Thursday, March 31, 2011

First Giveaway From Homesteading On The Internet

This is the first giveaway I have had on my blog. I am not sure what inspired me to do this. Maybe it is the book I am offering for the giveaway. It is different from most books. It looks like a cookbook.............but it is anything but! Maybe it is because the retro look of it reminds of my blogging friend, The Zany Housewife. This book is funny and so is she. Regardless, I am offering it for my first Giveaway!

by James Lileks

This book has 135  reviews on Amazon which surprised me. Even though I found this book interesting and very funny, I figured that it probably hadn't sold a lot or had appealed to the public. I was wrong. It ranks 39,422 in Books in Bestseller Ranks on Amazon, #57 in Books, Cooking, Food & Wine, Gastronomy, History and #9 in Books, Entertainment, Humor, Cooking. 

It is most definitely NOT a cookbook! It contains many color photos from the numerous retro cookbooks of the fifties and sixties. The author has a website as well at The Gallery of Regrettable Food and on Amazon many people had been there but liked owning the book itself. It is a hardcover book with a book jacket on with 192 pages. This book is really nice and in brand new condition.

To win this book, go to the author's site at the link I posted in the above paragraph. Find your favorite Regrettable Food or your most hated one, that possibly you experienced back in the day? Tell me which one it is and why in a comment. That is one entry in The Gallery Of Regrettable Food Giveaway. 

Follow me on Google Friend Connect, if you aren't already and leave a comment telling me that you are now following me. If are, just leave another comment telling me so. That is another entry. 

Follow me on NetworkedBlogs on Facebook. Then let me know in the comments. If you are already following me there, just let me know in the comments. That is another entry. 

If you do not follow me on Twitter, please go and follow me, my user name is katlupe. If you already follow me there, let me know in a comment. This gives you  another entry.

This giveaway will end on April 15th. If you come back to my blog and make quality comments during the month, each one will count as another entry in this giveaway.

I am sorry to have to say that this Giveaway is open to US and Canadian citizens only. I will have my husband pick the entry out of my cookie jar for the winner. Please tell your friends! If this goes over well, I may have more Giveaways. 

Just one more thing, this book was not sent to me for free or did the author pay me do this Giveaway (I wish!). I had this book for myself and have decided instead of selling my books on Bonanza, I am going to host some Giveaways.  Seems like fun! What do you think? 

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Decorating Peaceful Forest Homestead

View from our deck, not bad!
From my deck I have a great view! Not other houses or people like most people I know. The forest around us gives us the most scenic views all year long. Our house as I have told many times, was a hunting camp. It was in bad condition outside and in when we moved here in 1999. Hunters didn't care about it much and used it mostly for partying. The evidence for that was all the beer cans and liquor bottles thrown around the grounds that we had to clean up. 

Our deck that we hope to make into a sun room.

 Our deck is going to be transformed into a sun room. Build Direct composite decking is what I am considering for rebuilding our deck. Once I saw their products and showed them to my husband, we both agreed that it seems to be perfect for what we want. Low price and environmentally friendly. As it is made from recycled materials. I want a place to start plants in the early spring and this is on the southern side of our house. Perfect place for it. We don't really use it much as a deck anyway as it gets too hot in the summer.

Kitchen is being remodeled presently.

Our kitchen floor badly needs to be finished. Right now it is just bare boards. This travertine tile would be the finishing touch it needs. It is a natural stone tile fitting right into our plan of living in a natural setting. The kitchen and living room will be merged into one big great room. We have to wait till the rest of the room is done before we do the floor. That will be the last thing we plan to do in there. That way it won't get messed up. We are extending it out over what was the porch and over the new battery room. That way the solar refrigerator and freeze will be directly over the battery bank.

Better Homes and Gardens has many awesome ideas for decorating my house. It will be ready for that process within the next year or so. I have begun looking at ideas but have to be sure they fit my house. Our setting in the forest means I want it to be more rustic than a house that would be in a city. I Need to keep the forest as my theme. What about you? Do you have a certain theme or style for your home? A favorite color or design that is important to the mood of your home? I'd love to hear about it!

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Beautiful Start To My Day Today!

This morning I did something I hadn't done in a very long time. Something I have been missing and wanted to do, but just didn't do it for some reason or other. I went out to feed my horses! I used to do it every day since we brought them home. But when my son came to stay with us, he'd do it before we were even up and around. Just to get them fed. With me, feeding was more than just giving them food. It is that special relationship I share with my "little girls."

Georgie Girl had missed me. She is the boss mare but shows her soft side to me. She loves babies (human), apples, carrots, dandelions, having her hooves trimmed, being brushed and pampered. Pampering is what she does best. Her being pampered.....not her doing the pampering! I talk to her and tell her how pretty she is. She really likes being told that. Who wouldn't? She minds me real good. I can yell to her from the house and she will do what I tell her to do. Not many horses will do that. But she hates to get in trouble and she is VERY intelligent.

Dark Shadow is not the boss. But she bosses Tawny. And for the life of me, I cannot get Tawny to stand up to her. Tawny will stand up to Georgie but not to Dark Shadow. I don't understand that at all. She knows that Georgie Girl is the boss mare. Dark Shadow is VERY spirited and acts like a filly. She never does anything slow. Walks fast. Eats fast. She is the look out horse. Georgie sends her out to see what is going on.

 Yesterday, Georgie would not eat at supper time. My husband got very mad at her. Said she was a stupid horse. He dumps their food in snow if there is any because that is how they like it. It is dusty horse pellets and they like the moisture on it. Anyway, Georgie would not touch it. So I went out to see why. She usually loves her food and everybody else's. The electric line behind the lean-to had fallen, and was embedded in the ice and snow on the ground.

My husband had dumped her food right on top of it (not on purpose). Even though the fence is not hot since the snow covers the bottom line. She would not take the chance and eat her food on top of that wire. I don't blame her. She don't understand the way the electric fence works. So I had to pick up handfuls of her feed and hand feed her. She loved that (Didn't I tell you that she LOVES to be pampered?)!

This morning was a beautiful start for my day. I hadn't realized how much I had missed that time. In the morning it is so quiet, except for hearing the birds sing. I looked up in the maple tree out front, way up in the very top, was that robin with the big red breast. He was singing his morning song in the sunlight. He sounded so happy. That is how I felt out there myself.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Trees Surround Us All

I love trees! They surround us. When I look out any window in my house I see trees.So many trees that I cannot count them all . Because we have many, many trees. In fact when we had a tornado we lost over 300 and our property is less than five acres. Those trees were huge and they were pulled up their roots.

The Devastation Of May 2000 Tornado!
Trees provide us with so many things it is hard to believe anyone could not love them. I have always enjoyed trees. From the time I was a small child, we always had trees in our yards. My father always put swings up in the trees for my brother and me. That was usually the first thing he did when we moved anywhere. We had those wonderful swings that he made with a board seat and either a chain or a rope. The kind that go very high.

When I go anywhere, I know where every horse is along my various routes. The same with the trees. Some stand out more than others. Some trees I don't really notice so much until they are knocked or cut down. Then I miss them. Many times we take them for granted.

When I lived in another house in my previous life, I had two maple trees in my yard. I didn't really pay attention to them except to rake the leaves. There was a mountain directly behind that house, heavily wooded. Did I ever pay attention to it back then? Not really. Except to enjoy the privacy that I got from my house not having other houses behind me. I am sorry that I was like that back then. I pay a lot of attention to our trees here. I love each and every one. And feel sorry if one has to be taken down.

The forest around me gives me a feeling of safety and peacefulness. It is quiet except for the birds. It is very still in the winter cushioned by the snow. It is no wonder that the deer and birds are laughing at us all. While we are living in our little boxes of houses, full of noise and scents of the man made world........ they live in splendor, listening to the breeze in the treetops and feeling the sunlight on their natural coats of fur or feathers. Each season is different in the forest. Every day you find a new and unique experience!

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our Dog Hates Dog Food!

 Home canned meat can be fed to your dog!

This is the instructions for feeding dogs on our can of dog food.

"Daily Feeding Guide (An individual dog's requirements may differ from this guide. Adjust quantities appropriately for your dog. Puppies can be fed up to 1-1/2 times the highest amount listed in their category): Weight of Dog Toy Up to 10 lbs: 1/3 to 3/4 cans per day; Small 10 to 25 lbs: 3/4 to 1 2/3 cans per day; Medium 25 to 50 lbs: 1 2/3 to 2 3/4 cans per day; Large 50 to 75 lbs: 2 3/4 to 3 3/4 cans per day; Large/Giant 75 to 150 lbs: 3 3/4 to 6 1/3 cans per day. Mixing with Dry? Replace 1/4 can for each 1/3 cup of dry food. (1 can = 13.2 oz, 1 cup = 8 oz measuring cup.) Storage & Care: Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate unused portion (up to 3 days). Always ensure your dog has an adequate supply of fresh water."

Do people really feed their dogs this much dog food?  Our dog doesn't really like any dog food. She tolerates it if she must. But 2 3/4 to 3 3/4 cans of dog food for a large dog? That seems pretty excessive to me. Of course it is good for the dog food manufacturer to put that on the can to encourage everyone to feed their dog as much as that processed food as possible.

I buy it for her just to have it on hand when I can't give her meat. She is not one to eat leftovers such as spaghetti or vegetables. Nikita is very fussy and will only eat what she wants. Don't tell me to not feed her until she will eat the processed stuff..........she will let it sit. Besides would you want to be forced to eat food that you cannot stand? No? Neither would I.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Friday, March 25, 2011

Choosing To Live Off-The-Grid

"Why in this modern world would anyone want to live in a house without electric or plumbing?"

"You are going to have a hard life living like that. Ask me how I know."

"I love my electric." This was from my Mother.

"I think of it as a privilege to pay the electric and gas company $200. a month for their services." This was from my Mother in-law. 

So many people warned my husband and me when we bought our house in the middle of the state forest. A house that had never been hooked up to any electric or telephone lines. A house that had been a hunting camp since 1923. A house that needed much tender loving care and repairs. At first I admit, it was like an adventure. My stepdaughter said, "It's like you are always on vacation."

I can't tell you how many times all the people on the grid who are paying for the privilege of using the power grid have had power outages since we moved here. We had a tornado and still had our power. The people around us were without power for more than a week. It doesn't feel like a hardship to me. It is more a hardship to me to pay that electric bill. I'd rather buy a new wind turbine or a bag of horse feed. Things I can have because I don't pay the electric company.

We didn't chose to live off-the-grid due to it being cheaper. Though it is, after you have built up your system. We chose it because we wanted independence. We had started reading Backwoods Home Magazine and Countryside Magazine and they really influenced us a lot. Our plan of living in a rural area and generating our own power became something we wanted to do in the worse way.

You don't need a lot of money to get started if you add a little bit at a time to your system. I write about that pretty regular on my other blog, Solar Baby. I am not trying to convert anyone to living this way. It has to be something you really want to do. Anyone can do it if they really want to, just like anything else in life.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cooking With The Griswold Bolo Oven

My Griswold Bolo Oven

This morning after our breakfast, I put a turkey breast in my little Bolo oven that sits on top of our wood heating stove. It is the neatest little tool I have! I found it many years ago in a junk shop we like that also has an antique shop inside. They put all the junk outside in the spring, summer and fall in huge tents. All kinds of great things. I found lots of canning jars there. And tins. I love tins for storing medicinal plants that I have dried for the winter. Anyway, let me get back to my Bolo oven.

It is made by Griswold and the embossed lettering on the top reads:

Griswold Bolo Oven 
Two In One
Big Oven - Little Oven
Bakes In Half The Time With Half The Fuel
The Griswold Manufacturing Co. Erie, PA, USA
Patented June 20, 1916, September 20, 1919
June 8, 1920
No. 180-B

Large oven baffle at top

 It doesn't look like much. I need to repaint it this summer. Clean up the rust on it. After all, it is pretty old! But it works. It has a baffle in it that must be in place inside for it to work. If you want to bake something big, you put the baffle in the top of the oven. If it is small, you put it the middle. That is why it is called Big Oven Little Oven. But it MUST have the baffle in it when you are using it. It says that right on the baffle.

 Small oven baffle in the center

As you can see it has glass panes in the door. The top one had a crack in it when I bought it. Since I only paid $12.00 for it, I am not complaining. I believe the store I bought it at did not know what it was or what a great find it was! I have seen one or two of these online selling for over a hundred dollars. Even in worse shape than mine. It is made of a metal. Has handles on the side so it is easy to lift and move to where you want it. 

All Done!
 I have baked cakes, cookies, pies, desserts, breads, casseroles, etc. in it. Works great for whatever you want. It is even great for roasting turkeys, roast beef, etc. So if you are using a wood stove in the winter to heat your house, you can use it for cooking your meals as well. It does make a difference in how hot your stove is for what you are cooking. I have cooked a turkey many times in this oven or my wood cook stove oven by putting it in a dampered back oven all night.

Now I don't think you could find one of these anywhere. The camping stores sell those portable ovens, and they just may do the job. Mmmm! Time to go eat! 

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Updated August 2016

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Land Line Or Cell Phone?

 Our land line runs under the road here.

We are going through so many changes here. Not all geared on the power system, though that will figure in there soon too. What I am working on presently is changing our email addresses over to our internet server. We have had this server over a year, but kept the dial-up through our phone company. Now we are changing over so we can shut that down.
After we complete the change over of our email addresses. Then the next part of this quotation is changing our telephone numbers with important business and family and friend contacts. My husband will be buying his own cell phone this week. Then we can both have our own. Then we will shut off our telephone service through the land line.

It is funny when I think back when we moved here in 1999, there was no telephone service to our house at all. The telephone wire had to be run under the road to be brought to our house. We had two lines put in and had two telephone lines. Then we eventually had two computer dial-up connections. We begged and begged our telephone company,  Frontier to install DSL in our area. Well, they did. In the area around us, but not to us. They said they put us on a waiting list. Well, we are still waiting.

Now with my Tracfone, my telephone bill is only $10.79 a month. So I figure I will stick with that. It works for me as I am not a phone person anyway. I am a computer person, in case you didn't already know that. LOL

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, March 21, 2011

Homestead Priorities Must Come First

I have come to a decision today. Actually I have been thinking about it for days now. I am going to stop selling online. Today I am taking off many of the books I have listed in my Bonanza booth. The reason isn't so much that sales are slow, though they are. It is just that I am spreading myself too thin. I have way too many things to take care of on a daily basis. Packaging up things and getting them in the mailbox is just one too many things for me to deal with.

Spring cleaning and planting is coming up and that is really more important to me than spending time trying to get people to buy my items. One thing I don't want to cut back on is writing my blogs and working on my book. So the place I have to cut back on is the area of selling. Selling is not as easy as everyone thinks. They think you just list them and wait. But there is a lot more to it than that. It takes a lot of time, effort and hard work.

Books are hard to sell. Once you cover the Bonanza fee, the Paypal fee, the postage, the envelope you pack it in, the ink and paper for printing the label, and then you try to make something on the sale. Profit! Profit you ask? Well Amazon has almost every book you can list and their sellers usually sell them for a penny or not much more. So how can I compete with them? They win.

I am more concerned with our homestead chores to tell you the truth. This year I am going to be doubling our garden production as well as foraging for wild foods and medicines. Planning on stocking up on lots of food since the price of food is going up and up. So I hope to be doing a lot of canning, dehydrating and storing fresh.

Plus I am planning on spending time with my horses this year. Especially taking Tawny out of the paddock and doing things with her. She needs my attention.

Working on the pantry and root cellar and helping my husband get them in place and usable. The same with my upstairs.

So I will be cutting out the unproductive parts of my life. Selling just happens to be the first. Otherwise, I will be here writing my blogs just like usual.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole