Thursday, September 25, 2008


according to this article that is what the "bailout" will cost the spouse and myself.

Let me put that into OUR perspective. That is the total cost of the 3.5 acres we are in the process of buying, something that will take us an entire year to pay off at our current payment amounts. That pretty much equals the entire amount that we've spent on vacations in the past 13, all together...13 vacations for actually LESS than the bailout cost. A new car/truck for the spouse, a pull behind travel trailer, 126 weeks (WEEKS) of gasoline in our one vehicle, 1155 packs of socks/underwear/t-shirts, 1732 gallons of milk....etc.

You see where I'm headed with this right?

No, I don't go for the "bailout". The whole smelly mess pisses me off to no freakin' end. These screwballs we are "bailing out" are getting a HANDOUT, imo. A handout that they don't deserve by any means. How about they make those big execs fork over the millions of benefits/bonuses they've been reaping for years? Now that would work for me. Use your own damn profits to get yourself out of trouble, isn't that what every small business in America has to do? Do for themselves out of their profits, make a run of it or fail. Wall street has had a good run, but they've doomed themselves with shady business practices and like any other shady business they need to fail.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If I have to be in one place

for TEOTWAWKI, it's here!

The screamers and I spent the day at the folks' place gathering walnuts, plantain, goldenrod and dandelion roots. They loved it, as usual, and the day got me to thinking on where else we would go in times of crisis. The only other place would be back to KY, but why when we love it here so much? Sure, we've got family there but we have it here too.

We're not out of the way, you don't have to look hard to find the rental, but we're surrounded by woods and wildlife. The lake is chock full of fish, deer are abundant, rabbits have a nice little burrow behind the rental and the plant life is overflowing our cups.

I ruminated on these things as I watched the youngest screamer squeal with glee over the pile of walnuts he had gathered. Times are changing, rapidly. It makes me grateful that the spouse and I chose to "force" our boys into a simple life. A natural life of imaginative play that doesn't rely on the boob tube or video games for entertainment value. There won't be much for them to miss when the final whimpering cry of the economy comes to a halt. The death rattle doesn't bother them, not just because they are 2 and 4 and not interested, but because we have secured ourselves enough that the initial fall will not do too much damage. So it doesn't eat at us that way that we see it eating at others. We are not in denial, we know that it doesn't matter how much "money" gets pumped in, the economy as we know it is failing...miserably. We watch acquaintances at church, old and young, struggle to understand what is really happening. We shake our heads to ourselves when the incredibly naive and outspoken chick at church proclaims all is good because talk radio said it was (yes, she said it with total seriousness and belief).

The spouse and I are not so comfortable as to be smug, don't get me wrong, but we have just enough slapped back to make the transition to even poorer than usual not so devastating to the screamers. That is what we decided was most important, the screamers and their ease of transition. We feel like we could handle a lot ourselves though we realize that this may just be a year long denial session for us, lol. We are both prepped to do whatever may need to be done in order to survive or even just get by...well, there are a few things that just don't seem as appealing, I'll let you make your own list there.

Oh and we've cancelled the camping trip in favor of saving money on gas and goods by staying home and celebrating the oldest screamer's birthday with family and friends instead. He's happy, we're happy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


On a trek out earlier last week, the screamers and I discovered approximately 7 fully loaded persimmon trees at the edge of our favorite route. I hadn't paid much attention to them before, as they were fruitless the last time we passed by, but they certainly caught my attention last week.

The fruits are already full-sized, awaiting the first good hard frost of the fall to ripen, and the trees are simply laden with persimmon-y goodness. They sit on the perimeter of a glade that I am most certain contains even more yumminess. Weather permitting, the screamers and I are off to explore said glade this week. A nice little picnic, a bit of wandering. I'm actually looking forward to it, pathetic eh?

No harm becoming more familiar with the area around the rental, as the current financial issues here though not as grand as the issues in the "world" are setting us back to next summer before we are well on our way to actually being on our land. There is unfortunately not bail out for us, we are required to keep our vehicle in the fuel and in decent running condition on our own as well as pay the rent, utilities and buy food. Oh if only my name were Fannie and the spouse was Freddy, lol. We will survive howeverand have a buttload of persimmons to deal with once they are ready to go.

Thankfully, the recent drenching we received followed by the lower temps have put an end to my own personal green bean hell. 40 plus bushels of green beans is more than enough for this year, thank you very much. The tomatoes have not yet quit, the watermelons are in full swing of PICK ME, the eggplants seem to have enjoyed the brief stint of cold and are once again in bloom and the green peppers are happily producing more fruit than I can currently keep up with. We have been blessed with a bountiful enough garden this year that we've been giving away what we can't use or put up. We could have sold it at the Farmer's Market, but honestly WHY would I want to go through the hassle of filling out the paperwork so late in the season? They close down in October as it is, so we were just as happy to give it away to the elders at church that couldn't garden this year.

The theme for our house the rest of the month is camping trip prep and finishing off the fall/winter wardrobe for the ever growing screamers. I swear, the oldest is already growing like a teen at 4yrs old, I'll never keep up with that boy's clothes!

Got any good ideas for storing, cooking, whatever persimmons? Send them my way, I'll need them!

Well now

We've had an interesting day or so haven't we? Man, am I ever glad that there is no 401k or stock ownership in this house! While saving money is a priority, neither the spouse nor myself have had much faith in investing for quite sometime. Seems to have been a good type of mistrust, eh? I won't beat on that one, there are enough of us blogging about that particular panic.

But on to things of a better nature, or at least things that matter to us, when we travel through the pantry and stores. With the half a cow and whole pig set to move in over the next few months, we are full (with the exception of the subject of tomorrow's post). A fantastic thing that will let us start filling in the gaps in the non-food type preps. Spouse will finally get to buy that new gun he's been dreamin' of (Merry Christmas my dear) and I'll be working through the wishlist of things that we COULD do without but if we can get them now why wait until we need them and have to scramble to get them. Yep, bigger sized clothes for the screamers for next summer while they are on clearance (ones that I can't make myself), same for the spouse and myself, a new tent (ours is alright but we sure would like to stretch out to sleep), more camp items, another kerosene heater, the ability to make candles...wait, can't buy that one better just learn it.

My task is simple over the next few weeks. Enjoy the nice cool weather with the screamers before it turns too cold to be out long. Oh yeah, and work on a easy to fix and easier to pack into the cooler menu for the 4 day camping trip we'll be enjoying in a couple of weeks. Got any suggestions?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Flaw? (Feeling Pensive)

Is it genetics, part of our evolution as the human species, that we have the horrible
tendency to live in places that any logic would tell us are unacceptable? We build our cities and towns, thriving ports of human activity, in locations that routinely kick our asses. And we keep building and rebuilding after every kick. Why is that?

I've wonder this for years. We build on top of caves, fault lines, mountain sides, tornado prone plains and hurricane prone coasts. I know that to not build in these places would be to turn our backs on places that are highly habitable in most times. It is the times that are not so favorable that put me in this pensive mode. I am not in the safest place, being as near to the New Madrid fault as I am, but I don't worry as much as I probably should about an earthquake. Not as much as I would if were west of the Rockies at least. I am far enough from the Mississippi that flooding from it is not a serious threat, though local springs, streams and creeks do present the occasional over the banks problem.

What continues to draw us to places that are so obviously not the safest port in a storm? Why are we drawn to the coasts when we KNOW that hurricanes haunt them annually? Why are we drawn to the plains when we know that tornadoes can and will rip through at any given time? Why build massive cities on top of a cave system that is so vastly unexplored and stretches from Tennessee to Canada?

Is it a primordial instinct that we possess somewhere deep in our largely unused brains that demands, even in these times of plenty (compared to our cave-dwelling ancestors), that we settle ourselves somewhere that we will be able to scavenge food stuffs should we return to the not so plentiful times (ie major time TEOTWAWKI)?

I told you I was feeling pensive tonight.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What a Fall

it's shaping up to be! The temps are a whopping mid 70's this week (supposedly, we shall see), we had the hottest day of the summer around here over Labor Day and we are jumping right on into leaf changing time.

The trees have that lovely pre-change green to them, ya know where they have a yellow tint to the green that just hints at fall. The sumacs are slowly changing to that fabulous burgundy that stuns me every year, walnuts are going lemon yellow, Virgina creeper has been turning too...shocking red.

The screamers have been busy at the folks' place with picking up walnuts and tossing them in the drive for the inevitable crunch of tires to de-hull them (de-hull, lol...I like that), I've been cruising the fields and woods hunting down some useful "weeds" to add to the herbal and diet, the spouse is putting in extra hours to get the rest of the bills paid off in anticipation of the something that we both feel is coming. Cash is King afterall and debt will not be a friend in the near future (not that it ever is).

While we await the winter, I've been busy doing what I can to keep us toasty warm with a single kerosene heater should it come to that. Spouse has been picking up kerosene a bit at a time the past month, we have enough now for a solid week of total heating should the electric go out. I've been whipping up some window quilts, adding to the warm section of the wardrobes, working on knitting socks (I'm going for no heel easy to knit things) and of course working with the oldest screamer on his ABC's and 123's.

Spouse and I have been digesting the sunspot news and reminiscing about the last time there were so few. Remember '93-96? We do! Floods in '93, I distinctly remember riding over the bridge in Wickliffe (while they were building the new one) and watching the water lap up over the sides. Winter of '94-'95, ice storms power in some parts of our area for over a week. Winter of '95-'96, ice storms again only this time I zipped through the parking section of my drivers test (I was 18 then btw, lol) on a solid 2" slab of ice. Good times, good times. That is what we are expecting from this winter too. If not, we won't be disappointed but we will be prepared.

