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.