Monday, November 28, 2011

Free Homesteading Books For My Kindle Fire!

As all my readers know by now, my husband recently bought me a Kindle Fire. So I was excited to go to Amazon to pick out some books to read. What I discovered was a lot of FREE books. They aren't just free, but for a homesteading gal with a mind set on the old ways of doing is a GOLDMINE!

I have discovered so many new books to me that were written in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Before 1923, means there is no copywrite on these books. I am having a field day on these books! Now I can't wait to get off my computer in the early evening, so I can read my new books on my Kindle Fire. I know we usually think free things are not worth anything. Well for me, these books are full of information that can be used even today. Yes, there is some information that is outdated. But I like reading how they did things back then. I take what information I can use and go from there.

Here is list of some of the books I bought from the Kindle store and loved: (ALL But one is FREE!)

1. Mary at the Farm and Book of Recipes Compiled during Her Visitamong the "Pennsylvania Germans" - Edith Thomas - This book is the first one I got for the Kindle Fire. It is the story of a young girl, Mary coming to stay at her Aunt and Uncle's farm to learn how to be a housewife for her upcoming marriage. The discussions between her and her Aunt are priceless. It is also a cookbook with Mary and her Aunt's recipes. And VERY good recipes!

2. The American Frugal Housewife - Lydia Maria Francis Child - This book had many good reviews on Amazon even though most of the women liked it from the historical stand point. I liked learning new frugal things that were so common back then. If you let yourself, you can learn from reading books like this.

3. Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking  - Unknown author - This cookbook could become my favorite. It has all those classic recipes we know of the Amish cook lore. The recipes for Rivels, Hot Dutch Potato Salad, Chicken and Corn Soup, etc.

4. Dishes and  Beverages of the Old South - Martha McCulloch-Williams - This book is another one that is part historical and big part the recipes. The author tells about her "Mammy" and how she did things. Lots of detail on her kitchen, and cooking with, and cleaning the cast iron cookware. Very good info! I love this book and can't wait to sit down and just read it.

5. The Virginia Housewife - Mary Randolph -This is considered one of the first cookbooks of its time period. When looking through it I found many shortcuts and substitutions for various ingredients. She had a recipe for "Mock Macaroni", croquets, vermecelli, and just about every kind of pudding you can think of....and many you can't!

6. The Book of Household Management -  Mrs. Isabella Mary Beeton - This book is another one that is a cookbook and book combined. I think in the day of these books, they explained why or what the history was of the recipes or way of doing things came about. The author is instructing you how to be a good mistress of the house. Doing your work in a timely manner and doing it so you don't have to do it over and over. I found it very helpful for some things I want to work on myself.

7. Self-Sufficiency (Back to Basics Guides) -Abigail R. Gehring - This book I accidentally bought when I first tried to buy using Amazon Prime. It has a lot of good information and is good for anyone new to homesteading. I am hopeful I will learn something new in it. Not saying that I know it all!

8. Life in the Backwoods - Susanna Moodie - This book I have just started and it has already grabbed my interest. I like reading about this time period and the way of life. The descriptions of the way things were cooked, cleaned and cared for make the book well worth my time.

9. Letters of a Woman Homesteader - Elinore Pruitt Stewart - I have had this book in my computer for some time. Before I got my Kindle Fire I was reading it on my computer. I have been putting a chapter on my NY Homesteading group's forum daily, as it is just so good. The author is writing this book as letter written to her former employer.

10. Patchwork A Story of 'The Plain People'  Anna Balmer Myers - This book is a novel and I have not started it yet. I glanced through it and I can't wait to start reading it. It is about a young girl who has lost her mother and is being raised by someone else, learning the ways of the plain people that her mother would have taught her.

I will be putting up more books here as I read them. All of these books are free except for the Self-Sufficiency book. Amazon did not ask me to write this post, and they are not paying me for it (doggone it!). But I am an affiliate of Amazon, so be sure to read my link below for more information on that process. So if you click on all but one of the links, they are free. If you like these kind of books, you are in for a treat! By the way, you do not have to own a Kindle to download the free books on Amazon, they have an app there for reading them on your computer. Check it out!

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

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful For My Readers!

