Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Snow At Last!!!!!

I can't say that I do not like the snow. This morning when I woke up, there was snow. My husband was not happy at all. So I tried not to show my excitement. The truth is that my beautiful horse, Georgie Girl loves snow. She likes to take a bite of her grain, and then a bite of snow at the same time. Normally, I have to go get a shovel full for her to eat, but when the snow is fresh like this, she eats it right off the stone wall near her spot. She was in a very good mood, so I was too. Even, my dog, Nikita was running and rolling in the snow like a puppy. So everyone really, with the exception of my husband and my cat, Patches was happy with the first snowfall of the year. We did have a light dusting a couple of times. But not enough for me to consider it a snowfall.

I have been very busy with my home-based business, Peaceful Forest. I am making new banners to promote products. Adding affiliate links. Adding new products. Writing articles. So busy, I don't know whether I am coming or going. But I like it. Working at home sounds like it's not really working. But it's just as much work as paid employment, and most times it's more. I work more than 12 hours a day 7 days a week on my computer. But I do have the luxury, of being able to squeeze in chores and things in my work day. So my work days are long. But I am not complaining.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Noisy Horse!


Today was a pretty quiet day, unless you consider that my husband's horse, Dark Shadow was in weird mood. For one thing all three of our horses are related, as I have told on here before. So she is the aunt to my smaller horse, who is a TB/Shetland cross, and she is so lovable. But Dark Shadow just picks on her all the time. So today, she kept kicking the lean-to (3 sided building attached to the barn) because Tawny was behind it. My husband gets so mad at her! But I think it's like children playing or fighting. So I had to go outside and spend some time brushing her and babying her. She seemed much better after that. Sometimes, she just wants some attention and that works. She will scream real loud and then bang, she kicks the building. Sounded like a gun today! I thought somebody shot her!!!! But my husband knew it was her. So I run out to her, and that's just what she wanted.

This afternoon we started getting our normal rain. We always get rain here if it gets warm at all. Usually, this time of year, we'd be having much snow and wind. So I am not complaining. My brother called me this morning, and he says it is supposed to get cold tomorrow. So we'll see. I don't mind the cold and the snow, as long as we have a house full of wood! I cook on my wood cookstove all the time, so that stove is usually going. It is so much easier to cook on then conventional type stoves. Plus, your food tastes so much better! But you've heard that before haven't you? In the future, I will be writing one about cooking on one. Which is a dream come true!!!

Hay this year, is hard to come by. It rained so much during our summer, that many of farmers who sell hay, were unable to get it in. So the ones that did, now raised their prices to over a dollar more a bale. I guess, my spoiled girls might end up eating a round bale of cow hay. They have always eaten the best, but now we have such a hard time getting it. If I didn't already own my horses, I wouldn't get one now. But we would never sell these girls. They would not do well anywhere else. Life here is a lot different than at ordinary horse places. They are very special horses.


I'll be back tomorrow, so be sure to stop back by.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Being Self Reliant!

I have just realized that I am really a homesteader. I am self reliant! This makes me proud. But until today, I kept looking at my house, that after eight years of living here, I still did not have my plumbing in, or my downstairs bedroom built on, so I must be doing something wrong. But no, this is not a disadvantage. It is clearly, an advantage over the present system the general public lives with. Their life of paying bills. Of running in place for their whole life.

Today, I would like to touch a little on the subject of homesteading, and what it means to me. Lately, I have been feeling financially stressed, as there were many places that I wanted to put my money. Too many! There are always things that you need, or run out of, and then there are things that you really need to fix, or to do, that take that money. But when you start homesteading, you are trying to be independent, self sufficient or, self reliant. So let's see what that covers, food, shelter and heat (especially in the winter!). If we grow our own food, and basically eat only that, then you are on the right track. Shelter, would have to be your home, so the best thing you could do, is to pay off your mortgage as soon as possible. And for heat, you would need to provide it yourself. So you would need a woodstove for heat, and maybe a wood cookstove for cooking, plus, a forest of trees, needing to be pruned. And that takes care of your basic needs.

Your next basic needs, would be clothing and that would include shoes too. So now, this is when you start using that money. Thrift stores, garage sales, rummage sales, free cycle are all good places to start looking for some used clothing. Make a list, with the sizes you are looking for and spend a day shopping. But under no circumstances, should you purchase your clothing at a new store! Issue yourself a challenge to go a whole year without buying one piece of new clothing, with the exception of shoes, sock or underclothes. What I plan on doing, is to check the newspapers for garage sales in the rich areas of your next closest city and spend the day there. What a fun idea! You could probably get some great clothes.

Now for transportation. I can't do much on that. I already have a vehicle with a payment, and even though I hate having a payment, I love driving a vehicle that I don't have to worry constantly about. I hated those clunkers, that you didn't know if you'd get home or not. Plus, with a decent vehicle, it seems like your gas lasts longer. I'm not sure if that is true or not. I just know that I love my Dodge Dakota pick up! But if something happened, I do have three strong horses who could, and would, travel many miles if they had to. I even have a doctor's buggy for them to drive!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Fall In New York Is Beautiful!

My newest form of entertainment has become my bird feeding station under my apple tree. I can watch them while I am washing dishes or doing most anything in the kitchen. I always had just one suet feeder and hanging feeder and there is a large rock out there that I put feed on for my ground feeders. Just lately though, I have 6 beautiful blue jays out there every day. What a show it is to watch them trying so hard to feed on the small suet feeders! Usually, my smaller chickadees and nuthatches feed on that. And they end up getting pushed out since the blue jays are so much larger. So this week I purchased a larger suet feeder, which has a shelf on the side for the bird to stand on and the blue jays fit on it just fine. Solved that problem!

My cat, Hobo thinks I feed the birds for her entertainment! She hides around my various gardening beds, and even right behind the rock that I put feed on. But they seem to know she is there. In 2003, someone threw her off the bridge near my house. I had to nurse her back to health as she had a hole in her head, blood coming out her eye, nose and mouth. My husband warned me not to get too attached as he might have to put her out of her misery. I started bathing her with 4 herb tea, a generic brand of Essiac tea available at http://www.herbalhealer.com/essiac.html.

Anyway, she survived, and is an important member of our family now. But she wasn't too trusting in the beginning, and must have had a bad life before coming here. She has lost most of her teeth, and is petite in size, but a tough little girl, and a awesome hunter. She is not afraid of most things and will put all kinds of critters on our door step. I have the feeling that whoever had her before, and threw her off that bridge, probably did it in anger. She has a way of thinking that nobody can tell her what to do, and will growl, and in the early days here, would strike out with a claw or two. She doesn't do that anymore, but I have more patience than most. Especially with my animals!

We have been having unseasonably beautiful weather here in upstate New York. And I just love it! Nothing puts me in a better mood than seeing that sun shining! Gives me power too, since I use solar power to generate my electricity. Next year, I hope we can install a wind turbine. Then we will probably never have to use our generator. Great news on that. Though I am planning on getting a bread machine, and figure I will probably have to use the generator for that. But I will be using it for mixing and kneading only, and bake the bread in my oven. I just don't have enough time or energy to make it completely from scratch anymore. So this will work for me.

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and didn't eat too much. Now it's the time of year for more festivities and all those holiday goodies. Enjoy it but don't go overboard.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Random Thoughts

Many people cannot sacrifice to get what they want. If it doesn't come fast or easily, they just give up on their dream. I see it many times in people around me. I cannot tell you how many times, I have had people ask me, all kind of questions about living off the grid, and using solar panels to generate my electricity. They are so interested in it. Yet they are afraid of going without those trivial things such as television or microwaves. Even if I lived with grid power, I would not use either of those things anyway! Such time wasters! Yes, a microwave is a time waster, as it ruins your food. I will not eat food that is zapped in a microwave. A television is a mind waster. I would much rather read or write, or talk to the person I am with. Yet, they will say that is their dream! How can it be then, that they are not trying to live that way now?

When visitors come to my Peaceful Forest Homestead, they are struck by the quiet, peaceful way of life here. And that is with us working on computers all day long. Surrounded by thousands of acres of state forest land, regardless of the season, it is a place of beauty and peacefulness. This morning, the sun is shining throught the tall trees, highlighting the bright orange and red leaves that haven't fallen off some of the trees yet. Even winter here is wonderous to view! My chickadees have been going through my bird feeders like a house on fire! They just can't get enough. I love the morning sounds of the chickadees demanding more feed from me.

What strikes me is the uncaring ways that the younger people have become. They show no respect to people older than themselves. They talk like they come right off the streets, and maybe they do. Some think it's cool to be that way. To me, they only sound childish. Immature. Ignorant. Uneducated. Need I go on? These are the people coming up. Most were born in the 70's. You would think they would gain some common sense and decency by now. They think they are shocking you! Oh my goodness, young man or woman, you do not shock me! I probably know more than you do. It's just that I know the things that are important to survive in this world and you most likely, do not. And you probably never will.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thoughts From Peaceful Forest Homestead

Chicken and biscuits or dumplings is VERY popular at my house. So I try to make that often. We are not big pasta eaters, but do eat it occasionally. So the ground beef, which I try to can and have on hand, usually will be used in one of those type of dishes. This year, I did not get many tomatoes, as we had way too much rain to be productive for tomatoes. I do not buy very many processed foods, so making my own sauce and canning it, is something I do every year. So this year, I didn't do any. I don't think my husband will miss it anyway.

My raised beds have been shut down for the winter. They are mostly covered with leaves due to the fact that I live in the forest. It has been the most beautiful fall that we have had in a long time. Usually the rain and the wind has blown the leaves off the trees, before they even turn color anymore. So this year, we were very lucky. But now, we are getting our rain for the fall. Last year, we had 13 days of rain straight in a row in October. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that we are getting so much rain. It doesn't bother me too much, as now, our beautiful horses have a barn to keep dry in. But their paddock is a big mud pit. I keep getting stuck in it.

I don't know if I had mentioned this before or not. My husband has a gift with horses and most animals in general. Most animals, will seek him out of a crowd to come to him. One time at the state fair in Syracuse, this one big Clydesdale, kept catching his eye. If you really know anything about animals or have spent any real time with them, you will learn to communicate with them through their eye contact. And anyone who makes the statement that animals don't feel or think like a human, do not really know animals either. They usually say that, to justify their treatment of their animals, whether they are for food or pets. Animals have very strong feels and attachments. I know.

My dog, Nikita, is a very intelligent dog. She knows what you are saying in your conversations and will react on it. Sometimes, we have mentioned one of her siblings, such as our cat, Nutmeg, in the conversation we are having, and she will look directly at her. Like she knew what we said about her. Which of course, she did. She has feelings, and her feelings can get hurt very easily, just by what you might say to someone else, if it is about her. Most of time, she is a very happy girl. She has never had to live in a city or a town. She can go outside whenever she pleases - even in the middle of the night, if she wishes.

I have learned though, that people are the worst judge of animals, and what they think about taking care of them, or how they think a animal is feeling. My feelings as of right now, is to stay away from the human species as much as possible and you won't get hurt or mad. And I intend to do both!

Have a great day!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Busy Storing Food For The Winter

Today has been quite a busy day for me, so I don't know how I found the time to write this for my blog. I was given 6 Butternut squash by my friend and was keeping them in my pantry. But our New York weather is just so unpredictable, and it warmed up. Usually, by this time of the year our big wood heating stove is going full blast. We are just heating with the cookstove for now. So anyway, my pantry is not as cool as usual for storing squash and apples. My house does have a big bin in the root cellar, but I'm afraid that mice rule down there. So I have to store them in my pantry, where I can send my three cats in to keep things in order.So the squash started molding on the stem. Better get them canned today!

Yesterday at my local Price Chopper, the produce manager was so kind, to put over 5 pounds of bananas in a brown paper bag on sale for ninety-nine cents. They were all singles and their time was almost up. But they were very eatable. And this morning I made a banana pudding trifle. I make it with homemade vanilla pudding, and instead of Cool-Whip, I make my own from a topping mix, I get from my local Mennonite store. So that'll be our dessert tonight. Now, I may have passed up that bag of bananas and bought a small bunch for us, as there is only the two of us. But my Homesteading Today forum members, Tightwad Tips thread, has been teaching me a thing or two. They would have bought them and some of them would have froze them. But I do not have that option. My freezer is too small for much good use. But I made the dessert, and we both did eat a couple of bananas yesterday, and my husband had a couple this morning.

Less than a month ago, I purchased a 50 pound bag of carrots at my produce market and canned 39 quarts. So I figure, I need double that amount. I used carrots in many of my recipes, it is afterall, my favorite vegetable. So if I canned more, that would give us a quart a week for a year and some for the horses, and some for using in various dishes. Since I have not had much success with growing carrots, I can get them stored in this manner. This is not to say, that I will quit trying to grow my own. I will keep trying. The other vegetables that I would like to can for the year in this manner, that is, enough for one quart a week would be green beans, corn (both creamed & regular), zucchini and tomatoes, but for cooking. Apples made into applesauce, would be another welcome addition to our table.


I like to can meats also. Whatever I can find on sale is fine. My favorite is stew of course. Since I can dried beans so they are more convenient to use, I will be not be canning chilie for the time being. Since I like to can ground beef, I can just make the chilie from scratch since everything is already canned. It will be easier that way and I think it will taste better too. Well, I'll see. Every time I grocery shop, I plan on purchasing a big package of some kind of meat and then can it. So it will not be something I plan on cooking soon. Pretty soon, we're going to have add on to my pantry. Or find a way to use my root cellar without having mice all over our food. I thought about getting Rubbermaid containers and storing canned jars in them down there. I always like being able to look at all my shelves of canned foods, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Unwelcome Visitor At Peaceful Forest Homestead

Another one of those rainy, gloomy days here in upstate New York. It just reminds us that winter in on the way. My house is in need of more insulation and winterizing. So many things, but never enough money to cover it all. I guess now I can understand why my own grandmother, who did not have much money at all, had newspapers stuffed in her windows! When I was a child that was something I always wondered about.

Today, a hunting dog has wandered onto our Peaceful Forest Homestead. It would not be so bad, except that he is a boy, and all they want to do is to pee all over our outside things! We have a well with a pitcher pump, and male dogs always want to christian it. Makes my husband very very angry!!!!! All our animals are female, as I have mentioned on here many times. So they just look at these males as if they came from outer space! Our dog, Nikita, was spade when a puppy, and has no interest in that kind of stuff. She never has been a wanderer, or a barker, and I suppose it makes me hard on other dogs who do all that. So now we have to wait all day for these people to respond to the message left on their answering machine.

Our horses for the most part like dogs. As long as they are not barkers, or the kind that want to chase them. Or, we have had some come here who want to bite their noses! Those are the dogs with a death wish!!! Our horses are very spirited mares. They are friendly, but don't mistake that for being passive. My stepson had a dog that used to bark at them when we were out feeding them. Our girls did not appreciate that fact. Dark Shadow, my husband's horse, would leave her feed dish and come to the fence, and seemed to say, "Come on Jake, come in here with us! We'll take care of your barking problem!" And she meant it!!!!!


Of course, animals have ways of dealing with problems much easier than people seem to. Course, this little hunting dog is just out looking for a girlfriend. But he is at the WRONG HOUSE! And today is not a day that I want to deal with it. I also have three cats, and they don't appreciate uninvited dogs coming over for the day. Callie, one of my cats, is very friendly to dogs. She'll even lick their faces! But she will also put a claw in them if she doesn't want them around. I have seen her many times chase a big stray dog down the road!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fall Is On The Way

It is Fall already here in upstate New York. We have been feeling it in the air for a couple of weeks already. Our Robins are gone. The only birds I hear now are the Blue Jays and Woodpeckers. I miss the Robins singing while I work out in my garden. Every year, that is what I look forward to - seeing my first Robin. Now, it's time to stock up on bird food, especially for the chickadees. They come right up to me and demand to be fed, all winter long.

I canned more green beans today. And made some banana bread. So I wasn't on my computer this morning. Some days, I just have to get my household chores done. Neither one of those chores are really chores to me. I love to can food! I buy it in the grocery store on sale and bring it home to can. Once I mastered using my pressure canners, I became the canning queen! My father taught me to can, and what he showed me how to make was grape jelly. As he grows lots of grapes. Now I usually can it as juice, and if I need jelly or jam, I can can that. Last year, I canned lots of Elderberry Jelly, so this year, I plan on canning the Elderberry Juice. As it is good to have around, as a preventive measure for catching the flu - even the bird flu!

My husband knows how to can food too. Our first year that we had a garden, he canned 40 quarts of corn, 49 quarts of green beans, over 50 of pickles and I canned 48 quarts of pumpkin. I was working at that time, and he was home, so he was left to do most of the gardening and canning. And we have never used a gasoline rototiller to do our gardens. My husband has one of those wheel hoes, that he plows our gardens with. Both houses we had gardens at had never had a garden before. So he had a lot of hard work to get it in. But he doesn't like the fumes in our garden area. Last year, he started building beds for our garden, and we both like them so much better. I built some stone beds too. And we plan on adding more of those. Our plan is to grow as much as our food as possible.

My tomatoes are still green as I got them in late, due to heavy rains we had here earlier in the spring. So if they don't turn red, I will bring them in and wrap them in paper and turn them red inside like that. Or I will, slice them and fry up some good ole fried green tomatoes, which is something we love! A couple of years ago, Jackie Clay (my favorite author, who writes at Backwoods Home Magazine) said that you could put them in a pie, and tell everyone it was a apple pie and nobody would know the difference. Well, I did that. My husband knew immediately that it was not a apple pie! He ate it, as he will not waste food (unless you give him onions or mushrooms!), but he was not crazy about it. Sorry, Jackie.

My brother, Mickey Dran, better known as "The Marshall", puts on a wild west show called "The Spirit of The Old West", and he has been doing this for a number of years now. Tomorrow his show will be robbing the Cooperstown Railroad in Cooperstown, New York. His show uses black powder guns, and the kids usually love it. They dress in period clothes, and he is a stickler for detail. So it should be a fun time for all!

Well, I'll try to be back tomorrow. Have a great week end!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sick Of Fighting!

Yesterday, I left my favorite forum, disappointed in what it has become. There are some good people on there, but too many others make it uncomfortable for other people to talk to each other about subjects they are interested in. I have a feeling that these forums have become nothing more than a place for people to try to force their opinions on others. If you discuss religion, politics or now, herbal medicines, there will always be a big fight. I cannot understand why it is allowed. But I for one, do not have to subject myself to the stress of some obnoxious know it all!


This guy, Big BobK thinks he is the authority on herbal medicines. It would be one thing if he knew what he was talking about! I have the feeling this guy is lonely and has nothing better to do, except to annoy anyone who would like to discuss this particular subject. I do not rely on Allopath Medicines. I have seen what they do. But I also realize there is a time and place for it. There are certain things it is needed for, but not all. He is a all or nothing kind of guy. When someone is discussing a medical treatment, even if I would never use it or think it is a worthwhile, if someone was posting about it, I would not argue or say they are wrong. I probably would not even go to that posting at all. Not Big Bobk!!! Oh no! I think he has a watch on his profile, so if a certain subject is being discussed, he can post on it immediately.


But I have also seen the surprising results of what herbal medicines do. And the fact that it appears like there is no research to substantiate the claims, well in our country, yes, that is correct. Our country for example does not want you to discover a cure for the diseases that they make big money off. Such as Hepatitis C, Cancer, Parkinson's Disease and MS, just to name a few. What do you think would happen if they discovered that drinking a simple tea that you could mix up in your kitchen could prevent or cure your cancer? Then wouldn't everybody want to take it? What would happen to all the cancer research centers? The Cancer Society? You are talking about big money here. For example, look at all the people working in these places. Then there is all the money paid for treatments, medications, insurance and just all the money it generates when you have to travel to a cancer center and your family has to stay in hotels and eat in restaurants. Big money. And lots of tax dollars!

So if you have anything wrong with you and you just follow along with the medical professionals' instructions, you are just as guilty as they are. I would never do that. I believe you have to research your illness first, then find out what you can. I myself, trust the Chinese treatments first. They have been doing these things for centuries. They treat you for the disease, not the just the symptoms. Herbal and Chinese remedies have been around alot longer than our medical community even existed. They were not making big money on these things. Now health care is really racking up the money and don't forget about those tax dollars either! Even Japan now says that Essiac Tea is the cure for Cancer.

I posted links to Dr. Weil, but of course Big BobK ignored that, because Dr. Weil is of course, well known and respected. And he tried to make it seem like milk thistle was useless for Hepatitis C, which it's not. And Dr. Weil says right on his site, "I’ve known a number of patients who have reversed hepatitis C using milk thistle in conjunction with another natural remedy, Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis), the fruit of a Chinese plant. Schizandra berries, like milk thistle, are nontoxic and support healthy liver function." Dr. Weil also recommends people seeing or contacting Dr. Qingcai Zhang. Here is some background information on him:


Graduated from Shanghai Second Medical University in 1962, trained in both Western and Chinese medicine.

Associate Professor of Medicine at Shanghai's Second Medical University
World Health Organization Scholarship awarded to fund two-year Fellowship from Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital
Visiting Professor at University of California at Davis.
Principal Investigator of Oriental Healing Arts Institute. Long Beach, California.
Research Fellow of Wakai Pain Clinic of Nagoya, Japan.
Over 36 years of clinical, teaching, and research experience in hospitals, universities, and research institutes.
Invited by Mt. Sinai Medical University's Hepatology and Gastroenternology Department to speak on alternative treatments for Hepatitis C
Invited by the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, Cornell University and Rockefeller University, to speak on various topics relating to alternative herbal treatments for Hepatitis C
Recently invited by John Hopkins Medical University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Department of International Health, to speak on topics relating to treating Hepatitis C, Lyme Disease and Malaria using Traditional Chinese Medicine
ZHANG CLINIC is highly recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil. (Many patients are direct referrals from Dr. Weil.)

Dr.Zhang is a member of Dr.Weil's science advisory board.


Sounds like he knows a little bit more than Big BobK! And people listen to him too! They pay him big bucks for his advice. Not BobK. But he'd probably argue about that if he got the chance.


The thing is, that drugs are toxic to your system, and your body fights the drugs. So that is what causes your side effects, your body is trying to fix it. But herbal remedies are food, and your body is nourished with them. It just makes sense. So think for yourself and what kind of life you want. Maybe, you should start a alternative health program now, to prevent having to use extreme measures later.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Spending Money On The Little Things


People from other countries have the misconception that all of us Americans are very successful and rolling in money. That is so far from the truth. Most of us are surviving paycheck to paycheck, and that is with not paying all your bills due on time. You just can't. Our government may help other countries (but always with a reason to benefit themself) when in need, but not our own people. Actually, I believe it our government workers job to keep us all poor. They make money off the poor, always has and always will.

So if you are living in our country, trying to make it is not easy, unless you have a really good job, such as being a professional person. Believe me, there are alot more people living in poverty in the United States than most people would believe. So how do you manage to get by? By doing what you have to do. And that is that most people cut the grocery budget first. Most of them just can not do without their televisions. Just can't even imagine it! Or their fast foods. So what does that leave them? Not much.

My husband and I have been driving every Sunday to the nursing home to visit his mother, who had recently had her legs amputated. On the way home, as our treat to ourselves, we have been buying 2 large milkshakes at McDonalds. $6.03. Yesterday, he said to me, "for less than that, we could buy a whole half gallon of ice cream. We are paying that much for not much of anything." (Except that we look forward to it, and makes our ride home more enjoyable.) So I though about it even more. And for $24.12 a month, which is what our two milkshakes are costing us, we could go out to a nice restaurant once a month. Or we could buy a couple of steaks to grill at home. But look at it even closer, at the end of the year, it comes to $289.44, a year's worth of McDonald's milkshakes! And this was a luxury for us. We don't usually do things like this. But what about the family who gets take out several times a week? Add it up and see what it comes to.

On a popular forum that I frequent, the members have a challenge going to see if they could stick to not buying anything for a year. Could you? It doesn't include food and necessities. But extras, like clothing that is something you just want, not something you desperately need, books, magazines, housewares that are not something you really need, you know what I mean. Some of the people are doing it to try to save some money for something special. It's a good exercise in self control. People spend way too much money on silly things anyway. I can say that, as I do not spend money on anything except things I need to live. My books come from my paperbackswap club. I am going to do it too, but have decided what I intend to do is to try to add something to my income during this time. That's what I need to work on. If you have any ideas for me, please go to my website and contact me at www.larrylupole.com and you'll see my name right on there.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Nutmeg Lupole May 12, 1989 - July 27, 2006


Yesterday morning was the saddest morning of my life. My little girl, Nutmeg passed away. She died peacefully at home, with her family present. She turned 17 years old on May 12, 2006. Nutmeg was born on a goat farm in Castle Creek, New York in 1989. She quickly became a very important member of my family. At the time, she came to live with me, I already had one other Siamese cat, Popcorn, who was 14 years old.


I can't begin to explain the pain I am feeling today, missing my little girl. She was a very special cat and I will never forget her. I have three other cats, but Nutmeg was my constant companion, even sleeping with me at night or sitting on my lap while I am working on my computer. Our house seems very empty this morning without her presence here. The other cats are outside during the day, but she was always inside. It was her choice.

My husband built her a box out of some barn wood, and I wrapped her in one of my flannel shirts. We buried her near my stone garden beds, so I could see her grave from my kitchen window. She always liked to be in the kitchen with me when I was working in there. So this way, when I do my dishes, I can look out on her grave. I will be planting catnip near it next year and maybe some pretty flowers. My husband will go down to the creek and find a special stone for her.


I just want to say, "Nutmeg, it was a great 17 years! I will never forget you or stop thinking about you. You were never "just a cat" to your family. We will love you forever."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Closed My Ebay Store Just In Time!!!!!


I was right! A few days ago, I closed my eBay store, Lupole's Peaceful Forest. It made me a little sad, but I felt it was the right move. eBay is struggling to stay on top, and in the process they are stepping on us little people (sellers). What they may have forgotton is, who do they think is on ebay all day long working on their little stores? The store sellers, that's who. Who do they think are their buyers? The same sellers of course! But they forgot that. My days of buying on eBay has been over for awhile now. I like to buy books on Amazon, as the shipping costs are so much less. I belong to the Paperback Swap at http://www.paperbackswap.com and I get my books for free there.  You will get 3 free credits as soon as you list 9 books, which you can use immediately!

The best thing to do if you are looking for a home business is to find a product that is easy to package and store. So your inventory won't take up much room. You can store it in your house and print your labels from your computer, package it up and put it in your mailbox. It is best to concentrate on one product in the beginning and then branch out from there as you have some success with the first one. You can add related products that go with the first one. One other thing to do is to find a product that is needed repeatedly by a consumer group. Something that goes with a bigger product or that is needed more than one time. Like people who sell vitamins know that if you like them and need them you will purchase them over and over.

Be sure to purchase all your packaging supplies in bulk. That is the best way to get them for the least amount of money. I have bought mine for a few years now from big packaging sellers on eBay. Only thing is the seller will be a big powerseller then all of a sudden..............they are gone. What happens to them? And why? Seems as if they were selling huge supplies to the other sellers on eBay as well as others. That has happened to my suppliers three times now! I cannot understand it.

Hopefully, I will do okay on my own on my site. Just need to put all my efforts in it and it should take off. I will try to get back tomorrow to post here but will be busy working on developing my business. Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

June Is Here!

June is here and it appears like a perfect summer may be headed our way. Our Spring has been just beautiful. Just enough rain, not hard downpours, like we usually get. My home is surrounded by the Ludlow Creek State Forest, and it is breathtaking. It looks like the Garden Of Eden must have looked. Everything is a deep green, the birds are always singing - and they are happy songs - not the angry ones I used to hear when I live in the city of Vestal, NY.

I have had reasons lately to go into the city nearby, Binghamton, NY. It makes me so sad to see how that city has changed. My mother grew up there and it was a whole different world back then. My grandmother raised chickens right in the city, grew a huge garden every year and canned all her produce. She worked, of course, at Endicott Johnson Shoe Factory (most people did back then!), and her co-workers shared their bounty with her. She always took it and canned it. My mother's family did not suffer from no food in the depression, because my grandmother knew how to provide it. She was raised on a farm in Pennsylvania, so of course she knew what to do.

She raised all her girls to know how to do all those things and more. They learned to sew, crochet, knit, and whatever else they had to do to take care of their families in bad times. Back then when someone lost their job and did not have any means to take care of their children, the parents would take the children to the orphanages and leave them there. My grandmother fought against that and did whatever she could to hang onto her children.

Anyway, I have been moving all my merchandise out of my eBay store. Somebody said that eBay was broken and I think they are correct. It is no longer feasible for me to keep my items for sale on there, especially when my own website, www.larrylupole.com/catalog gets way more traffic. So I can even lower my prices there and charge a very minimal shipping fee with no handling fees! It is just great. And so much easier to maneuver. I have been adding many different products there this week. So if you get a chance come take a look and see what you'd like!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Downloading Free Programs Is Dangerous!

Recently, I downloaded a screensaver from www.appleblossomart.com because she had a great looking screensaver which showed horses running in the snow. I am such a sucker for a horse! Anyway, it had all kinds of problems. First, I could not use it. So I ended up paying $10. for it and it still would not work. So I left it alone. I made my own screensaver with my Windows program using the pictures from a favorite movie, Ride With The Devil.

A couple of weeks ago, I find out that I had a Trojan horse that came in on that screensaver download. I contacted the woman who has Apple Blossom Art, thinking she might want to know that she was spreading this around the internet. No, she didn't care about anything except that she did not want to take responsibility for it. Well, she is responsible for it. I am sorry that she is handicapped, which is all she cares about telling you. And I was more than happy to pay for the screensaver, but could never use it. But that is no excuse for what she is spreading around the internet on her free screensavers!

Recently, I have been trying to add a credit card processing program to my website www.larrylupole.com/catalog. I have to go through all kinds of paperwork and security safe guards to accompolish this. To make sure that everything is perfectly safe and that no one could get into my buyers' credit card information. But these spyware and adware programs are allowed to exist and we have to learn how to protect ourselves and our computers from them. I am hoping that my state of New York will start something to stop them. They were the first to introduce the famous, "Do Not Call" Registry for telemarketers. And I was one of the first people to sign up for that great service!

Now, my husband is having trouble trying to get rid of a spyware program called Mediaflex that he believes came in on his FTP download. We are not new to the computer world and work on them all the time. But if they can attach themselves on our computers, they can do it to most anybody's. These programs keep track of what you are doing, what you are buying, which sites you visit, even your passwords, sign-ins and maybe even your credit information. I think it's time for everyone to stand up for our freedom from this type of abuse on our computers!

I used to be involved in Affliate Marketing. For people not familar with it, you put a company's banner or link on your web pages and everytime someone clicks it and buys something, you get a percentage of that sale and any future sales that person makes. There were some guys who went into the affiliates' html and put a redirect on those links and banners so instead of having your id number on the link, it would have their's. So they would get credit for a sale from your site and you would never know! On the Affiliate Marketing Forums, these guys were known as Parasites.

Yes, doing business on the internet is almost as bad as dealing with the shoplifters and street thugs!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Nice February Day!


Today was a reasonably nice day for February. It was sunny and pleasant. I have been so busy on my website adding new products. To sell online, you have to work at that all the time. People come there looking for something new. We have added all kinds of new things and it's really shaping up. The funny thing is that I also have the ebay store and all and have been listing on there for awhile, but my site is a os commerce store and it is so much easier and faster than listing on ebay. You'd think it would be the other way around!

I know I talk about my animals a lot. But they are my family. My three horses loved the weather today. They were frisky, running and playing. But they really do like snow and cold weather the best though. Even our dog, Nikita loves cold weather, course she has a lot of hair. But she loves to roll in the snow or lay in the snow chewing on a bone. Then she comes inside and curls up right behind the woodstove on the hearth. When she gets too hot, I have to make her move away.

I love the internet and would like to arrange my life so I just would not have to go anywhere at all. Just buy everything I need right here from my computer. I know I could not buy my horses' their hay that way. But I could get have it delivered just like I have my firewood delivered. You can do all your banking and paying bills online. There are many many sites to purchase food from. And all your household supplies too.

I'll be back tomorrow...

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What Happened To January???????????????


Georgie waiting for the lean to being built in 2000

Today is the last day of January. Usually, January is so cold and snowy that my husband tears the page off the calendar before the month is over. Then February is never much better. Some years back, we used to have what was called a "January thaw", where the weather would warm a bit, and the snow would thaw. Then February would come in with a vengence. But we hadn't had one of those in years in the area of which I live. Now, I am completely perplexed at what the future of our weather will be.


If I knew the weather would hold out, I would try to get some seeds started for my garden. But I can't put them in the ground anyway till May at least. Usually. My ground is usually still frozen rock hard in March. Carla Emery used to put her peas in early, I'm thinking maybe in April. But usually, I don't get anything in that early. But this year, I will be planting in my new raised beds (that I told you about when my husband was building them), and I am trying to implement Ruth Stout's method of gardening. That should make the whole process so much easier for me.

There is so many things you have to do to prepare for the months ahead. You are either trying to get through the winter or it is spring, summer and fall when you are trying to prepare for the upcoming winter. Whew! So much work and so little time. Tires you up but you cannot give in to it. Keep prodding along and you will be finished.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Barbie Dolls And Mothers


This is a book that I have for sale in my ebay store.





Last week, I sold three Barbie doll dresses that I had in my ebay store. I felt good about it since, the buyer seemed like she really cared about her purchase. You see, I did not make these myself, I wish I could say that I did. But my mother made these. She could crochet for hours. Her stitches were always perfect. I can look at other people's crocheted items and they just never compare to her's.

When she became pregnant with me, she wanted a girl so badly, that she started crocheting fancy dresses. She figured that if she had another boy, she would give the dresses to one of the family members that were pregnant at the same time. It turned out that three of my aunts and one cousin, were also pregnant at the same time. She told me that she thought someone would possibly have a girl. Well, that year, 1952 must have been a good year for girls! As they all had a girl! But I got all the dresses.

This is a jumpsuit that I have listed in my store. There are more items available there.




All my years at home, she crocheted all my dolls' clothes. Especially, the Barbie dolls, as they were my favorites. I still have the dolls and the clothes. I haven't sold any of them. The doll clothes that I am selling are ones she had made for me to sell. She also crocheted over fifty baby sweaters that I will be selling also. The best part of that is that she was bedridden the last few years of her life, suffering from Cushing's Syndrome. But this gave her something to do, and she did beautiful work, even with her hands shaking and living on pain medication.

When I was a teen ager, she sewed all my clothes. Back then, Cher was my idol. So she made me those bell bottom outfits just like Cher's. My clothes were different from everyone else's and back then, that was a good thing. It meant you were an individual and you stood out from the crowd.

She died in November of 2002. I miss her dearly, and she will always live on in me and my brother. She was a great mother and when I see the kind of mothers there are now, I thank my lucky stars I was born to her. She did work out, but we lived in small town areas and most of the time in the country. We were not glued to a television, and sometimes when she came home from working, her and my father would just take us swimming or some other fun thing.

Anyway, if you have time to check out my store in the next day or so, you will be able to see some of her doll clothes. They are beautiful, and I do wish I could find some more, after these sell. I was never good at handiwork myself. These will make some little girl a wonderful gift, as they can be played with and washed in a machine safely.


Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Back To Work Today

Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow Relaxing!


Today, I finally got my power system back! I am like a addict getting her fix. I can't help it and I do not apologize for the fact that I love working on my computer. It is what I do. I remember very well, those days of going to a job and doing what someone else told me to do for a few lousy bucks in my pocket, that barely paid for my gas to get there! Who wants that kind of life anyway? It's true if you ask around, that most people hate their jobs, and especially hate it when they have to go to work.

So this morning, my wonderful husband fixed our system and got me back online! My work is way behind. I have my eBay store and I was trying to list enough things to get it up to 1000. But now I am far behind my goal. I had 560, but people kept buying things! I guess I shouldn't be complaining about that, and I'm not. That's what I want.

Today, was a rainy rainy day in upstate New York. Our horses hate rain. But they love snow. They would rather have snow any day. Even summer weather doesn't please our girls as much as a heavy snow fall! They hate bugs, storms, hot days, etc. But when it snows, they are running and rearing up and playing like young fillies. They love rolling in the snow! Two of our girls, Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow, want to eat their grain with the snow. So I end up looking for snow and putting it next to their grain so they can eat happily. Right now, the rain washes away the snow, but this is January and I know it won't last. Not here. In New York state.

I will be back tomorrow so till then...... have a great day!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Cold Days Of January

This is Patches!


The last few days have gotten cold again so I am busy trying to stay warm. We have two wood stoves in our house. One is a big Alasksa wood heating stove. It is a big sheet metal stove, with two big cooking surfaces on it. I love it. I heat all my water on that stove and since it's right next to my bathroom, it's pretty easy to carry the water to the bath tub. Some day, we will have the gravity fed water system in, maybe this coming summer. But for now this is what we use and I am quite happy with it.

Our other wood stove is a Jewel wood cookstove, made by The Detroit Stove Company. It is black cast iron and has Zinc fancy work on it. It is old and has some cracks and broken spots on it. But I am able to cook and bake with it. In fact, I cook my Thanksgiving dinner on it every year, and it comes out looking like the dinners you see in the pictures. I cook the best meals on that stove! My breakfasts can't be beat!

Since my system is down right now, (I am working off my battery, and right now I am charging my computer battery off the little bit of power that I can get from the sun today) I am trying to do little bits of work, as I can. I think we are going to plan on purchasing a wind turbine this year. I wanted to add more solar panels, but think the wind turbine would be a good addition for the winter months, when we do not get much sun. Our system keeps changing it's design as we live with it and see what we need.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sun Is Shining In New York Today!!!!!!!

Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow



Today is a warm day for January in New York state. Usually our Januarys are pretty cold and snowy. Our woodstove has been banked back most of the night. I do have two kerosene heaters that I can usually use when it's too warm for the woodstove. But with the price of kerosene I have really cut back on using it. Our lighting in our house is mostly kerosene lamps, and I have cut back on how many of those I light presently. That's the nice part of using solar, that is when you have sunshine, is that you can use the electric lights and the cost is free. I mean, six years without paying a electric bill really adds up.

I am waiting for my control box to come from Backwoods Solar. We bought quite a few parts of our system from them, as they cater to the off the grid home. I also purchased my gas cooking range from them. It is a stove that does not have the glow bar in the oven that doesn't work without the electricity. Doesn't make sense why they put that on the newer stoves. Mine doesn't even have a timer or a clock or a light inside. I don't waste power on the little things. And I love the stove, but I also have a wood cookstove (and that doesn't have those little "yuppie" things either!).

I have to work fast on my computer today, as our system is down. I just come on to check my website and then get my packages ready to mail out. My feedback on eBay is up to 472 and I am dying to get to that 500th feedback! Then I get a new star! But it is my own goal to get there by the end of this month. I just set my own goals and then try to accomplish them. I do the same with our homestead.

There's a picture of my horses, Georgie Girl and Dark Shadow at the top of this page. They are completely devoted to each other. Georgie Girl is the boss mare and very intelligent. They both had the same father. But they weren't close until we bought them, and it seemed like they knew they were going to be leaving that farm together. They bonded then, and have stayed that way all these years. We have had them here for almost six years now, it'll be six in May. Tawny, who is their niece, came two years later. She is the low horse on the totem pole, but she is tough and can take it.

I'll be back tomorrow as long as the sun shines in New York!

Copyright © 2005 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Power System On The Blink!


Today, I must do a short blog as my power system has gone on the blink. I am waiting for the part to come from Backwoods Solar. Our generator is the type that is DC power only, and it has a control box that has quit working. So we are trying to keep busy on our homestead with other jobs instead of working on the computer. Not easy when you have a online business! 

This is not a problem with solar it is a problem with one of our components that makes up our system. Not solar. It shouldn't be a problem that will happen very often. I have a feeling that someone who helped my husband install the system did something wrong while he was helping and my husband did not check his work. So as soon as we figure it out and can repair it we will be back up with power.



Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, January 09, 2006

Find the horse in this picture!

Today, I have written on two different sites about not being accepted by family and friends for doing certain things different from the norm - or what is considered norm today. On my Homesteading Today forum, we were discussing the fact, of how others treat you because you chose to live without television and other such things in your life. Like I told them. when we moved here six years ago, we had a big screen television and I felt it would be out of place in our home. For one thing, our home is off the grid, so we would not have even considered wasting our power on a big power hog such as that. Another is that the center point of our living room is a big Alaska woodstove that sits on a big hearth. I did not think the tv would belong in that room. So we gave it to my step daughter, Hollie.

But I am not saying we do not have a smaller television. We do, but what we watch on it, is video or dvd movies. And not that often. It's more of a treat. And it is upstairs in our bedroom, so it's not just sitting there waiting for someone to turn it on. But you go to other people's houses and they have them on all the time. They never turn them off unless they go somewhere. Even when they have visitors they sit and watch it. Watching television is boring to me. I'd rather be on my computer doing something constructive with my time.

My husband's family, especially puts us down for living this lifestyle. And not only because we want to be homesteaders and raise our own food, but also, because I am an online retailer. They just don't take it seriously. It's not a real job to them and it's like having a hobby or something. I realize it is because they do not know the first thing about computers. They like to brag that they do not even know how to turn one on! Like that is something to brag about!!!! I figure they will all be left behind.

My question is this, why do people feel that they have the right to say derogatory things about someone else's lifestyle? And when their lifestyle leaves much to be desired? I mean, it's not like we are breaking the law or anything. I have a legal business lisence and file my sales tax every three or four months. So I am going to start telling these people to keep their opinions to themselves. And maybe I will start telling them what's wrong with their lifestyles. They are the ones who are all stressed out and running to the doctors all the time. Not us! Maybe, that's a sign that this lifestyle is good for your health and your peace of mind.
I'll never give it up.....
Here is a link to some really great looking tee shirts. You will also be helping a wonderful cause. You see, the USDA is doing it's best to make regulations state by state that all our homestead's animals have to be I.D.ed. And what that means, is that they can control the small farmer. It's suppose to be for meat animals, yet I understand, that horses are being included. We are definitely living in a goverment state. People, we are loosing our American rights, the word FREEDOM does not apply to the USA anymore. So check out this site and buy a shirt or two. Here is the link:

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Living Without Motor Vehicles






I am a member of a Homesteading forum. Those people there, pretty much know what I am about. Because they are of the same kind as I am. I lived for over eight months last year without a motor vehicle. I still wish I was. The motor vehicle has pretty much ruined our earth. We live out in the country in a secluded area, but we are only 6 miles from the nearest town. This summer, I plan on training my horse, Tawny how to drive. Then I want to get a buckboard to drive her to town. She is a little powerhouse. The other two horses are a tad too spirited for me to drive anywhere. If I hitched them up and took them to town, the town better look out!

I have friends who have a 90 acre homestead, where they raised their 12 children, and they never drove a motor vehicle. They live 7 miles from town, and most of the time they walk, but they do use a horse and wagon too. They are well known all over the country, and probably world wide too, as The Christian Homesteading Movement, but have changed the name to The Catholic Homesteading Movement. Their focus is really on homesteading, so you can be any religion to attend their classes. You can only imagine a homestead as peaceable as their's! It feels like it's back in the 1700's.

Anyway, last year, my husband rode his bicycle with one of those carts that you carry children in, to town. He bought all our supplies, and brought them home. The only problem he had was that the big hill on the way took him a hour to walk to the top pushing the bike (couldn't ride it up it and he's in great shape!). Of course, our supplies included a 5 gallon can of kerosene for our lamps and a 5 gallon can of gas for the generator, plus groceries. So it can be done.

The county we live has a bus transit system that you can call ahead and make arrangements for them to come to your house and pick you up. It's called Dial-A-Ride and it would cost me $36. to and from Norwich, which is about 14 miles away. So I can always use that if need be. 


Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole