Thursday, June 30, 2005

Our Summertime Garden Season Is Underway

Yesterday, I spent some time working in my garden. If you have been following my blog, then you know that my husband had built me some raised beds. My plants came up fine, but the slugs have been doing their best to destroy them. I had recently bought Ruth Stout's book in a thrift shop for fifty cents, if you can believe that! She told in there, the method of putting beer in a container and filling it with beer. Finally, something to do with all the beer that people have left at my house! Well, it may sound weird, but it works. I had put it in some empty cat food cans, and put dirt around it, so it looks like a little swimming pool. Only thing, they can't swim. Every morning, it is full of slugs. Maybe there's hope for my green beans yet!

Trying to grow enough food to get through to the next harvest season is not easy. It's probably easier for us, as there is only the two of us here. Of course, we have to buy a lot of other things that we cannot raise. I keep trying to increase the items I grow. I could live on the vegetables and fruits myself, but my husband cannot.

Living in the forest, as we do, there are many wild foods growing right around us. Just this morning, I was picking the wild strawberries, which are abundant this year. I see raspberries coming up all over the place. Also, wild grapes, elderberries, hawthorn berries, blueberries, blackberries, dandelion, lamb's quarters, plantain and many more than I can remember. Every year isn't this good, but we haven't had a lot of rain like we usually do.

Two years ago, I planted a lot of heirloom tomatoes. Last year and then again this year, I didn't get the spot ready for them in time. And I figured I wouldn't have any this year. Now I have noticed tomatoes growing everywhere! Even in my newly planted beds. Last year, they took over the whole garden. We had plenty. So I am looking forward to the tomatoes this year again. It's funny that I always had to start tomatoes early to get them in, and now they just start themselves. Course, they aren't real big yet and it's almost July, but I can usually keep them going till around October.

I will be back tomorrow and I will have something to tell you that is really exciting for me! See you then.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

My Friend, Terrianne Jones

I am pretty excited by the fact that my best friend and her spouse are going to be purchasing a house not too far from me. She is my oldest friend. Now, I don't mean that she is around 100 or so. Actually, she is a few months younger than me. What I mean, is, that she is the person I have had as a friend longer than anyone. And the kicker is - that she became my friend because she started going out with my brother in the 70s! That is surprising, because usually his girlfriends or wives are history after they break up. But my friend was different. For one thing, my mother always loved her as if she were her daughter. I always felt like she was my true sister. She has always been there for me.

The house isn't just up the road. When you live in the country, you expect to drive a bit to get to a neighbor's or to a friend's. I guess I am pleased as I found this house on the for sale by owner web site. We looked for over four years to find our house. I think that houses in the country are getting hard to find. More people want to leave the cities and live out in the country, so that property becomes hard to get and can become very pricey.

I get a few homesteading magazines by subscription, and the one thing I always notice ,is how people will put ads in these magazines for "homesteading properties", and put a hefty price tag on it as well. As if, since these type of properties are hard to find, a wannabe homesteader would pay anything for one! No way! Homesteaders are very frugal and are going to be looking for a bargain and don't mind a "fixer upper" or even raw land. Now maybe "horse people" would be another story! They will often pay big bucks for the comfort of their horses. As long as it has a good barn, fences and pasture, they aren't that concerned about the house.

Have a good day and I will be back tomorrow! 

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mondays Are My Favorite Day!

Monday mornings always seem to be a good day for getting alot of things done. I used to always hate Sundays, because I knew Monday was right around the corner. But it's different when you work at home. Now I can just take my time, if I choose. Or I can grab a cup of coffee and get to work - which is what I usually do.

Actually, when I wake up in the morning, the first sound I hear is the birds singing. They sing loud and sound so happy, as they start their day. They do the same in the evening, before going to sleep. I can't tell you the last time I turned on a radio or cd player, as every time I do, I think to myself that the birds just sound better.

The funny thing is that yesterday, my best friend and her spouse were here in the morning for a cook out. She told us that her ex-husband hated the sound of the birds singing. He wanted to wear ear plugs so they wouldn't wake him up in the morning! Can you believe that? As I am writing this, I think "yes, I do believe that." As my mother in law, not so long ago told us, how she liked looking out her window and seeing all the houses and traffic. She also said that she hated trees!!!! Can you imagine that? So there must be many other people who hate birds and trees and other things from the natural world. What do you think?

I can look out any window in my home and all I see are trees.....big trees and lots of them. We had to clear our land for our horses and even for our lawn. The forest came right up to the back of our house. At first we were a little nervous about the wild animals that might be out there. But they are nothing compared to those wild animals that live in the towns and cities!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Self Sufficiency On Our Homestead

Yesterday, I discussed my feelings on money with you. I don't want you to think I am against making money. I am not. Afterall, I have a website that is #1 on Google and Yahoo and most other important search engines. The difference is that I do live pretty simply compared to most to other people. I don't need all those extras.

I generate my own electricity, I heat and cook with wood, I grow most of my own vegetables and within the next year hopefully - my own fruits too, I bake my own baked goods, such as bread, cakes, cookies, crackers, etc., I wash my clothes by hand and hang to dry, I hope to be raising my own chickens for eggs soon and a cow for milk and dairy products. Hopefully, in the next couple of years, I will have a hybrid vehicle and a electric lawn mower sooner. Plus, I make a living on my computer without having to drive anywhere everyday.

So if you do all that, wouldn't you think your families would just mind their own business and not be concerned that you own three of the most beautiful horses you've ever seen? No! I guess some people have just got to interfere with whatever someone else is doing. Some members of our family just harp and harp on us all the time about getting rid of our girls. They think it's too much work, too much money, if they happen to come to our house (rarely) there is horseflys around or the manure stinks. All I say is that they can just stay home and not come here. This homestead is run completely for the comfort of our three horses, four cats and one dog!

One of the things I have come to realize is that whatever you do, it never pleases your families. I make sure to go out of my way to not be that way toward my son. He dresses and lives a way that I would never have chosen for him. But it's what he chose. And I will never say a thing against it or to him. He is an adult and when I am lucky enough to see him I don't want to spend that time fighting or arguing with him. It's a time to be treasured.

It's a pretty hot day here in New York so I think I might want to get outside a bit and cool off.
I"ll talk to you tomorrow.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Money Makes The World Go Round Nowadays

Today is a Saturday. Most people don't have to work today. But when you are trying to make a living from home - you have to work every day. I have noticed that people in my country (maybe other countries too?) only care about money. Money is what makes the world go round. I try to live a simple lifestyle. But even our own families only care about money. People say they are "good Christians" and then talk about how much money they make, or how much money their soon-to-be son-inlaw makes. It is all that matters in today's society.

Then everyone wonders why kids are like they are now (always expecting you to buy certain brands of clothing, cell phones, internet connections, software, meals out, etc). Even the schools, now, post these BIG lists in Walmart of all the items you need to buy for your kids for school! Walmart is more than happy to let them post the lists there! Or the kids are in various activities, and they need to have certain color shirt or pants, or something for the very next day or evening.

Why do people break laws to sell drugs (because they make lots of money and can't get a job otherwise). People get desperate for money to pay bills to live, let alone for all the extras that you want. And when people don't have money, the other people make them feel inferior. Even if they are not. Anybody could have things happen that would cause them to loose all their money, or their job, or their credit cards.

Just look in your mailbox. It's full of get rich schemes. Just the other day, I received one from a Christian group, a pastor, in fact. He was promoting a clean air machine. He told how they had no money and his wife started selling this and now they were rich. I tried to call him, but got an answering machine. So I found the same company on the internet. Their website, which was big time Christian, said with just a $35. investment, you could get started. But it wasn't that way at all. When I said that I could come up with the $35., but nothing more, he brushed me off with "their business isn't for you because you need to buy the machines to sell." Aha! Another scheme. Pastor or not!

A lot of so called businesses, Christian or otherwise use the same ploy. They tell you that you will make a lot of money if you buy their information. And then they will tell you what to do to sell their information to more people like you. People like you, that have no money, but will probably put it on a credit card (that you can't afford). And then they will keep telling you how much everybody is making that follows their program. It's all hype! And no matter what anyone says, it's still just hype.

There are a lot of internet geniuses who are well known for making a lot of money. But how? They are all selling books, courses, seminars, videos, newsletters, etc. that teach you how to make money on the internet. They get a lot of followers, who like to be told what to do. And they sell their stuff to people just like themselves. So they make money off them and those people in turn have to find more people.

Makes you wonder about the people who come from other countries to the United States. They help each other, they all live together and build businesses and then in a number of years they are living the American dream. Americans don't do that (help each other). Only for a buck!

So today, I don't think I will promote anything to you as I am not always out for the buck, even though I am a American. Even though I could most definitely use a buck or two. I will just tell you to always check things out before handing over your hard earned money to someone promising to make you rich.

See you tomorrow!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, June 24, 2005

My Birthday Again

Today is my birthday. It is the third birthday I have had since my mother died. I can't help but to think about her today. I think the hardest thing in life is to lose your parents. They have always been a part of your life and it's so hard when they aren't there anymore. My mother was someone I could always go to and she knew what to say to comfort me or to help me with a problem. With her, my brother and I always came first. It was always our family together against the outside world. All families are not like that.

My mother was sick for over 24 years with Cushing's Syndrome. She was in alot of pain, and had said to me many times that she wished that she could just die and get it all over with. She couldn't stand the pain. That didn't make it any easier to loose her. I still desperately miss her and I guess I always will.

She crocheted over 50 baby sweater sets for me to sell. She wanted to help me and that was the kind of woman she was. Her hands were shaking. But the sweaters are just beautiful. More beautiful than any you could buy even in a exclusive store on Fifth Avenue! I am planning on putting them for sale on my website real soon. I will post here as soon as I do, so you can go look at them ,and maybe if you are lucky, you could purchase one.
I have been telling you about different products every day. Now I want to tell you about a product that is very close to my heart. The Classic Fantasy music cd, by Larry Lupole. This is my husband's music cd. He put his heart into this recording and I think you can tell that when you hear it. And listen to the words! Makes me just melt.

A friend of ours read the cd cover, and the dedication he wrote to me on it and said that he shouldn't let me know he feels that way. But that's the way he. A very romantic husband and a honest and good person. He has had a lot of bad things happen to him in the last few years, and I don't know how he has managed to survive through it. One of the worst things, being losing his beautiful 29 year old daughter in 2003, unexpectedly.

Anyway, if you go to my website, and order his cd there, it has free shipping. So you are getting a fantastic deal for $9.99! It's a great cd and the songs are so good that I can never decide exactly which one is my favorite. If you buy it, let me know how you like it and I may put your review on website. Now that would be a good birthday present!
Well, have a great day and I will be back with who knows what tomorrow!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My Grandmother, Anna Leonard Neer 1901-1980

My Grandma, Anna Leonard Neer

Today is a special day to me. It would have been my Grandma's 1004th birthday. She died in 1980. Her name was Anna Leonard Neer. She was a loving, wonderful grandmother. I was fortunate enough to have been born the day after her birthday. She always said that I was her birthday present. She had a farm on a dirt road and by the time I was born, she only had some chickens and a cat. I used to spend a couple nights at her house. I just loved being there with her.

She had 6 children and my grandfather would just leave her for awhile and then show up some time later. One time, he went out for a pack of cigerettes and was gone for two years! But Grandma worked at Endicott Johnson Shoe Factories in the Binghamton - Johnson City - Endicott, NY area. Even when she lived in the city of Binghamton, she always had a big garden, fruit trees, chickens and grapes and she canned all kinds of food for her children. She made clothes for her family, sold eggs and food at work, and always ran those dress clubs at work. They never went without.

She was a very devout Catholic. But she never pushed it on anyone. She raised her children in the Catholic church. But when they all grew up, and if they didn't go, she never said a thing to them about it. She figured they were grown up and could make their own decisions. I remember when the Catholic church changed their rule and said that you could eat meat on Fridays now. Grandma said who are they to change that rule? That rule was made long before and they had no right to change it. She never ate meat on Friday.

The day she died, I sat with her at the hospital the whole night before, which was on her birthday. And the next day, which was my birthday, she died, after I left her there with my uncle and cousin. At least she wasn't alone.

She would have liked the idea of me living like this. I just wish I had learned some things from her about living this way. When she was alive, I lived in a city and was married to my first husband, who was from NYC. So I was very far from this lifestyle at that time. One thing I would like to mention is that working from home is now a option for everyone because of computers and the internet.

In my grandmother's day places like this were unheard of. Now you can work a few hours in the morning, go out and work in your garden and come back in and work some more on your computer. It's the only way to live! Beats the day in, day out grind of the job world. Having someone who doesn't know even half of what you know telling you what to do every day!

You know what tomorrow is, don't you? My Birthday!!!!!!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Ideas For Writing Blogs

I think I like this Blog thing. I wonder how someone came up with this idea? It relaxes me when I am writing this out. I love to write and I could do this all day if I had the time. I always have ideas for stories, books, articles, websites, even movie scripts. One of our favorite things to do is to make a movie script and we keep it going for years. Only thing is, that we have never written a word of it down - it's just a movie we both describe together, and figure out what's going on in it, and who is going to play the different parts in it.

That's just one of the things you find to do when you don't watch television. Last week, a lady from the Nielsen ratings called and wanted me to do a survey on our television habits. She could not believe that we do not watch it and she had no idea what it meant to be "living off the grid"! She had no idea what it meant. She even said that she had never heard of that. So I had to explain to her about solar panels and what they did. I am sure she thought I was a nut!

We do have a friend who has a lot of solar panels and could be living off the grid. But they do not. Only thing is, that this person wants to, and he pretends that he is, but he's afraid to. I know a few people that talk about solar panels and living off the grid all the time, but do not and will probably never live that way. After having lived this way for six years now, I could not imagine living any other way!

When we first put the offer in on this house, at first I thought, "well, they won't accept it." And when they did, I kept thinking, "I am going to be alone at night (my husband was working nights at that time) in the middle of 4000 acres of state forest land. No neighbors! Only hunting camps on our road." But I lived through that period. And nothing got me. Now, I know, that you are safer in the woods than in the cities!

It's getting dark. I have to light my lamps. Talk to you all tomorrow.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Random Thoughts Today

I told you a little about my website. Well, I have done something that I am really excited about! It's not a big money maker - at least not yet. But it is something I have wanted to do for some time now. You know that Homesteading is something I do and is close to my heart. And I love to help anyone who wants to do it or does it. If I can. I haven't been able to help anyone much lately because of circumstances beyond my control. But we came up with this great idea! I belong to The Homesteading Today Forum - it is a great place to get together with other people who think along the same lines as me. Anyway, I asked if anyone would like me to put their products on my website. I had some people interested. You see my website is #1 on Google and some other well known search engines! It's hard to get to that spot and keep it for over two years. But I have.

How many of you all have pets? I have four cats and one dog in my house and three horses. One of my cats, Nutmeg is a Siamese Cat and she is 16 years old. She has been with me for so long that I just can't imagine what it will be like when she is gone. She thinks she's the boss of our house. But this past year, she has come down with Hydrothyroidism. I have been giving her a Chinese remedy and it seems to help her alot. But it does not cure it. And the last couple of days, she has been driving me crazy. But she does not appear to be in pain or anything like that. Just very active. But it could be on account of the weather becoming so cool. She was liking that hot humid weather we were having, which is so unlike NY state this time of the year.

See you tomorrow!

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, June 20, 2005

Building Raised Beds

This is my second posting on my blog. I have so many things to talk about that I just don't know where to begin. For one thing, it is June, which used to be our best month. My birthday, is in the later part of June and it was always nice weather. When I was a child, I always had a outside Birthday Party. That is why most people like to have their weddings in June. But for the last few years it has been cold and rainy. Since it has been so rainy, our horses' paddock is now very muddy. So my horse, Georgie Girl is mad at me about this. She should know I have no control over the weather!

My husband, has been building me raised beds for my garden. It will make it easier for me to be able to grow food all year round. And I won't have to plow it to start the garden in the spring anymore. The problem is that he was hurt in a work related accident three years ago and his elbow was crushed. Of course, it was his right elbow. But he was lucky he was not killed!

Anyway, he built four so far, and I have them all planted. I love them! They are great. In the rain, this year, they didn't get flooded out. So my plants look good so far. I am hoping he will build me at least three more, and pretty soon. I am also hoping the deer won't trust them and won't come over there and try to eat my plants. This is the first year we have had deer come onto our property.

One other thing I wanted to tell you all, was that I have an eBay store now. I have had it for about a year or almost. I did close it down for a couple of months. I try to put things in it that I would like to buy. Well, usually it does have things I had anyway. But I go to flea markets, garage sales, yard sales, thrift stores, auctions, and even check the classifieds in my local Pennysaver. It's just a fun thing to do.

The other thing I would like to tell you about is some of the great deals I have put on my website just recently. It has been completely changed over. I used to just offer my wonderful husband's music cd, Classic Fantasy for sale there. Then I discovered, that was a waste of all that web space. So I have put some other stuff on sale there.

. I'll see you tomorrow and will have couple of other things to show you plus maybe a horse story or something - we'll see what I come up with!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day 2005

Today is Father's Day 2005. I wasn't going to write about that, as this is my first post. But I had to comment on it. My father is 86 years old and in pretty good health for a man his age. He has a large garden every year, but every fall he says he's not going to have one the next year and every year he gets out his rototiller and puts one in. He's the person who taught me how to can. Every year he usually gets a lot of concord grapes and he cans it all as juice. In 1995, he taught me how to can grape juice and jam.

When my mother was alive he took care of her at home. She had Cushing's Sydrome and was crippled by it for many years, and bedridden for the last few. My father and her were married for 60 years - she kept saying, she wanted to just live long enough to make it to her 60th anniversary - which she did on August 28, 2002 and she died with my father and myself at her side on November 22, 2002.

So in honor of Father's Day I just want to say "Daddy, I love you! I'm so proud of having you as my father! And I will always keep you in my heart with my mother!

One other thing I want to comment on is the fact that I am trying to live a self sufficient life. This means that I try to grow most of my own food. I live off the grid and generate my power by using solar panels and batteries. This surprises some people, as I make my living on the internet. But it is possible.

I feel that this is the way of the future. Most people in other countries think all Americans are very wasteful and selfish. Well, there are a lot of people here that are not that way. They call themselves "Homesteaders" - and they are the Homesteaders of the future. We live a frugal lifestyle, grow and raise most of our own food organically, shop for clothes in thrift shops, recycle everything, try to make our livings from our homes-be it on a computer or off our land.

Copyright © 2005  Kathleen G. Lupole