 2.5 years.  I estimate it will be at least another 2 years before it sells.

Currently working on some Christmas Gifts, knitting. Will show pictures as items get finished. The New York Wool and Sheep Festival is this weekend, it will be fun. Right now it is raining so hope it gets totally done with that before Saturday.

Did some shopping at Rite Aid tonight. Spent $41 and will get $47 back in rebates. Bought cough drops, baby medicine, nasal spray, and others. No picture as it is already put away.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Never settled

My head is going to explode. As soon as I think we are settled somewhere my husband is looking at another job. If we move again I told him this is it, the last time. I want to settle, plant some trees, grow roots, develop friendships, have my children feel they can move close to me and I won't move away.

Year 1 (2011) Plans:
1. Purchase a farm vehicle (small pick-up).
2. Plant fruits/vegetables:
    A. Raspberries
    B. Strawberries
    C. Apples
    D. Blueberries
    E. Juneberries.
    F. Red Rhubarb
    G. Asparagus
    H. Kiwi bushes.
     I. Peach trees (?)
     J. Pear trees (?)
3. Take two weaving classes.
4. Pay off American Express.
5. Save to $38,000 in 401K plan (Current approx $30,000).
6. Save $2,000 in Online Bank.
7. Save $1000 in local credit union (emergency fund).
8. Plant garden.
9. Purchase property.
10. Get rid of 360 items.

That is it, year one, the foundation, the start. This is certainly doable as long as I stay focused. Tomorrow I need to start my 401K deductions again.

Had a lovely weekend. The weather was mild, in the 60s and breezy. I'm working on getting some of the stuff done around here that never seems to get done. Cleaned the garage doors and the light fixture in the kitchen. Tomorrow D, J and I will go shopping, pick up a few items. Went to an estate sale this weekend which was fabulous. I got a $160 pleater for $7, some yarn, origami papers and American Girl patterns. It was great fun. D got a manual typewriter. For some reason she loves manual typewriters. It came with a cute little desk. We found some books and building toys for J.

Roasted a chicken for supper, it was yummy and will have leftovers potpie or Enchilada's on Tuesday. Also made brownies and applesauce muffins which are really good too.

Friday, October 8, 2010

New Style of Living

Instead of writing a journal in a book, I'll journal online. This will hopefully be my journal of successful life style change. A change from living in the Northeast to Midwest, moving from the "McMansion" to the rural setting and producing a majority of our food.

My motivation has several facets. I have a very strong feeling that our government is heading us into the ditch and we will have to be able to provide for our own families and that times are going to get very tough. Also I feel we need to treat our planet more gently. I'm not a tree hugger but do believe we have to do better than we are. Finally I want to provide nutritious food for my family. Food that I know what has been put on it and where it came from.

I have a five year plan, which is probably way to simplistic, but it is my plan and it is at least something to start with.  By the  year 2017 I want to be totally self sufficient and have retired from my job which is totally not fulfilling.

My Ultimate Goals:
1. Fruit sufficiency.
2. Vegetable sufficiency.
3. Chickens for eggs.
4. Honeybees (?)
5. Wind Power.
6. Financial Freedom (savings and investing).
7. Debt free.
8. 100% Homemade Holidays.
9. Proficient weaver (money generator).
10. Made from scratch eating.

Tomorrow I will post my first year goals which my year starts in 2011. Obviously I am giving myself the luxury of a few month's head start but that is okay, it is my life.