Our Thanksgiving dinner yesterday was a traditional dinner. Nothing fancy, just good food, cooked by me. Our pumpkin pies and bread was made with pumpkin we grew in our garden, and I canned. A little bit of work for an outstanding meal! That is one of the advantages of raising your own food. Next year, I plan on following a plan I have devised for filling our food supply.

Today I am worn out from a day spent in the kitchen. But it was worth it. To make a nice dinner for my husband and son. My son has been a big help to me in the kitchen, and I know most men his age would not want to be in the kitchen helping their mom. But he worries about me and this is the only way he can help. I appreciate his help so much!

I am very thankful to my husband, who throughout the year keeps our home running smoothly. He is always working on making things easier, repairing something, or just general care of our homestead and horses. I appreciate it and may not tell him every day. Not only that, but he is instrumental in my computer work for my home based business........which is very important for keeping our homestead running smoothly.

We don't participate in the Christmas shopping season that everyone else loves to do. My husband did buy me a Kindle Fire as a surprise, but not really a Christmas gift. Just because he knew I wanted one, and if I had one I could read at night using the light on it. Our power is limited during the winter without much sunlight. Another reason I wanted one was that I love reading eBooks instead of physical books now. But even more so, now that I have my Kindle Fire!

I hope you all had a wonderful dinner yesterday and are having a good holiday week-end with your family. I just want to say here that I am thankful for all my readers here. Listening to what I say and taking the time out of your day to visit my blog, making a comment and/or telling others to visit it too............really means a lot to me. I love all of my readers even though I do not know you and am grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you!

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DIY Rear Lift For Older Dogs Going Up Stairs

Nikita loves laying in snow!

We had been having some issues with our dog, Nikita, as she ages. She is now thirteen and except for her weight issue, seems to be healthy. She has always been very picky about her food. I have tried to feed her the raw food diet, which consists of meat and raw bones. She loves both and it is her choice over all other. I have to work on her to get her to eat dog food. Another food she loves is cat food, and that is something she has been eating right along. I think it may have contributed to her gaining so much weight. She steals it when no one is looking. Now she has been on a diet and has not had any cat food, or any greasy meats. She has been doing good on it and looks like she has lost some weight already.

Nikita Could Not Get Up These Stairs

A couple weeks ago, she went outside and could not get back up the stairs. So my husband had to build a ramp out of whatever he had on hand. The ramp came out pretty good and I like it for myself. At first, Nikita would not use it. She was nervous about it and would not go on it. He got mad and went out to our little graveyard to dig a grave for her. He said if she can't come in the house, we cannot leave her outside.

The New Ramp!

I saw him take the shovel and pick and head out there. But I said to myself, "Oh no, it is not time for that. She is not that bad off." I headed to my computer. Started searching for a way to get her up the stairs. This is what I found for helping a dog go up the stairs.......the Walkin' Support Sling (This is a different one than the original one I found that day. It seems that particular one has been discontinued.). I needed something that day though, not something I had to order and wait for. So that was out. Besides, I don't think she'd have accepted the original one I had found because it had loops around each separate leg. I know my dog. She is VERY particular about things. This newer style one she would have used with no problems.

The Ramp Has Asphalt Roofing On Surface.

Then I found these answers on Yahoo Answers:

"They do make slings which fit under the dogs belly both front and back. then with his size you would need 2 people to lift and carry up the stairs. This works well for large size dogs. It just lifts his feet up and off you go and he can walk if he is able while you are supporting most of his weight. i would not use right after eating or drinking. Available in large pet stores. Good luck, I have been there also."

"Now use a beach towel looped under the tuck up (where the hind legs meet the body. and support the rear, this will help."

Stairs Are Not Easy For Us!

I took a big towel and went out to the barn where Nikita was laying. I told her I found the answer and she got up and seemed excited. I put the towel around her, in front of the back legs and walked her to the back stairs. I called Jeff (my son) to come help. He and I worked together and she was able to go right up the stairs. She was so happy to get back in the house! Then Jeff went out to the graveyard and told Larry. He was happy too as he did not want to lose our little girl yet. Nikita is a big part of our life and taking the stress off her about going up and down the stairs once she learned to use the ramp made her indeed, a very happy girl.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011  Kathleen G. Lupole
Updated 2016

Sunday, November 20, 2011

My New Kindle Fire - Thank You, Larry!

Yesterday my husband totally surprised me! I am still speechless...............

The mail carrier came and my son, Jeffrey went out and got the mail. He came walking in with two small boxes, and handed them to my husband. I asked who they were for. He said "Larry." I saw Amazon written on the outside of the box and figured he had ordered parts to something or new movies. But he looked at the box and then handed them to me. He said they were for me! Me???? I knew I hadn't ordered anything.

Click picture to buy from my Amazon affiliate link!

I took the boxes and saw printed on the box "Kindle Fire" in big letters! I was so excited! He knew I was trying to save up my Swag Bucks to buy one. Just the night before when I went to bed, I was thinking how long it would take me to get enough Swag Bucks to buy one.

Doesn't look like much, does it?

I can't tell you too much about it yet. But you know me.............I will be writing more about it as I learn how to use it. But the one thing I can't believe is how my husband, Larry, and my son, Jeff, shared this secret all week and never said a word! Jeff is not the best secret keeper. They were both watching for the mail carrier to bring it, and Friday was the day it was supposed to arrive, and it did not. According to the tracking number, it had arrived at our post office, but was not delivered until the next day. They were both anxious. I loved it that they surprised me!

Enjoying learning my new Kindle Fire!

One thing we have been striving toward is changing our household over to all digital products as much as possible. I have sold off most of my music CDs and now will have my music stored on my Cloud storage on Amazon. I buy just about everything there already. If you buy mp3 music from Amazon though, it does not use any of your 5 G of storage on the cloud......another incentive to shop there. Smart Amazon!

Searching for books on Amazon!

Since my husband bought it on his Amazon account, it was automatically registered as Larry's Kindle. This morning he deregistered it, and I registered it as mine. So I am waiting for the change over at the moment. One big reason for me wanting one so bad is that since we generate our own electricity, and some nights, especially in the winter (when there is not much sunshine), I cannot read at night because we cannot spare the extra power for the lights. This way I can sit and read on my Kindle Fire...........which I did last night! I downloaded a free book that was written in 1909, which was about a homesteading family. It was a story and a cookbook in one. I loved reading it on my new Kindle Fire!

The cover for my Kindle Fire!

I'll be on my Kindle Fire today............

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

Friday, November 18, 2011

Homemade Shampoo

This post has been moved to my new Homesteading on The Internet blog. It is a recent blog post called Making Your Own Shampoo.

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye

minnikin's critters

She was a shepherdess. I met her on Homesteading Today, a homesteading forum. Since we both lived in NY, we became friends there. Eventually, we both became members of a NY homesteading group. For some reason we seem to have connected  immediately. She always liked the way I would say that my husband said, that "we were not living old-fashioned, but of the future." Several times she'd ask me to repeat it so she could remember it. I believe it was the way she was trying to live also.We met in person FINALLY, at our NY group's second get together, which was at Bowman Park. I remember when I was introduced to her, she just hugged me like we were old friends, who hadn't seen each other in some time.

Hut On The Hill Homestead

Mary Scholefield lost her battle with breast cancer this past Saturday. She was a major member on our NY  forum and really lived this homesteading life. Her knowledge she shared with us all. I read some of her posts from 2007 today, and found them so full of information. "Minnikin" really knew the direction she wanted to take with her Hut On The Hill Homestead. I might add that her homestead was a big old dairy barn that she and her husband, Jim, had been working on. They lived in one end and the animals in the other. I always liked that idea.

Some of her lambs!

One of our members, "backtotheland" wrote:

"I remember the first time I met Mary. I answered an ad on craigslist for Jackie who wanted a certain breed of sheep and Mary had one. Well away I went with Jackie in my Eddie Bauer Explorer to find Mary and the sheep. We finally found her and we both immediately fell in love with them, Mary and her flock of sheep. We loaded Toy in the car and brought her back to Jackie's where she is still going strong today. 

Then there was the time I went out to see Mary at the "barn house" and we had such a good time while she showed me the property. I myself,  purchased two ewes from her, Bonnie and Little Sister. Little Sister is gone now, which I found out the other day. But Bonnie is still going strong. And I think, due to the circumstances where she is, that I'm going to ask for her back as soon as I can get a building up. She is a beautiful ewe and I don't want anything to happen to her, especially now. Mary was a wonderful, wonderful lady and I will miss her, even though I didn't see her much."

Artwork done by her nephew that she was so proud of!

She will always be "minnkin" to me.  As a homesteader, "minnikin" had so many plans. She was really into the raw milk issue. And had posted a wonderful blog post about it that I wish I had saved. On our group's forum she had posted many links to a variety of homesteading topics. I think I will be posting some of her ideas in future posts on this blog as the information is so timely and should not be wasted. She was studying on how to train oxen and had such hopes of what she would do in the future.


Mary posted, "Some days my favorite thing to do is go sit with critters. Today I bundled up warmly and sat in the hay with the lambs - Minuet, Caliope, and Zephyr.

Minnie is the sweetest little thing - as friendly as a puppy and soft as the fine-wooled breeds. She's a kind of lonely right now because her Mum is in with the ram. I am honored that she thinks I am a suitable substitute for company. She stayed right by side, nibbling my hair, pulling off my glasses, and nudging me for scratches. She's a clingy one and follows me like the old rhyme.. everywhere that Mary went, Minuet was sure to go...

Zephyr , the newest addition, seemed very unsure about me sitting there, at first. I could tell he was really nervous because I could see too much white around his eyes. They get wild eyed looking when they're nervous.

Eventually he came sniffing around to see what I was all about, so I pulled out a pair of scissors and started snipping at some wool tags around his head. Those are little wads of felted wool that form around hay seeds, behind their ears, or on the chest and belly. The wool in these tags pulls on the sheep's skin. They enjoy it when I sit there gently cutting them out.

Soon, instead of wild eyed nervousness, he was standing with droopy, half closed lids...

After about an hour the temperature started to really drop, and I had to escape to the heat, but it was such a nice way to spend a little time. It makes me feel guilty, though - playing hooky from chores."

One of her angora bunnies!

My deepest sympathy and prayers are sent to Mary's family. Just know, that she will never be forgotten. And all the members of our NY Homesteading group, will be using her knowledge for many years to come!

Rest In Peace, Sweet Homesteading Sister!


Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Monday, November 14, 2011

Horses In The Forest

Georgie Girl

Georgie Girl is the "boss mare" of our little horse herd. She had become the "boss mare" of the farm we bought her from, as soon as I let her go out with the other horses. She took over that herd on her own. She also bonded with Dark Shadow who is her half sister. Since Georgie Girl was a racehorse there, she was kept separate from the group of horses that were allowed to go out on the pasture. My buying her changed that.

Dark Shadow, Georgie & Tawny

In our tiny herd, Tawny is the low horse on the totem pole. She gets even with that position by attacking smaller animals than her. Like our dog, Nikita, our cat, Callie, who she attacked twice............and when we had my pet hen, Lil' Red, she almost killed her. So as sweet and cuddly she is when she is hugging on us, she has that "pony" attitude and shows how tough she really is. Now, the only cats that dare to go past her in the paddock is Hobo, who for some reason she leaves alone. Hobo spends a lot of time out in the paddock hunting, and that seems to be okay with Tawny. The stray tomcat who appears to live here too, though I can't get near him, walks through the paddock often, and none of the horses even look up.

Dark Shadow getting up

Dark Shadow is very spirited. Georgie and Tawny have calmed down with age. Not Dark Shadow. She seems to be not aging at all. If something or someone is in the woods or walking up the road, she either walks very quickly, or trots to the fence to get a closer look. She has always walked very fast. At the farm we bought her from, she would gallop right up to my husband standing out in the arena, and stop right in front of him. I think she liked doing that. He had no problem with it at that time. I think now, he'd be more careful, since he has aged since then himself.


Living out here is very quiet for these girls. They don't pay attention to the vehicles driving by. Even four wheelers or snowmobiles. They are used to them. Hunters go by and sometimes fire off guns when in the woods. Doesn't seem to bother these girls at all. Now the only thing that actually gets their attention is stray dogs or cats, and of course, other horses riding by. When the state forest workers walk along the fence line marking the trees for logging, they pay attention to them. I think they are just very curious. Much like we are.

Jeff handing out apples!

My son has been taking care of them since he came to stay with us. He is feeding the girls and spending a lot of time with them. They are very trusting to lay down while he walks right up to them, petting them, giving them apples and talking to them. Horses don't usually stay down when someone is nearby. But our horses have been doing that for years with my husband and me. And now with my son. Must be this life out in the forest agrees with them.

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