Slim Week

Sorry all, going to be a slim week from me this week. I've been recruited to take over my mother's job of babysitting a little, well let us be polite here, girl. Hey, I'll take that $40.

I won't be able to get much done as little Miss is a spoiled lump of "I will not be happy until you are carrying me" flesh AND I have my own to screamers to keep happy. I just keep telling myself it's only a week, not all day and I get real money for it at least (ya know, not the satisfaction thing like with my own kids).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Found Treasures

Well, not all found. Some were just given. I've developed quite the reputation in my family and church family as being the first person you offer your old junk to! I don't know if that is necessarily a good thing, but it works for me.

In the past week we've gotten 4 dozen canning jars, 3 boxes of clothes for the screamers, 2 large boxes of fabric, one small box of yarn, a pressure canner (needs a new gasket), a bread machine and SEVEN cookbooks all printed from 1950 thru 1974. All were leftovers from yard sales that the people didn't know what to do with or didn't want to freecycle/craigslist.

Now, the bread machine has gone to my mother since I've got no real use for it. I do all of my bread making by hand. Why get into the habit of using a machine? Besides, kneading the bejesus out of dough is a fanatastic stress reliever!

I am most excited about the cookbooks. Being that they are very useful in the department of practical cooking from scratch. Not a truly easy feat with a lot of today's cookbooks, but oh-so easy and fun with these. I've found recipe upon recipe in these beauties that I would have never thought of or found in more modern books.

The moral of this post...look for OLD cookbooks, take what you can get for free and pass along what you can't use yourself!

Friday, September 5, 2008

On the Food Storage Front

We were extremely fortunate enough to have a good sized garden this year, one that didn't die from too little or too much rain. We did get it in late, because of the extreme rain we got in the spring/early summer, but that did nothing to deter it's growth.

Whilst on internet sabbatical I got busy with canning. And I mean BUSY. In the past week, my mother and I have put up the following:

55 quarts of green beans
65 pints of green beans
18 pints pizza sauce
34 quarts whole tomatoes
44 quarts spaghetti sauce
32 quarts dill pickles
18 quarts bread and butter pickles
24 quarts sweet pickles
18 quarts pickled veggies (broccoli and cauliflower)
16 quarts peach halves
16 pints peach preserves
18 pints blackberry preserves
16 pints apple butter
24 pints fried apples
36 pints apple jelly
38 pints grape jelly
41 pints plum jelly
10 quarts diced peaches
8 quarts diced apples
10 quarts apple slices
24 quarts apple pie filling
16 quarts shredded zucchini
8 quarts each of grape, apple and plum juice

And that is not the end of it. This weekend we are off to relieve my aunt's apple tree of more apples (poor thing is so very droopy with goodies) and glean a neighbor's peach trees. The pears in the back field aren't looking spectacular, so may not put out near as much as we were hoping. The tomatoes and the green beans also show no signs of stopping anytime soon, though today's high of 64 degrees may slow them down a bit. The watermelons weren't ripe as of last Wednesday, but may be closer now.

Our fall camping trip is scheduled for the first weekend of October, so we are sort of hoping things wind up. Me especially as the parents will be going a whole 4 days earlier than everyone else, leaving me in sole possession of the garden and everything that comes out of it. Did I mention that my storage is bulging and the basement shelves at the parents' are pert near full? Freezers are getting that way too and we've not even gotten the cow in yet! No way will we be able to get the pig slaughtered that my sis has for us, there is no where to put it. So we will be helping to build a winter shelter for him and hope we can get him slaughtered sometime before next fall, lol.

I am not complaining about our abundance...not by any means. I am thrilled with it! Especially since we are expecting such a difficult winter. If it isn't as difficult as we are expecting, then we'll be saving a ton of money by eating stores. Putting us that much closer to getting out of the rental and onto our land!! Here's to hoping!

It's not TEOTW afterall

That was the first thought that popped in my head the day after the great DSL loss fiasco. We've lowered our phone bill by $30 by dropping it and using limited dial-up, I've kept busy anyway with homeschool and canning (that will be a MASSIVE post in and of itself).

Today is a reflection on life without steady's amazing, it goes! After having the net for so long, I thought I would have a major withdrawal period, not so. I went right on with life, even found that I actually had more time on my hands to get busy with the important things without this little distraction. True, I could not research things like I was used to or even keep up with news like I was accustomed, but I got by quite well. I even scored some serious goodies for FREE by just being out and about in our little town. A feat I attempted in order to keep the screamers happy and myself sane.

At any rate, things are semi-back to normal around here. The limited connection will keep me in the happy with some access and keep me happy with free time too. I still have a lot to do after all and well the net just doesn't get the dishes done!
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke