Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Is Moving On Your Mind?

Photo Credit: Kathleen G. Lupole

All my regular readers here know that I am a "modern homesteader" now. But in my previous life, my husband and I lived in St. Petersburg, FL. There was a lot of crime in the city there at the time, and we saw a good share of it right from our little house on 2nd Avenue, N. We decided to make the move back to New York state. Back then the internet was nothing like it is today. We had to call around to find a moving truck, figure out on our own how big of a truck we needed, and then find out the cost. Driving or calling around from one company to another to try to find a good price and decent company. What a lot of work!

Now all that has changed with the internet and the way it has evolved. You can find movers quite easily by going to your computer and surfing the internet. There are many companies to choose from and that can be mind boggling to say the least. Some companies will only work in some areas of the country. So finding a company even online isn't as easy as it sounds. There are some good ones and the thing to do is to look for a decent company by checking their online presence. There is a website called that will do just that for you! I found that it has a moving quotes calculator right on one of their pages to make it easy for you. 

Photo Credit: Andrew Schmidt

If you are looking for movers in Tucson you would put your information in the calculator. It calculates from your current location to where you are moving to. Then the approximate amount of rooms you are moving and the date of your move. After you do that it will ask you to sign up with their site if you are not already a member of Now what I found really helpful about this site is that the guide that comes up will give you key factors in moving to Tucson. It told about employment in the area, the climate, the school system and the average rental costs.

Photo Credit: Public Domain Photos

Moving to Phoenix, Arizona is a long move if you are moving from where I am clear on the other side of the country. Searching for a Phoenix moving company, I found so much more when the page information came up.  It not only gave you the pros of moving to Phoenix, but the cons as well! One of the facts I learned, was the fact that it is the warmest city in the US. I did not know that, and thought the cities farther south would be warmer. I guess building a city in a desert has some advantages.............but, not the fact that it can reach over 100 degrees for three consecutive months!

Another interesting fact I learned from this page about Phoenix, is that it would be great place to install solar. Which is what I live with here in New York state. I guess I knew that about living in Arizona.  Living there you'd need fewer panels that is for sure. But then it is also called the "brown cloud" due to all the air pollution. So those would be facts you might not know unless you check out this information when planning a move. There are many other cities available on and you may want to use it to research a city that you may be interested in moving to.

Always researching where you are going before you move there is a good idea. I know many people just want to move somewhere and will do hardly any research before moving. Some buy the property online without ever traveling to see it in person. So you get what you put into it. Look for an area that you will be compatible with. If you hate hot weather, do not move to a climate that is hot for more months of the year than you can stand. Looking for a moving company now, is so much easier than leafing through your local yellow pages!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, September 27, 2010

Life Is What You Make It!

Truck Trail leading out of the state forest.

Our Peaceful Forest Homestead is completely surrounded by the Ludlow State Forest. This is one of the most beautiful forests in our area of New York. In fact, that is why so many hikers take advantage of the Finger Lakes Trail which runs right through this forest and on both sides of our property. It is nothing new to hear voices of hikers as they make way along the trail. Our horses get excited by the sound of the voices hoping to catch a glimpse of the hikers, but sadly, they are not in sight of our homestead. I guess it is pretty isolated out here for our three mares.

Truck Trail turns into Enggaard Road.

Living out here has been good for me. It has taught me how to survive in conditions that I would have normally never encountered. My life before this move was pretty normal along with everyone else's type of lives. I remember our mothers especially, tried to discourage us in moving here and living this lifestyle. They were afraid we'd have a "hard life." Well, to tell the truth, I felt my life was always hard before this change. My life always seemed centered on things that were others' choices,  not my own. What about your choices? Are they really your choices? You count too, you know!

I have a close friend who has had the desire to live the homesteading lifestyle ever since I have known her. She has tried to achieve it over and over. She will move out into the country and stock her pasture with sheep and goats. She will add chickens and angora rabbits to her little homestead. She is a spinner and knits and crochets beautiful things. She will make delicious goats' milk cheese. Yet constantly puts herself down, saying that she is not a homesteader for some reason or other. She is hung on those little rules. There are NO rules. Just the limitations we put on our ourselves. Do you do that to yourself? Do you say you can't do something until (put whatever here)?

Enggaard Road becomes a seasonal road as it goes into the state forest.

If you put your life in God's hands he will help you. I believe strongly in the power of prayer. I use it daily. I even use the "praying without ceasing" method, where I just pray all day long about something. Even while I am working. So if you really desire something in your life you will suddenly find it there or the possiblity of it. I have seen that happen many times in my own life.

The saying, "life is what you make it," is so true. I met a couple from Virginia who have followed me since my first article in Countryside magazine, which was some years back. I think 2002. They came out here to meet us a couple of years ago and they became friends. We keep in touch. Well I have seem them purchase their own homestead recently. It is awesome to see this take place. To feel that in some small measure, I influenced them to take the steps to get what they both desired. They found a way to do it! Can you find the way to do what you really want to do too?

The hay field running along Enggaard Road. I love this field!

Whatever you want to do, you must start doing something toward that goal. Don't put it off. Start small and then little by little, do more. If it is something as simple as cutting your budget, losing weight, having a family, starting your own business or becoming a self-sufficient modern homesteader..........just make a list of how you can achieve it and get started down that road. Now....... is all you can count on in life!  Don't live in the past or the future. That past is gone, so don't dwell on what might have been. The future is coming, so is not here yet, and you don't know what that will bring. The present is here, you know you have make the best of it!

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall In The Peaceful Forest Homestead Garden

Our raised beds are looking empty now!

For the most part, the garden should be finished. But just yesterday, I picked a container of cherry tomatoes and they are still going. They are the volunteer plants that came up in one bed and filled it with plants, that I did not plant. Now I usually would be out there pulling up the old dried plants that are left. But, I have butternut squash still coming up on some of the plants. The plants are dried up and look dead. But the squash is there and growing. So as long as it looks okay, I will leave the plants alone.

See how dried up the plant is?

I also have my rhubarb plant coming in like a spring crop, so I am hoping to harvest some of that. The stalks are turning red. Also have one more pumpkin coming in. I hope it turns orange soon. That will give me two that I have grown, and I will buy some more locally so I will can that too. Today I will be canning some of my butternut squash that I harvested a few weeks ago.

Gardening is different every year. That is why it is important to harvest as much as you can, and preserve it for the years when you don't get much of a harvest. Always prepare and you will never be sorry. I know people like to give away much of their harvest because they tire of eating it so much. But if they canned it, and two or three years from now used it, they would appreciate it once again. I know we love eating canned foods that we canned two or three years ago. It reminds us of that particular garden or summer. Kinda like a photo album in your mind.

Squash plants have new leaves coming from the stem now.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, September 24, 2010

Back To Low Carbing!

Low Carbers enjoy their steaks!

 The last few months, well, specifically the whole summer I have not felt so good. When I went to bed at night, I couldn't lay down for a long time. I'd fall asleep sitting up in bed! Horrible feelings. Some nights I'd think I was having a heart attack. It was a very scary time. It was reminisce of December 2008 for me. During that time I felt exactly the same way! So I knew what to do.

Many low carb choices!

Twenty days ago I went back to shunning sugar and white flour products, eating only low carbs. The first week I do not know how much I lost since I was afraid to face the scale. In 2008, I started using Dr. Atkins Induction Diet and lost 12 pounds in the first week. That is a lot of weight for me to lose so quickly. I know it is water weight, but any other diet I ever used in the past never took off that much so fast. If I lost half a pound that was a milestone!

Cheese is a mainstay at 4 oz. per day!

One of the best things about eating low carbs is that within the first three days, you will not be hungry. Dr. Atkins tells you that in his book, and when you are reading it you will be thinking, "not me! I am always hungry and especially if I am trying to stick to a diet." If you follow it exactly though, he is right on with everything he tells you. The main reason you are not hungry is because you ARE eating! If you are hungry, eat more. And most important is to remember that if you think low carbs means no carbs that is NOT TRUE at all. You can eat all kinds of good carbs! Fill up! Eat until you are not hungry.

Cook up enough to snack on for the next few days!
If you love your family you will do your best to change them over to low carbs too. Why if we love our children do we feed them sugar? Sugar is the worse thing you can give anyone! In fact, in the old days they gave it to their enemies to put in their tea so they could overpower them! I did this also. It brings tears to my eyes when I see my own son putting so much sugar in his coffee every morning. I did this to him! I worry about him constantly. He laughs it off. I remember filling my freezer with ice cream sandwiches and him eating them whenever he pleased. Me filling my second refrigerator with bottles of coco cola. Me, buying his whatever sugary cereal, candy, cookies or ice cream he pleased. Going every Thursday night to Burger King.

Grow these yourself!

Not only is this way of eating good for you and your family, it is good for your budget. Yes! It is! I know when you think, "well now we will be buying expensive meats, cheeses and vegetables." Yes, but no more sugar laden white flour products. No more white breads. How much are they a loaf anyway? And exactly how many sandwiches do you have to eat to fill up? What about a steak and salad? No more potato chips or  bags of candy. But how about almonds? Walnuts? Strawberries? Blueberries? 

This man was way ahead of his time!

Just make sure you keep track of those carbs! For that I use Fit Day which is a journal of your food, your goals, your weight, your feeling journal, fitness journal, etc. It is free though they do have a paid version. I love it and have been using it for some time now. I am not an affiliate of them, just a happy user. So feel free to click through and sign up and start your low carb eating. They are not set up for low carbing though, but it is usable as long as you know that. For low carb information go to this site: Low Carb Eating, and this one Stella Style, Low Carb Friends and Hold The Toast

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Making Omelets For Breakfast

Cheese Omelet & Toast

My husband's favorite breakfast is having an omelet. I love to make them for him because he appreciates them and they are so easy to make. Most recipes call for three eggs, I use four for his. I do not use a recipe but just mix everything up and pour into the pan, except for the cheese and whatever you are going to put inside the omelet.

Ingredients: eggs, cream, butter & cheese

Mixing eggs in blender.

Melting butter

Pouring blended ingredients in pan.

In pan and ready to cook on medium heat.

Pull egg toward center to let uncooked egg drain underneath..

Cheese on top

Cover pan and cook on very low.

Melted Cheese, now fold over.

Folded over with cheese dripping out.


Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Looking Ahead To Fall

My little red pony, Tawny

Yesterday as my husband and I sat in our kitchen eating our supper, this little girl, Tawny stood at her fence looking into our kitchen watching us. She kept trying to get a better shot of us, moving around some. My husband knew she was working on him to come out and feed her. They do that you know..........

Callie Cat, my her mind, my boss!

Our cat, Callie, is the most demanding cat. I have heard through the group I joined on Flickr that the Tortoiseshell cat has a "tortie attitude". She does. She talks more than any Siamese I have ever owned. Chrips in her sleep. Chirps to her prey as she kills them. Chirps at flies when they bother her naps. She is very unusual and people do find her quite friendly, as well, as other animals. She rubs on our horses' noses and has no fear of them at all. Or of big dogs. Chases them away from here if they are a stray. Or welcomes them with cleaning their faces if they are welcomed visitors by us. They never know how to react, as most dogs are accustomed to a chasing cats........not the other way around.

Dark Shadow sticking her tongue out at me!

Dark Shadow and Georgie Girl thought I had more apples for them when I took these photos. I guess I caught them napping! I usually pick the apples from our tree and then throw them out in the paddock. They run to get them before the other one gets more. They are VERY selfish and I just can't seem to teach them to share. They tolerate it, but I cannot trust them to do it with my back turned! LOL Yet, they love each other and cannot bare to be parted. That's the horse herd I guess. Georgie Girl is the "boss mare" and she is very bossy. I'd hate to have to live under her rules!

The trees directly across the road are starting turn color!

The trees directly across the road from us are starting to turn, yet along the roads everywhere, most of the maples have already turned. I will get pictures of them soon and get them on here to share with my readers. I love the beautiful colors of fall. Sad to see our summer end. I always try to look forward to the future, and don't dwell on what was................ but focus on what is to come. 

What about you? Do you look forward? Or do you get stuck in that mode of looking at what was or what could have been? That is not good to do.  The reason is because you may find out what you wanted before, years later, turns out not to be what you really wanted all along. How many people get hung up on an ex-spouse who dumped them for someone else? Years and years they pine away over that person. It is always between them and their future relationships. Ruins years of their lives. Then maybe they do get together again and they find out they can't stand the person! Or they find out the person is not who they say they are. That ex-spouse has been doing things that are underhanded or illegal and hurt lots of people. Your life is so much better without him/her. Maybe the Lord arranges those things on purpose. Makes you appreciate your life so much more. I know. But I was lucky to find a wonderful, Godly man who made me never look back. 

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The ER's Waiting Room Drama

Monday I took  my son to the emergency room in our local city, Binghamton, NY. His foot and leg had become VERY swollen, and elevating it did not make it come down. I have to admit that I do not like the allopathic community at all. BUT where my son is concerned, actually where anyone is concerned, including my husband and myself, there are times when you really do need their medical advice. This was one of those times.

A swollen foot and/or leg could mean a blood clot. A blood clot can, and does, kill people. Now my son is forty years old, and has a horrible phobia of hospitals or anything of the medical nature. I remember one time sitting in the waiting room of the dentist office and he was inside with the dentist. I was reading and all of a sudden............there is he walking out, through the waiting room past me and out the door! When he was nine, it took me and about eight other nurses to hold him down to give him a shot to have an operation. When he was a kid living at home, I'd take him to our family dentist and the dentist would come out and ask me if it was okay with me if he drilled without anesthesia. He said because my son would not allow him to give the shot and wanted him to do the work without the shot. He did it that way! Not me, as much as I hated the shot, I would never let anyone drill my teeth without that shot!

Anyway, as we sat in the waiting room of the hosptial, it almost seemed like we were watching a television show. When we first came in, expecting it to be crowded as usual, it was almost empty. We were third in line. Not bad. There was a television on, snack machines, coffee machine and a soda machine that also had water and juices. As far as a waiting room goes it was not too bad. We sat on the back wall near the machines, not where we could see the television as neither one of us cared to watch it anyway. I wanted to see all the activity...........hey, I live in the woods I don't see many people in my daily life!

Almost immediately three cops come in with a young boy with hand cuffs on that were behind his back. His leg was bleeding and they pulled him along. They then told him to sit down. It appeared as if the hand cuffs were hurting him more than the leg. One young cop..............actually they were all young. He spoke to one cop and then they had a little conference, and the older one unhooked the cuffs and then moved it to the front of him, so he could sit comfortably. Pretty soon his mother came in. Still the three cops stood around him like he had killed someone. Don't know if he did or not.

Then some people came in that were in an accident. They were all mad at each other. So they were a bit unruly. The cops that came in with them were trying to keep some sort of order. All through this more people kept coming in and sitting down. Pretty soon a woman, probably around 40ish came in, attractive but not beautiful, blonde, wearing a wedding ring, camouflage pants. She had this look on her face that I recognized. In my past way back past life, I worked as a bartender............I KNOW that look.

She had been drinking and drinking a lot. Well, she caused all kinds of havoc in the waiting room. A young black man was watching the television and at one point she got up and went to the bathroom and was gone a long time. He moved from the television area and sat in her seat. She came back and stood over him and motioned with her finger to get up. He did and moved away from that area. My son wanted to say something in the worst way. I told him to stay out of it and don't say a word. That is what causes trouble in situations like this. Two women sitting on the other side, one who was in very much pain, but still said things like she wanted to punch her and luckily the woman did not hear them.

She got up again and stood in front of the three security guards, one was bald, all young, husky looking men with a cocky attitude. Looked like they enjoy this kind of work or maybe that is how they are trained to handle this type of work. She says to them, "Think you're tough guys, huh?" They answered her, "Yep! Now go back to your seat!" She did. Eventually it was figured out that she was trying to get to Rehab. Then she was taken out of there and that situation. Thank goodness, but we were already inside the ER by then.

Anyway, my son got taken care of and everything is under control for now. The goings on in the waiting room took the edge off his anxiety over being there. Better than television, though I don't like being in a situation like that because you are so vulnerable to someone pulling out a gun or something. Maybe they ought to make you go through security check before coming into a hospital emergency room.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, September 17, 2010

Building Up My Winter Food Pantry

Dried Beans I canned yesterday

Yesterday I spent most of my day canning a supply of dried beans I had stored. It is good to use the items you have in your storage from time to time, then replace them with newer products. I am not saying they don't last because most last longer than anyone knows. These were in my dried product storage and I will replace them soon. I am always surprised when people think their canned goods are not any good after so many years. They last almost indefinitely. If something goes bad, it is usually due to the circumstances. Such as moving the jars around, something getting on top of the jars and causing the tops to become loose, freezing of the jars and then thawing (many times without you knowing it happened due to being in storage.), or not being canned correctly from the beginning and you not being aware of it.

I know what you are saying! "Why would she can dried beans anyway?" Well, to tell you the truth, I had never thought of it myself until a member from Homesteading Today, "Cowgirl" had told of the way she does them. It was so easy and many of the other members started doing them too. I love canning up a large supply of dried beans for my winter pantry supply. It makes meals easy to prepare. No waiting for beans to soak to use. A spur of the moment meal for me! Fast food at our house is putting together a pot of chili with these beans. Or making a pot of baked beans. I don't do beans and rice anymore due to eating low carbs. Beans are a high carb vegetable, but are one I make an exception for. So I watch how big my serving is. It is not like I eat them daily. Once I get off the weight loss part of Dr. Atkins low carb food plan, I can add higher carb vegetables. Just not eating a huge plate of them, which I don't do anyway.

So yesterday I canned up eleven pints of navy beans, six pints of pinto beans and 6 pints of kidney beans. I lost one jar of pinto beans because I tried to double stack them in my new canner. I didn't put them on top of each other, staggered them. But as soon as I put one on top I heard the bottom jar pop. I had to empty out the canner quickly and put boiling hot water in it to keep it at temperature. Then quickly got the other jars back in and on the stove. I hate losing any of my jars that way! Oh well, that happens.

Making a food plan for your family's winter time eating is an important part of the modern homesteading lifestyle. Many other homesteaders live in remote areas and don't run to the store for a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. They plan their winter food supply all summer and fall. They harvest, glean and buy as much food as they can to hold their families through the winter, as well as beyond. It is a way of life that is as Scott and Helen Nearing taught so many homesteaders in years past..........."the good life".

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Canning Hopi Pale Grey Squash

Five Pints Of Hopi Pale Grey Squash

Two of three Hopi Pale Grey Squash I grew this year.

Cleaning out the seeds

Cut in 1" chunks, cover with water, boil two minutes

Put into hot sterilized canning jars, cap, 55 minutes in Pressure Canner

The finished product

Seeds for growing more Pale Grey Hopi Squash in the future!

In the garden

These must be cut into chunks and are not safe to puree or mash to can! Must be pressure canned!

Consult a canning book. I used Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia Of Country Living to can mine.

It may look like a lot of work for only five pints. I have many more butternut squash to can because they produced more. To me though, the Hopi Pale Grey squash will be special. For one thing, a member of Homesteading Today sent me the seeds free. Last year mine did not come up. This year they did, and I started them in the house, so I had special feelings for these particular plants. I have two pans of the seeds and look forward to many more Hopi Pale Grey Harvests in the future. These are very hard to come by and everyone that grows them loves them!

One more thing, you may add salt for flavor, I do not.

Copyright © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs © 2010  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated July 2016