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.