Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Come journey with me...

on the path to self betterment. Part of the getting to like me again plan (see Scary Stuff) is to actually DO something. It is the biggest part actually.

I should give you some background I suppose. I didn't finish college, instead I fell in lust (which eventually grew to love, which eventually...well, once again see Scary Stuff) and got married. A two income salary was required for all of our foolish young ambitions, so I dropped school. I was a photojournalism major...I know, not REALLY a job, lol. I've always regretted not finishing, but haven't had the means to do so. Still don't.

Here is my solution to my predicament:

Free Online Course Materials from MIT
-- from Aeronautics and Astronautics to Writing and Humanistic Studies. You pick it, you learn it. I'm going to get the ideal education for me (eclectic and pretty darn complete from the looks of it) for nada. Sure, no degree to hang on the wall but honestly with all the screamer pics and art I don't have the room. Going to supplement with Berkeley Webcasts too. A high dollar education on things I've always wanted to know about for nothing but the cost of time and paper. Not too bad.

The other big UGH! in my life at the moment is that I know that I am not where I want to be physically. I haven't made one iota of effort to lose the baby weight from youngest screamer. It's going on 3 years since he was born. The time is now. The plan is this. I enjoy running, plus this will give me some of that "me" time I NEED. Gonna also be doing my good ol' yoga to keep the rest of the self toned.

Nowhere near being resolutions folks, I don't make those anymore. These are flat out decisions. They aren't for anyone (ie not aiming to please) but me.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NOT prepared update

Still scary but after a nice long talk, keeping things polite as little ears still hear even from upstairs, the spouse and I got it all out there.

Seems I'm not the only one. He's been a little out of it for a few weeks, thinking many of the same things (I so won't go into detail). So, we're gonna work on it. He has issues about himself to work out just like me. Generally when we are happy with us, we are happy with each other. That's the plan Stan!

Thanks to all that commented earlier, I felt way more calm going into the "we gotta talk" conversation then I would have. I'm already in a better place than I was a few hours ago. Amazing how a heart to heart will do that.

I know everything isn't solved, but at least there is a starting off point now.

I am NOT prepared for this...

Ready for a roller coaster ride? Not political, not economical...if fact it impacts just me and mine.

My own personal SHTF for real. Seems I'm in the midst of a mental/emotional snap. Mid-life crisis at 31? Guess so.

Anyway, my time on here may get even more sporadic, but then again could get even more often. You'll likely have to put up with some seriously scary posts, I'll try to warn you. Point is I'm struggling and I'm not prepared for it. It was completely out of the blue, hit me from literally nowhere. Like a little pop in my brain.

Now I get to explain that pop to the spouse. Should be interesting to say the least. Suffice it to say, I'll be needing good thoughts, positive vibes and lots of prayers to see that I come out better in the end.

This scares me more than anything else out there, honestly.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Have I told you...

about my ferocious appetite for books? I'm sure I've mentioned it in passing, but not at length. I've decided that it's important for me to share this, as books are my passion (knitting falls in secondary to them) favorite thing (other than family of course) in the world. It's important for me to share this for two reasons:

1.) It will explain my online absence since Christmas Eve
2.) The passion of reading is a sanity saver when there is nothing else to do

Naturally point #2 can/does apply a bit to prepping, there will be things that you need to save your sanity. So that justifies my obsessively large reading selection in a way that most people don't think of.

Point #1 was brought about by a simple, single book purchase that the spouse made. He doesn't read anywhere near as much as I do and it is VERY rare for us to share the same taste of books. I love just about anything classic (though Wuthering Heights does bore me to tears and I've not cracked open War and Peace in a gazillion years), pretty much all of Anne Rice's work (specifically the Mayfair Saga and the Vampire Chronicles), the Harry Potter series, anything remotely Shannara related by Terry Brooks, the EC series by J. Auel and the more recent acquisitions (see further on in the post) to the household. The only true book passions the spouse and I share are Stephen King, Harry Potter and the newest members of our little library. He is more of Dean Kootz kinda guy for the most part. We have an obscene number of books.

The reason I gave the above information is to show the pretty extreme differences in our reading (well, my reading, lol) and that there is very little that we share as reading passion. Until recently. The latest series added to our library thoroughly entranced both of us. The spouse used his holiday gift from the in-laws to buy a book that has been impossible to get at the local library (a leap for him since he usually does the library thing first). I've had an aversion to the series because it has a massive teenage following (have you guessed yet) or we would have bought the first book sooner. The spouse devoured it (rare, very rare for him) and insisted I read it.

Let us push on to say, I am now hooked. My absence for the past four days is because I've been wrapped up in the Twilight Saga. Yep, it grabbed me. So much so that the spouse decided he would treat me to the remaining three books. He brought the last two home on Friday evening. I handed back to him the last of the series this morning (Saturday), finished. Obsessive, completely sucked in...I could NOT sleep until I was done. And now I'm ready to start the whole series all over again.

It is not rare for me to do that with a new book, but 4 is definitely something new. I don't know what possessed me, other than it really is a good series. Perhaps because it's been forever since we've gotten a new book. Maybe it's because I desperately needed a break from the "real" world. I've not looked at the news (either online or on TV) since the first book hit my hands. The break has been refreshing in the sense that I spent a few days in a mindless, numb state that didn't make me feel there was something that I needed to do NOW. I had a vacation from the panic, anger and fear that the news sometimes floods me with.

My only problem now is that I've torn through the new books and am stuck with re-reading my favorites until the spouse finishes. Not a big problem really but what I really WANT to do is read beginning to end, one after another with no waiting. Finish one, start the next. That is my most favorite way to read a series.

So I patiently wait, another week or so, for the spouse to finish (I have mentioned that reading is troublesome for him, that will explain the time). I think I'll spend the next week reading over something slightly more relevant to prepping just give my brain a fantasy break. Guess it's going to be Square Foot Gardening this week, not that it will keep me away as fiercely....I'll still be around to ramble at you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Pagan sun festival that was taken over by the early Church in an effort to stamp out any religion that was not their own Day!

I hope your light bearing fir in the stand decorated with shiny baubles, yule fire burning in the fireplace and enormous feast of roast beast do indeed bring back the sun and the light of the new year shines brightly on you and yours.

My sincerest expressions of good will and peace to your family as the winter begins and the forecast calls for you to be stuck in the house due to snow, ice and frigid temps. Should you survive the "long night" of winter intact and not insane, may the warm spring sun and showers bring rebirth to your land.

Many blessings to all (Christian, Pagan, Jew, Muslim, etc) on this eve of celebration, whether you celebrate it or not. Every one can use some good tidings now and again, so these are mine to you!

Happiest of Holidays,

Ozark Momma, Ozark Spouse and Ozark Screamers

Monday, December 22, 2008

Oh my...I'm in swap heaven!

I stumbled on a fun little site tonight, one you may or may not be familiar with. I'll share it with ya in a minute but I gotta tell's darn addictive!

I've spent the last hour and a half going through books we've been wanting to get rid of and adding them to my trade list as well as adding books to my want list. Haven't even started on movies or cds...this could well be the bestest trade/swap site I've seen yet. Heck, you can even print the postage to mail your "media" right from the site.

Come join me in the fun, but be really truly is addictive!


Books, cds, movies and for those that have them, games. I tell ya, I can (and probably will) spend all night browsing this place. I have to wrestle with my book demons a bit though. I simply can't give up a chunk of the books I have, but I want so many more! So I'll be going through the movies to see what is still hidden away in boxes (I think that after a year in boxes they are fair game, right?)

Anyway, just wanted to share something fun and fairly free with ya.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Lessons from Dr. Seuss

Don't think you, as an adult, have anything to learn from good ol' Dr. Seuss? Think again. The screamers and I read something Seussical nightly. They pick, I read. There's been a lot of "Grinch" lately, because of the season. "Horton" and "Yertle" are two big favorites here as well (Horton was even before the movie, which is freakin' hilarious btw). The screamers have only recently discovered the joy of my absolute fave, The Lorax.

While I've known and loved Seuss for years upon years, the recent readings of them have started to ring a whole new message for me. As a youngster, they were pure entertainment with childlike lessons to be learned (though originally it wasn't Seuss' obvious intention to preach, he did a fine job of making you think without the preachiness). Now however, stories like Yertle the Turtle, most specifically, are relating to the times for me. Originally, Yertle was written as a parallel to Hitler. Wouldn't Seuss be surprised to see how well it relates to the US now?

How far our country climbed on the backs of the small, not just her citizenry but other countries and their citizens as well. How far she has to fall. Her grasp became too greedy and carried many a man and woman along to those reaching heights. The fall will be great and we, the Macks, will still carry the weight. There are many who will have their shells crack, who will die of hunger or simply be lost. There are also many who will be Mack, sitting cheerfully on the side of the pond in the end, knowing they are at last free. There will be mud, oh will there ever be mud, but there will be freedom as well. Will you be a Mack or one of the silent stack?

I chose to be a Mack, quite honestly. I chose to speak out, in my way, and burp. I also chose to pass on to the screamers the knowledge that one little burp (though at the moment they choose to take it literally) can change the world. It literally takes one good notion/idea/plan to build or destroy. The proof is all around us. Our country began as a glimmer, a burp. It seems that it will end in a fall however as the principles of the founding have been lost along the way to greed and power. To build her back (if it is at all possible) we will have to look closely at the original burp and try as best we can to make a duplicate, only louder this time so that the message holds true.

Don't think you have anything to learn from rhyming children's books? Think again. You might be pleasantly surprised.

ETA: A bit of pleasantness today...I became an Auntie again (not that I haven't been since I was 11yrs old). Julio Lamar (not his real name) was born at 2:14pm CST, weighing in at 7lbs 12oz with a shock of red hair. I won't get to see the little rooter for a bit, probably not for at least a month, as I've been called to that loverly 6mth jury duty that MO has. Hoping desperately to get out of it as my uncle is a Highway Patrol detective and my cousin is a HP patrolman. At any rate, the rooter and my sis are doing well and I'm really wishing I was in KY.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Poorer than we thought we were....

According to the SNAP calculator (I linked it before), we were eligible for roughly $375 in food stamps. I made an appointment, went in with all the required paperwork and got approved (no big surprise there). The surprise came in the form of a letter this am. We are receiving $391. We weren't expecting to get any until next month BUT the card came with the letter. Why?

We are poorer than we thought we were. I had no idea that we were in such dire straights as to deserve "expedited" services. Apparently, SNAP thinks we need the money NOW.

May I put it out there that we've been doing alright on our personal budget of $350 a month? That we've actually built up a nice little stock of storables without this assistance? And all this time, we've been dirt poor enough that we could have been getting all that "money". Now, for the next 3mths at least, we have the extra $$ to put to the bills and land purchase.

I suppose I should be feeling that we were failing ourselves because we are so far below "the line" that we needed those food stamps ASAP. I don't. I'm amazed at the fact that we have been making it when according to the .gov we shouldn't have been. Doesn't that just peel your paint?

Bonus, we can buy seeds with this. Yippee! The catch, there are no seeds available at big box mart right now. So when the time comes that they are available, there will be some serious seed buying for us. I have to re-read the info, but I think food producing plants are included in this as well. Can you see my plans? Now to convince my father that we need our own garden plot (since we won't be out on the land until late next year at the earliest). Maybe we'll get lucky and find a rental closer to the land that will have a spot for a garden. We're looking to get out of here (too many issues with the landlord) and into something with an actual yard for the screamers. Alas, that will have to wait until later this spring.

Anyway, the point is that we got "assistance" that we didn't think we needed but in the long run this short period of accepting is going to help us out more than if we hadn't accepted. In the next three months we can pay an extra $900 on the land, bringing us approximately 6mths closer to having the deed in hand.

I can live with that.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Now that is Survival!

I love my family...adore them with every fiber of my being. They are a trip that few would enjoy, but I relish the time with them. Every year I marvel at the fact that I survived. Growing up in such an odd family, I have no right to be alive...really, lol. But I managed. And it is fun!

Family Christmas went over with lots of fun and laughter, of course. The screamers kept everyone dully entertained and all got to their homes afterward safely (always a bonus) before the ice and rain began to take hold in it's various locations. We sit here now in 14 degree coolness, enjoying the quiet of our own home (note: we didn't have to travel far as the parental figures only live 2 miles or so away). Rules were followed by family in the "no battery" department. The screamers received learning games and play rugs (Candyland and a Tonka truck thingy).

The in-laws even followed along. The screamers received their holiday goodness from KY with joy. Clothes, a little bit of candy, a handpuppet each and a toothbrush each. Poor deprived kiddos actually squealed with glee. Makes a momma proud. More importantly, makes a daughter-in-law proud that after all these years she is being listened to! So the quickly growing screamers now have a few more warm clothes to add to the closet. Reminder to self: I seriously think it is safe to sort through the outgrown/summer stuff now.

The weather is moving in on us this week, really showing that it is "that time of year". Snow, ice, freezing rain and sleet tossed about by some serious wind. We are ever grateful for our kerosene backup and oil lamps. We've not had to use them yet, but feel better knowing they are HERE instead of elsewhere. The only down side is that the spouse can't work/drive in the mess (he does deliveries by trade) especially in the "hills", so he missed out on work today. Bound and determined to go tomorrow though, as we really can't afford to lose the money. Plus his holiday bonus (however small it may be) is there waiting for him. That is the final touch for gifts for the screamers from the jolly guy as well as a bit extra to pick up one or two smallish things we've been eyeing for prepping.

We're also not so patiently waiting on the gift cards the in-laws sent to the spouse and myself. Straight to prep supplies though I may treat myself to some new tee shirts. The spouse is thinking on getting me a dehydrator for Christmas, I'm planning on a bluing kit for him.

The littlest screamer asked for a puppy for Christmas. I so wish! Unfortunately we can't here. Maybe next Christmas.

I'll drop off here, as it is nearly bedtime for the munchkins...feel free to give me some ideas about what to spend my holiday gift on!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weekend Plans

This coming Sunday is our "Family Christmas". The time when all the slightly twisted members of my maternal side get together to have a little fun. Should be even more fun than last year as there were 5 weddings in the family this year. At least 2 of the new brides have NEVER been to a gathering with just us maniacs. If I had it in me, I'd warn them...but it will be way more fun to sit back and watch the horror on their faces as they realize that they voluntarily entered into this insanity. I was born to it, not that I would chose any other way, but they married it!!

So as I wrap one practical gift (homemade instant potato soup mix...just add hot water) and one gag gift (I'm torn between dog biscuits and toilet paper...both seem kinda practical right now actually) I sit and reflect on Family Christmases past. This will mark the 13th Christmas without Grandpa, his spirit is honored by my mom with her preservation of his favorite chair and jacket sitting quietly by the tree. I think about the patriarch of our strange family and how he would have enjoyed the mild insanity that we have adopted over the years. Pa passed away a week after I graduated high school, never met the spouse and didn't get to see us favorite grandkids (the last 5 born) grow to the adults we are. He would have been proud. He would be entertained and quite possibly a bit appalled. Alas, he is missed.

We party on, without Pa here, with our huge food offerings and strange gifts (we do the White Elephant/New England/whatever you call it exchange). New members seem to be brought in yearly the past 5 years or so, beginning with the birth of my oldest screamer. They learn young the disappointment of receiving a case of Safeguard (as the oldest picked the biggest box under the tree last year, he was mighty upset to find that enclosed) and to enjoy the laughter of family.

We are the noisy Irish type of family, but are not wholly Irish. Our roots are actually Welsh with some Scot, Irish and German thrown in for good measure. Stories are shared over and over with the same smiles and laughs as always. Family history repeated orally, lessons in hardship shared and since "the grandkids" are now all grown we learn things about our parents that would have caused the need for therapy had we learned them as children. And the parents learn things about us that would have caused the need for severe beatings had they known when we were younger.

We are scattered throughout Missouri, Kentucky and Texas but manage to find (most of us) the way "home" for this one weekend. Being the sentimental nutjob of the bunch, I take it all in with a feeling of joy. My screamers are getting to experience something that so many their ages don't. Family, in its raw unadulterated form. It isn't about the holidays/gifts anymore, hasn't been for years. It is about the time we get together, even if it is just once a year.

The one thing I will be missing this year is my sister. She is forbidden to come. Strict orders. No way will she be allowed to even leave the state of Kentucky. No, no crimes have been committed, no laws broken. She is simply being told to stay put by the family. Why? Because she is 38 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and tonight is a full moon. I am ecstatic for her and wish that I could afford the trip down to be there for her as she was there for the birth of both screamers.

I miss her badly. We have the same complaints about Mom (would you please not rearrange my kitchen cabinets to your don't live here) and many of the same ideals. You wouldn't have thought that growing up (she is 8 years my senior), we despised each other. Actually had a thrown down fight in the front yard, where my skinny ass 11 year old self was body slammed by her 7mths pregnant behind. That'll show her to stick her finger in my face...yep...push her butt in the dryer when she bends over...then run like hell. Unfortunately, I did not run fast enough. I actually think the term "slut" is what got me body slammed though. I'll have to ask her, the whole incident is a little fuzzy for me (concussion maybe?). We get on beautifully now though. Very few moments of disgust with each other. Could have something to do with the fact that I grew up. At least that is what she says. Gosh I miss her.

But I'll be on the phone with her most of the day Sunday, I'm sure. She's emotional and high strung right now. I remember the first Family Christmas I missed, sobbed like a twerp and I was 22yrs old. Didn't even have the excuse of being pregnant like she does. The niece will be here though (her 21 yr old daughter....doing the math?) provided her baby brother doesn't decide to make an appearance before she hits the road for the long drive up. I almost wish he would, not because I don't love my niece but because I'm afraid he'll show his little rear AFTER she is here. Keeping the fingers crossed of course.

So there you have it, the rambling plans of the weekend madness coming my way. I'm kinda hoping to score some of those bars of soap or bottles of shampoo this year. One less thing to spend money on!

Hope your weekend is as interesting as mine is bound to be. Check the preps and snuggle week is going to be a dozy!

P.S. Wild weather on the way here next week. Lots of freezing rain, temp drops and snow in the forecast. We're breaking out the heaters for an overhaul and prepping them for use. The electric is bound to go down at some point.

P.S.S. Ain't this a pretty picture of the World today?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Inspired by Micheal

So I commented on Micheal's Earthquake post tonight, mainly about the last paragraph concerning food stamps/government assistance (now named SNAP). I know that I'm sure to catch a buttload of flack over my thoughts, but in truth they are logical. At least to me they are.

I firmly believe that if you have paid into the system (ie taxes) then you should use the system. They use you, return the favor. It's your money that is used to support these programs, if you qualify to use them then by golly USE THEM!! Now is not the time to pander to those feelings of pride, not if you need the help.

As I said in my comment to Micheal, I'd rather see a hard working American that needs the assistance get that assistance than those that pay nothing into the system, flaunt the fact that they aren't here legally and abuse it all get that assistance (not in so many words but that is the gist of it). We used to live next door to a house full of the later. It made me ill. Still does to think of it. So illegal, tons of under the table cash and yet they received housing and food assistance. How, I don't know...but they did. The screamers and I would traipse down to the Square for some ice cream and pass by the office. I immediately recognized our neighbors cars (yes, several cars for several families each receiving assistance and living in one house). A blind eye was turned to this. Still is as far as I can tell. But that rant is not the reason for this post.

You may be surprised by what you qualify for. Our little family of four qualifies for nearly $400 a month, so says this calculator. I'm thinking it's time to re-apply (used to get them way back when the spouse was unemployed). It sure would take a load off of us to know that we have that money to apply to preps and free up our regular cash to pay things off quicker.

Sure, it puts us on the radar. It also puts us closer to our goals of being totally independent in a round about way. Use the food stamps to build the preps, use the cash to pay the bills off and start building. It is using the system to get things done quicker, therefore getting us to a better place quicker. The hoop jumping required is a small price to pay.

The key of course is to use them responsibly should you qualify. Every shopping excursion I am subjected to standing either behind or near a recipient that isn't awful responsible. Frozen dinners by the stack full, sodas, candy, sugary cereals...the list goes on. I cringe to think of what healthy, storable foods that just one stack of those dinners would be equal to. I know, I know...not every one has the time or skill to transform from scratch ingredients into something edible. Seriously though, it isn't hard to make biscuits. Doesn't take much more time to make a cake from scratch instead of a box. Personally, I like freshly cooked meats to pre-cooked frozen things covered in gravy...just a preference.

I think I'll call the local office tomorrow and see about making an appointment. It's worth the risk to me. Just one month of assistance would buy us three of storable foods. They are our tax dollars after all, and we are legal born and bred American, think we'll tap into that particular resource for a bit. It is about survival after all.


With all the yuck going on in the US and world in general, I feel like saying something light-hearted and funny. Don't know that this will be it, but if nothing else it will give me something to work on in the future...right? Uh, a little support here!

I want to offer my confession now...a list of flaws that are so flippin' obvious that even I know about them. Maybe you'll find something we have in common or perhaps even just something to laugh at because I remind you of someone you know. Don't worry, I won't be offended. These are my flaws/quirks and I fully embrace them, even if I know I shouldn't.

*I watch an obscene amount of history/disaster related stuff. NGC, History and History International are my most favorite channels of all time. I'm a geek like that.

*I knit everywhere I go. Even church. Some people think it's rude, that I'm not listening to the sermon. Maybe, maybe's my soul (see below).

*I fully enjoy religious debate. I thrive on it. My soul isn't your responsibility, besides I can read the Bible and interpret it myself thank you very much. This could stem from several things, mostly my love of tossing logic into situations that are completely illogical.

*I hate, deplore and despise doing dishes. I will wash silverware/utensils all day long. I have to force myself to even look at a sink full of anything else. As a matter of fact, I am silently bemoaning the fact that the sink is full right now. See, I should be doing dishes but embrace my quirks instead.

*I have a large stack of unfinished sewing projects that get no love. Quilt blocks, clothing for me...and to think, I going sewing every single Thursday with my mother and the ladies from church. I believe that is called procrastination or lazy (these words can and will be used interchangeably by my mother).

*I have a folder full of things I want to do in my own home and add to it often. Now I KNOW that we won't or can't do all/most of them, but it's nice to dream all the same (helloooooooo, nice big wood cook stove from Lehman's).

*I threaten the screamers with a creature called the "bow monster". I'm not sure what he is, what he looks like, what he smells like or if he is really even that scary. I just know that the "bow monster" doesn't like little boys that jump on Mommy's bed. It works. I simply say "booowwwww mooooonsteeeer" and they stop. It's kinda Pavlovian.

*I read the same books over and over. Yes, new ones do get added to the repertoire but to me a good book is like a good movie. I may be able to recite passages word for word and yet it still holds a weird fascination for me.

*I have owned "The Dark Half" by Stephen King for years, but have never read past the first chapter. I don't know why, the book gives me the willies, I just can't make myself read it. Now "IT" doesn't bug me in the least, never has. I know, I'm a freak.

*I simply cannot abide it when friends/relatives quote me total misinformation (aka "the world is flat"). It rubs me wrong in so many ways. I know they are wrong. I tell them so. I give them the proof they need. Then I tell them to read a book/use the net/grow a brain before they start flapping the pie hole again. (Really, I'm not a total b***h, I just have a few raw nerves concerning stupid people)

*I stay up way too late, get up way too early and take a nap with the screamers. Oldest screamer is beginning to have independent thoughts that naps are not cool. These are thoughts that must be crushed. Like a bug. How will I get by with no nap? Do the dishes you say! Pa-shaw, I say.

*My brain works on logic, science and facts. I find religion on a whole a difficult thing to grasp. It is highly illogical. I go to church...heck, I was saved and baptized as a youngster. Then I got older, experienced the world and life (and logic). I don't deny that there is a higher power, sentient or not (whatever floats your boat), I just have extreme difficulty with each religions' absolute belief that they are THE one true religion (further fraction this down to each branch of Christianity). Have you personally met G*d? Did she tell you which was right? Did she tell you what happened to all the millions of people that died and are dying before the "right" religion came along or was accepted? I hate to think that my previous life worshipping a pagan idol was wasted.

*I like to be glib. It's fun. It's hilarious to see the looks on peoples' faces while they are trying to work out whether or not you were serious in your statements. Read the above quirk again while looking in the mirror. You'll see what I mean.

Hope you enjoyed a look into my rather twisted brain. I also hope it gave you something to smile about, since those times will be few and far between I fear this spring.

Hold your loved ones close, gift with love and enjoy the Holidays!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Not US, Russian or any other country (though that is an interesting lesson for the future when the eldest takes up the history bug)...expanding on the Shaping the Future post.

I feel that I should explain why we came to the decision to school the way we do and how we go about it. Not for justification, by any means, as I know that these are my children (I was there, I know...believe me, I know) and they are my responsibility to educate, raise and shape into semi-decent human beings. There in lies the root of the reasoning. They are mine. I should be one of the models that they base themselves upon in the future. Am I saintly? Uh...NO. But in general I am an educated woman with a sense of community, responsibility and a touch of human sensitivity.

I base my decisions on personal experiences (both mine and the spouse's) with the public school system. I was bored to tears (in the most "academic" classes available btw). The spouse was told that he was ignorant and unteachable (big, huge story there that still ticks me off...I believe his parents were negligent for not reeming that teacher's ass). Nephew was medicated because he was "disruptive" (he was bored too), neice had an ENGLISH teacher that I witnessed saying "Ya'll kids get aways from over yonder" (yes, it was in rural KY...but this was an ENGLISH teacher).

Suffice it to say that neither the spouse nor myself were overly excited at the prospect of our typically active 5yr old going into a school and being told basically to sit still for 8hrs (no half day Kindergarten). The boy will sit still every night for upwards of 30mins for reading, 20mins or so for art and sometimes even 45mins for workbooks/computer work. But practically 8hrs...not on your freakin' life! We are lucky to make it halfway through the 5.5hr trip to KY without having to stop and let him run. Is he overactive? No, he's 5. Does he have ADHD/ADD? No, he's 5. It's what 5yr olds do. They run, they play and they learn as they go. Sorry, it's true (if they aren't totally addicted to the boob tube by that age).

We didn't come to our decision to home/unschool lightly. We weighed the options, including Montessori, and found after extensive research that our ideals of being our childrens' teachers were not un-natural or out of touch with the way we want to live anyway. We strive for something independent and natural, teaching our children is as independent and natural as it gets. Plain and simple.

As to the way we school...well, it isn't natural to sit in one place for hours on end cramming information that you have zero interest in into a tired, overstimulated brain. That's why babies will scream bloody murder until their situation/surroundings are changed. So we chose to continue with the independent/natural theme. We let the screamers tell us (in their own funny/weird ways) what they are interested in. It really isn't difficult to pick up on what they want to learn about. You listen, watch and offer. When they get tired of a particular subject (this week is weather/seasons/plants) we abandon it and pick up again when they are interested. It teaches them that the knowledge is there, when they want it, and they can utilize it at their whim. This may not ALWAYS be the case, but I am well versed enough in plenty of subjects to muster my way through until the oldest is at least 10.

This approach is what works for us. Makes hard work sometimes for logging things in for the "school" to review but worth it because it teaches the screamers more than they would get from sitting in an overcrowded (40 students, 1 teacher and 1 aide) classroom with "peers" that have little to no respect for their elders, let alone for one another. The screamers accompany me on shopping trips where they learn manners (from me, not other shoppers by any means) like holding the door, assisting elders and other good things. We work on shapes, lists, colors, math and a variety of subjects on a single grocery trip. In restaurants (what are those? lol) we work on table/public manners and if we happen to be in a cultural inspired one (Mexican, Greek, Italian, etc) it offers a learning opportunity involving those cultures from people that are of those cultures.

These are occasions that aren't truly offered in public schools. More hands on, inspirational learning moments that come from the child's own natural curiosity. Instead of the insipid lukewarm response to that curiosity that would be given in most public schools, my screamers get to experience things firsthand with I tend to get overly excited when they show true interest in something vs passing interest. We visit National Parks weekly instead of maybe once a year, the zoo is a favorite place as is the science museum and art museum. In public school, these places would be visited rarely. That is not the education I chose for my children. I chose for them to experience life firsthand, learn true consequences, search for realistic and usable answers to questions that they are allowed to form themselves.

In all of this, we try to instill a sense of self. Self-knowledge, self-sufficiency and self-utilization. Use the skills you have to learn/develop new ones. It is just starting to click with the eldest that this is feasibly possible and he adores that freedom that he wouldn't necessarily have elsewhere. It's a selfish teaching form, I think...selfish in the sense that I am there for those discoveries, those moments when all the things click together in that amazing little brain and BAM, a solution is born. I am a selfish mother, a selfish teacher, in that I WANT to be there for those moments. When those big blue eyes light up with wonder at what he's discovered. I love that click moment. It is my favorite.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Shaping the future...

and the little minds it belongs to. Important stuff in our house, that edumakation stuff. Yep.

Confession time: I am an unschooler. I have issues with forcing my screamers to learn something that they totally do not want to learn. I firmly believe it stems from my own experience in high school. I had NO desire or need to learn Calculus. Yet I sat there, bored to tears, failing miserably because I hated it. I can do it, don't get me wrong, I have zero interest in it. Didn't then either. I can't make myself teach the screamers something uninteresting to them as a result of that one semester.

So, we spend our days playing (which is learning in and of itself): board games, card games, tag, hide and seek, pretend rope the cow/dog/sheep/whatever and anything else that their active little minds think up. The eldest has a few freebie games on the computer to help enhance his letter recognition (p.s. there isn't a letter that boy can't copy...he adores's going to be soooooo easy to transition him to bigger things), numbers (loves math too), matching and memory skills. BUT he doesn't get to play them all the time, not even every day. Recently he has taken to word recognition. Small things like hat, cat, jump, run and the likes.

Littlest screamer is a whole different field of fun. He is only 2, of course, but has zero and I mean ZERO interest in anything except coloring. Go figure. I try, he resists, I let it go. He'll come around eventually. See, unschool. It's the same approach I took with the eldest and he's ahead of the curve on a lot of things. Brag, brag, brag...I know.

No set curriculum, no set hours. We work when we want and on what we want. I've found that my little free spirits blossom under this approach in the past few weeks. Add to that the wonderful fact that we FINALLY got my large collection of books out of storage (what! you mean I can read something more than Harry Potter and Dr. Seuss?! Happy Day!!). The screamers see me reading all the time now. Devouring books one after another. They've taken up the same habit. Sitting quietly, "reading" books to one another. The time has come (the walrus said) to get the screamers something more. Not that they don't have a gazillion books just like mommy does, but something that mommy will enjoy reading just as much as them. I don't think "Clan of the Cave Bear" is really age appropriate, if you know what I mean.

So family, if you are reading this (yeah, uh huh) the screamers and mommy would love to have the following books:

The complete Oz series (there is something like 15 stories, you can get it all in one at Barnes and Noble dot com)
The complete Alice in Wonderland series (yes, the screamers like it)
The Tales of Uncle Remus : The Adventures of Brer Rabbit (I'd love the old Disney movie aka Song of the South too if you got the change)

Off now to take the youngest screamer BACK to his bed for the second time tonight...dang kid.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thinking on Reusables

You know, the things that you can reuse that we as a culture obviously need education about. Bags, food storage, etc. I've been listening to the older generation a lot in recent months chat about reusing plastic wrap, ziplocs and tin foil (aluminum to the uneducated, lol). I keep meaning to give it a go, though I already reuse ziplocs when I can. I keep forgetting to try it with the tin foil and plastic wrap though, mainly because my plastic wrap is usually crumbled beyond recognition by the time I get it pulled off of whatever.

So I did a little online recon for reusable wraps and bags, as part of the holiday wishlist for the in-laws (they need direction you know) and I willing share with you what I've found and added to the list.

Wrap-N-Mat: cool little wrap style sandwich "bag" that folds out flat like a placemat. Looks super handy. Psst, check out the other stuff in the reusablebag store too. Pretty flippin' neat.

Happy Sacks: The one that started the net search. Caught a bit on CNN earlier today about these that was actually the catalyst to my finally breaking down and doing a search.

Foilers (can also be found here): Intriguing little invention type gadgets that are apparently uber hard to get at the first link (second link has a few instock as I type). These little numbers have actually been around for about 2 years if memory serves, but recently caught the eye of shoppers. Designed to fit a bunch of different sized containers.

The pricing on all of the above seems garish at first, but you have to think (like with any other "reusable") about the amount that you would spend comparably on throw-aways. I'm hoping the in-laws get the message on that, I've been trying for years to convince them that I don't mind reusing things. Hence the cloth diapering. Alas, that boat seems to be very leaky as it departs the harbor.

Now, something I like to call my smartass comment of the day, it is not for everyone and will probably tick off a few, but I just can't help myself:

"These are God's chosen people, eh? No wonder he keeps trying to kill them off. Floods, would think they would learn."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Here we go again...

that title could lead you to many places...government nonsense, worldwide panic, money woes...but no, it's a bit more personal but involves the three in a way.

The spouse is on his annual re-enlistment kick. Yep, you read that right. Annual, always around V-Day, always the same routine. Research it, talk about it until I can't stand another word and end up saying "Do it or shut up about it" then it fades away to oblivion for another year.

This year is turning out a bit different though. More like the year that he would have re-enlisted if not for the dumb ass recruiter that kept trying to get him to BMI instead of weight (didn't know the rules apparently). Said recruiter kept telling him "5 more pounds" until the spouse ended up in the ER with bruised kidneys trying to reach that goal (of course it WAS his fault for running 5 miles). Anyway, I digress. The spouse has apparently been thinking about this seriously for some time now, at least since he asked for a raise and got told "I'll think about it" (it should be noted that the driver hired 4 months after the spouse is making more money and doing less work).

The spouse apparently has been to the local recruiter a few times discussing weight, options, duty stations and the like. News to me, but I guess after hearing annually for 5 years to "Do it or shut up about it" he did learn to do just that. He broke the news to me this week that he is officially going to "do it"...we'll see.

Am I worried? Nope, most secure job he could have...Army isn't going to lay him off or let him go because sales drop. Besides, he's a tanker. Frankly I'd rather him be in that big ol' can of steel than a ground grunt, if you know what I mean. I could go through a huge list of questions and comments that we've gotten before, most concerning what would happen to the screamers and myself should the spouse be shipped off to a war zone and killed. My answer to that is always "What any other widow with children would/should do...pull yourself up and live" or "He stands a better chance of being killed now as a delivery driver with no benefits than he does in a tank with benefits". Mom thinks we're crazy to even consider it, so we haven't said a word about it. The spouses' parents haven't a clue. No plans to say a word to anyone in real life until the contract is signed and the spouse is about to head out to WTC.

Besides, don't want to get my hopes up, right? Crazy, you say, to be going along with this. I could list reason upon reason as to why I am and will should it really happen. Would love for it to pan out mainly because being a tanker/military guy is the only job that the spouse has ever had that he loves, truly sincerely loves. The man lights up when he talks about tanks or the Army. He was a born soldier that never should have been taken away from it. I sincerely hope he can drop the weight that needs to go and get back. We were a better married couple for it...put us far from family and we had to learn to depend on each other. A true test of compatibility, in my opinion. Forget eHarmony, you really find out what your partner is made of when you are 3000+ miles from family and either thrive or dive. We thrived.

Keeping the fingers crossed, preppin' for the cold and holding out hope!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hmm...see ya Big 3 and a huge rambly rant

At the time I'm writing this, word is that Congress will NOT be bailing out the big three. One senator, I can't remember who, put it rather bluntly (and I'm mind does not trap everything you know) that the public would not stand for much more, there would be a rising up against it all.

Um...duh!!! There is already a rising up from those that actually pay attention. Not arms as of yet, but a plethora of words and speech. How about they hop on the net and take a look at what the public really blogs. It's not difficult Congress, really.

You type in bailout, then you hit search...if you have the nifty Google toolbar you can just hit the Blogger button. You'll get a fairly wide range of opinions there, vocal and concise. Read Congress, Read. You want to REALLY know what your voters think and want...ask them, read what they write, listen to what they have to say and for goodness sake if you value your cushy job...DO WHAT WE ASK!!!

Now is not the time to go looking for more places to spend money that you don't have in order to "help" our economy. Let the damn thing fail, let the credit boom blow up and let us learn a lesson in greed and gluttony. Maybe, just maybe, we can get back to being the country that we should be and need to be. Anyone, myself and the spouse included, that owns/owned a credit card, bought on speculation or gambled that the house that was outrageously priced and you just had to have would be worth more in a few years, is in part responsible. We should all take blame. I stand up and say, part of this is my fault. I owned two credit cards, both now closed and paid in full, that contributed to the credit mess. The credit mess has made the economy what it is.

The credit mess will make it keep on getting worse...why? Because as people find themselves with less money due to job loss, price increases or any number of problems resulting in less coming in, they will turn more to their cards to pay for perishable items like gas and groceries. Creating more debt with nothing to show for it. A vicious cycle that sucks the life out the economy and the card carrier.

So what do you do? You learn to live on what you have coming in. Cut up the damn cards, pay a little extra ($5 a month) on the balance to pay it off, quit buying freakin' Pringles and microwave pizzas and buy some real food. Stop going out to eat every weekend, think about how much those meals cost then take a look at what you can get at the grocery for that price, buy real food and cook it at home. If you can get by without it...don't buy it.

It's so simple really. But we have been programmed to no longer think simply. Everything has to be complex or "too hard"'s NOT. You make it difficult by refusing to really try. Don't you worry though. The day is coming that you will not have a choice. A simpler, harder but more rewarding (to me at least) lifestyle will be forced upon you. Sparkly new is not always better...get used to the idea that you won't be able to get that shiny new toy and you may, just may, have to live like the rest of us. Can you handle that truth?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Looking Forward (Holiday/Gift Related)

I've mentioned in passing several times our plans for a handmade/homemade holiday. This translates into lots of work for me, but it is satisfying knowing that the screamers enjoy the LONGlasting mommy made things more than the plastic battery eaters that they get from others.

This year I've gotten slightly ambitious. Two sets of flannel jammies for each screamer, a mommy made sweater each (these are the BANE of my existence right now), knit socks for the spouse and the oldest screamer (the youngest has hand-me-downs), knit hats for the father and brother and brother-in-law, dunno what for my mother and toys, toys, toys for the screamers.

I've enlisted my father in the wood puzzle making, mom in the "you are giving me that fabric" department and finally broke out the sewing machine after a summer of languishing away under the desk. There will be lots of cute little knit monsters and funny fabric animals, wood puzzles and maybe a wooden car or two, there is debate on purchasing yet more crayons, notebooks and such as the screamers have suddenly decided that "school is cool" and have been going to town with writing and drawing. I've picked up some of those $1 workbooks for the eldest...he does them like they are crack or something. No complaints, at least he likes math.

The point of the rambling above: I am trying to de-program the screamers. Remove from them the NEED that little people seem to have for plastic, store bought stuff. They have responded positively to the loss of most of the battery eaters. I take this as a good sign.

In the long run it means that they will hopefully have a deeper appreciation for things that someone took the time to make, that aren't bought at chinamart, things that require skill and imagination and no batteries. Simplicity, from the cradle...that's the plan. We've been doing this for a while, but this is the first Christmas that every gift from mommy and daddy and Santa will be not bought somewhere. I can only hope that in-laws just send clothes (never, ever going to happen).

A Facelift or Remodel

just a bit of tinkering with the blog today, not much has changed except I've added a list of Prepper Networks to the right. Just three so far...KY, UT, TX...hopefully there will be many more soon.

I've tinkered with the idea of starting up a MO one, but not sure if I should. Surely there is a more experienced prepper in MO out there that has been thinking of doing it...right...huh...nudge, nudge.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

A weak week

Okay, so longer than a week, but dang...I was down and down hard for three days with some kind of coldish cough flu thingy...that's the best I can describe it. Knocked me flat on my butt for one full day, couldn't even muster up the strength to play in the warm weather with the screamers. Got over it pretty quick though (thank you onion syrup, Valerian and OJ).

Did manage to get to the polls on Tuesday (decided to go along with the parental figures and take the screamers along for educational purposes). I won't go into the thoughts that were swirling in our house on Tuesday night. Many were off on the same tangent this week anyway. Our thoughts were not racially motivated (hey, the guy is HALF white), we have issues with lack of experience...143 days out of 4 years and no military experience...we are a former military family that strongly believes that the leader of our country should at least have some sort of military training (bomb making with buddies is not one of them though I did have a lesson in MRE I won't share). You see where this is going, so I'll stop here.

So this week I did a little shopping and found canned turkey...never seen it before but then again I don't usually look for canned turkey. Picked up 2 cans for $1 a piece just to give it a try. I don't like forking over hard earned cash on things that no one wants to eat, so we always do a trial run first. Canned some pumpkin, dried some pumpkin seeds for next year's garden, canned chili and homemade soup too (Mom's pressure cooker is coming in handy for me now, lol).

Cut off the net, using a freebie for now...tried going without the phone until the spouse pointed out that we need it for interview notification. He's attempting to get on at a local factory, we aren't holding our breath what with the massive unemployment rate and all.

Just settling in now to start some sincere work on holiday gifts for the screamers and the spouse...may even find time to knit me up something (not that I need anything, but a lacy scarf makes a girl feel like a girl after all).

Keep preppin' all....winter is way closer than it seems (see the Dakotas after this week's loverly snow).

Friday, October 31, 2008

Today's To-Do (and some ramblings)

Nothing political or much gloom today. I just don't have the energy for it AND I'm sure there are better blogs for that anyway. Deep thoughts and all. Just some meandering thoughts about my day and the plans I have. Not that many will be fulfilled. The screamers are in rare form today, as if they actually sense something.

After using up a bit of the 4 sugar pumpkins I roasted up in pancakes this am, I decided to finish the mush off. Today's to-do:

~Roast the last pumpkin
~Bake up some pumpkin bread
~Can the mush that is left (there is sure to be a bunch)
~Dress the screamers and take them outside to run off some of this killer energy that I've not yet figured out how to bottle and sell.

We won't be doing any of the Halloween type stuff, the oldest screamer is a little jumpy AND it tends to set back all my teachings of don't take things from strangers. We won't be missing much I think, we haven't in the past 5 years. That's fine by me, to darn chilly out there at night!

Secondary to-do:

~Dishes from breakfast (I'm slacking)
~Finish picking persimmons
~Pull out all the outgrown summer/spring clothes, box them up for the nephew
~Check sizing on all the winter stuff
~Finish up the youngest screamer's mittens, start the oldest screamer's mittens
~Final pre-shopping check of the preps

I got 5 buy one get one free coupons in the mail yesterday for those Starkist tuna bet your sweet bippy those things are going straight to the preps. No can opener needed (unlike the other 10 cans we have, lol). The spouse is bringing home the paper today, I'll be hitting the sale bills to see what could be worth buying and adding to the preps. All the shopping is gonna be done on Sunday...couldn't pay me to do it any later in the week for obvious reasons. I've got the sinking feeling that Wednesday is going to be more than many are betting on. Should be interesting to say the very least.

I do all of our shopping once a month. If we run out, we make due (this very rarely happens, btw). This month is no exception. The only exceptions, things that aren't a normal monthly purchase, are a couple of turkeys. I usually only grab one every few months, but I think I've finally made enough room in the freezer for two this month...if not, I will. Besides, never hurts to have an extra bird or two, right?

I look forward to the day that we can "grow our own" birds. Something other than a garden (with too many tomatoes) to fill the pantry. Not that a garden is a bad thing, but you hopefully see what I'm getting at.

Just trying to stay at a comfortable pace today, especially since I had to force myself out of bed this morning. A sign of the times I suppose. Sigh...gotta get thinking and working on Christmas too. Thankfully I have enough fabric and yarn stuffs here to get through a nice homemade/handmade holiday without much fuss. Now I just have to get the motivation to actually do something!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Our United States of Voting Fiascoes

I’ve spent a good chunk of today thinking this post over. It may not mean much to many, it isn’t really uber survival. It is opinion sprinkled with fact and personal experience. We’re talkin’ about the election/voting fiasco going on right now. It is a repeat of sorts of the 2000 election. It is beginning to show exactly how little your vote, and mine, actually count. CNN ran a story (probably still is given the repeat factor) today on “The Fight to Vote”.

First, the troubles of registered voters in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Georgia (I’m sure, POSITIVE, that there are more). How many are being turned away, purged from the system or not even IN the system? The numbers are staggering thus far.

Then you factor in the absentee ballots of our fighting men and women overseas. Many didn’t get counted in 2000, many won’t get counted this year either. Who else deserves the right to vote more than those that lay their lives on the line daily protecting our country, our rights and way of life (all of which are being washed down the drain, dictated to death by an elitist group of overpaid negotiators)? This is where my personal experience comes in to play.

November 2000: We, the spouse and myself, were stationed in Germany. We NEVER received our absentee ballots to vote, not that it mattered much as from what we could tell from the coverage in Germany…our votes most likely wouldn’t have been counted anyway.

So why the post? Because I see the vote of 2000 happening all over again. Only worse. A re-count fight, court battle and other little tricks that both sides ALREADY have up their long sleeves will be the straw on the camel. If you thought there was nasty back then, just hold your breath…it’s going to be total chaos. It’s likely to be chaos to an extent anyway, neither side will concede easily. Not necessarily the candidates, the voters/supporters of the candidates are the ones that will make it chaos.

We’ve already seen the power that each candidate holds over his supporters, sheeple will follow the voice most soothing it seems and devote everything they have. Kinda like religious zealots. Frightening, is it not?

Me and mine will do as much as possible to stay out of the way next week. I'm hitting the early voting on Thursday (3rd party, my vote and I'll "waste" it however I want thank you very much) then it's home as much as possible. The spouse will still go to work, life will go on...we can't not go on but we can stay out of hot zones. There will be no going to the City, we'll stick to our small town.

Monday, October 27, 2008

For Pete's Sake...

a quickie for now, maybe more later. I just had to share this:

You KNOW you are watching entirely too much election coverage and news when your five (5) year old son sees a certain person on TV and says "I'm Barrack Obama and I approve this message".

Scary, eh? He does. Every single freakin' time he sees the man. I'm either paying too close attention to the world around me or Obama is spending way too much money on press. I tend to think the latter but know both are true. I think that this election needs to go on and get good and done already.

Oh well, off to put the screamers down for a nap and finish up my shopping list for topping off the supplies...just in case the world goes to hell in a hand basket shortly after the 4th.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A few little things

Going through the pantry and supplies, I stumbled on a few things that aren't biggies or must-haves, but are nice to haves that I don't have or am almost out of. Whew! How'd ya like that fun little sentence?

At any rate, I figured I would add them here as they may be a jolty kinda reminder to someone else that hadn't really thought about them. If you have plenty, yay...if you are like me and keep forgetting to pick them up and your supplies are dwindling then darn it, get them before it's too late!

Baking cocoa (how in the world would the oldest screamer survive without hot chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate anything...really I'm kidding, he doesn't get that much's for me)
Cooking wine and sherry (plus it's good to have if you run outta the good stuff)
Sesame oil (adds that extra umphf to chinese dishes, not a must-have of course)
Irish Breakfast and Spiced Chai Tea (my own personal treats)
Odds and ends spices and herbs (I like to have plenty on hand, some I'm down to one unopened bottle on and I don't like

I've got to pick up some extra sugar and flour while the prices are below $3 for 5lbs (ridiculous, btw), more olive oil, more shortening...and on and on. I keep adding bits to the list for getting more supplies in the pantry. This winter is shaping up to be ugly in more ways than just the weather. The more foodstuffs I have on hand, the happier I will be. If the spouse happens to get his hours cut, then we'll not starve. That is where I think everyone should be, but alas so many are not.

Oh...I almost forgot. Went to visit with my aunt tonight and found a whole new treasure trove of hickory nuts. Gotta take the screamers up (they are the nut gatherers in the family) and let them have at it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Now what?

Proof positive that if "they" want it done, it will be matter the cost or what you as a voter may want. Just in case the whole bailout thing didn't bother to get your attention:

AP: Bloomberg wins

Just a little quote from the article:

During the debate on Thursday, Councilman Charles Barron, who voted against the bill, urged his colleagues to say "no to bullying, no to billions of dollars and yes to the people." And Councilman Tony Avella said: "You should all be voted out of office for voting for this."

Opponents argued that the mayor was going over the heads of voters, who approved term limits twice in the 1990s. Many critics said they did not disagree with Bloomberg's goal of adding a third-term option but faulted the way he went about it.

"Everything has been wrong with this process, and we should not be party to it," said Councilman Bill de Blasio.

A trial run for something in the future perhaps? I know, so paranoid. But really it's not the first time this year that voters have been ignored (see bailout). If it doesn't bother you, it should.

On the home front, the heat is on. Literally. It's darn nippy this evening, so the heat has been set and turned on. Not ready for that yet, but can't have the screamers getting sicker than they are. Oh and a friend from church gave us more apples today. I think, seriously think, that we may just be good for apples for a good long while! lmbo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

phhhbbbtttt (or blowing raspberries)

The phrase of the day: Economic Stimulus

How we say it in the USA: San Fransico, Bernanke & Bush, Bernake & Bush part 2 and last but not least Pelosi

How they say it in Germany and Japan.

I'm so excited I can hardly breathe, wait maybe that's me holding my breath in anticipation...nope, I just remembered...I'm holding it to keep from smelling the stink.

I can't imagine that a second "stimulus" would do much to stimulate. But then again, if they time it right every Tom, Dick and Jane would be out blowing it on overly extravagant holiday gifts just in case this is "the last good Christmas" they have for a long time. You know who they are, the ones with iPods, iPhones and whatever other new gadget there is out there permanently glued to them. I have none of the above, matter of fact the 'puter I'm clunking this out on is about 6yrs old. Still works fine, so I keep it around.

My real thoughts on a "stimulus" are fine, go ahead...the hole has been dug, time to toss in the body of work now. I can use it to shore up preps, pay on the land, get a few tools (hand powered kind) and numerous other things to get us on the path to "getting the bejesus outta here" to our own place when it all comes crashing down. Stimulate me! LOL

The news around here: We are currently in the throes of potty learning...not me I learned years and years ago, the youngest screamer is. It has been interesting to say the least to revisit this fun little trip. Not doing to shabby for a tiny fella but man I sure wish there was a switch/button that I could hit to just do an instant switch. I really dislike playing "where's the poop?"!

Also had a nice long talk with the realtor today about the bungalow. Um, no thanks! She was nice, honest and very refreshing! Turns out that the guy is only selling for the cost of the lot (btw, that is for a 50x100 foot lot) because the house has been gutted by fire. Little too much work and no thanks that is too much to ask for that little bit of land, not when we are paying $3k less for nearly 4 acres. Don't think so.

A few headlines that grabbed my attention this morning:

Well crap, what am I going to do with the huge set of tusks I have sitting in the kitchen now!?!

What an interesting way to say thanks for the one night stand.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Opine with me for a bit, will ya?

Background: The spouse informed me the other day that the landlord is fighting with the homeowners' association over some fishing nonsense and is refusing to pay his dues. Not something you want to do with a HOA, they can be real bitches.

I hopped online, did a little realty research and found something that would benefit us in more ways than one (I think at least, this is where your opines come in). I found a little 2bdrm, 1bth bungalow/cottage that needs work of course but is nothing that we can't handle. The big draw, it's $9k. Something that we can handle even if the spouse gets cut back to part-time hours (not that he would, I hope). I was thinking of proposing to the owner/agent the following...tell me what you down, 12% interest for 5 years. That would put our monthly at $200, less than half of what we pay here. I know the interest is high, but honestly our credit sucks so we have to deal with what we can.

Second bonus, the extra saved could be put toward our OUT OF TOWN land purchase thereby paying it off sooner so we could work on building AND we would have an in-town residence that we could be in further saving money by walking to where we need/want to go. It's only a few blocks from the spouse's job, the store and the library. We also wouldn't be caught in the middle of something as stupid as we are in right now with the HOA and the landlord.

There is also a yard, something we don't really have here in the sense that the entire rental is surrounded by gravel and the screamers can't just go out front and play (main road through the subdivision is less than 50ft away). We have woods aplenty but technically they belong to someone else as we are renters here.

Am I just trying to talk myself into this? A good idea, a bad idea? Whatcha think?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oh the Trauma (and the "waste" posted I promised)

Oh, I am such a terrible, horrible mother. The worst in the world. I took the screamers in to the Doc (nice fella that's just 2yrs older than myself, therefore not entirely set in his doctoring ways...damn I got lucky) for a checkup and to get the oldest checked over for a possible chest infection (I DO NOT want a repeat of last winter's fun of being stuck inside with all the lovely snow outside). All is good, just snot. Go figure. Not that I wanted more, just that dang, that was a waste of time. At any rate, it gave me time to reflect while the screamers were chatting up the Doc for some flavored tongue depressors (yes, my children are strange creatures...I admit it).

I ran over the "waste" post in my mind. It was a gripe, it still is. I probably should have written it when I was full of angry indignation, but I didn't. So here goes, slightly less angry but still pretty ticked.

Our impromptu trip to KY gave me insight on how folks are doing with gardens and such. I gotta tell you, I wasn't impressed. I know, I's late, gardens are done, blah, blah, blah. The unimpressed comes from seeing tree after tree still so loaded down with apples, pears and rotting peaches. Yep, virtual orchards going to rot, with no one planning to glean that plentiful harvest. I stopped at THREE different houses, knocked on the door and asked if they would mind the screamers and myself picking some apples. After initial looks of "this chick is nuts", I got the go ahead at all three places followed by "they're just going to rot anyway". Bet you can't guess what everyone I know is getting for Christmas!?! Heck, maybe even apple butter for the next 3 years for done, check.

But it was that waste, the blatant disregard for the HUGE bounty sitting in the front yard that they had to do NOTHING for but pull it off the tree, that made me ill. I would give my left pinky toe for an apple tree in the front yard. Well, maybe not. Those are the ones you need for balance, right? Anyway, you see what I'm getting at here (I hope), the prepper in me wanted to yank them off their overly large rears and put them to work relieving those trees of their burdens. All of them, the trees that is, were so full the branches just hung there, like a 2 year old pouting...all limp and unable to do a thing to help themselves (though that could also describe the people who were all fairly young and looked very capable of picking an apple). It pissed me off I tell ya. The good news is that when things go good and south I know that yes...there are people out there that will not be doing anything to help themselves, therefore leaving me and mine with more of nature's bounty to fill our tables.

Morbid, yes. True, yes. How can I say that's good news? Because it means that some of the poison that has entered into mankind (extreme lazy, letting the boob tube rule ya and "I don't have to do that" attitudes that I see everywhere) will (hopefully) slowly begin to leech out. Survivor on a large scale. Survival of the fittest, smartest and those most willing to do for themselves.

Okay, gripe done. Off to mix up some buttermilk pancake batter for the screamers' breakfast tomorrow...little snotheads!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sorry 'bout that!

I headed down to KY on a kinda spur of the moment trip with the parental figures to visit with the sister and BIL. Have a nice little post planned out for later this evening or early tomorrow, when the screamers are more calmed down (we got back at 11pm last night...after a 6hr road trip they are a little on the wild side) and I've got order back to the house.

A hint: it's about waste...not the poo kind or the political kind. The kind that riles me just as bad though.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

An example of what's to come?

just a really brief one for tonight.

Just heard on CNN that the Ruskies market is set to be closed until Friday. Should be interesting, no? Ours is next. That bank holiday that has been buzzing about on the blogs looks to be getting all geared up for the grand ol' USA. I mean heck, if Vlad will do it, why wouldn't our esteemed Prez?

Put on your waders folks

I am fortunate enough, or perhaps unfortunate enough, to be able to listen to any mid-day bullshit spreading by the government as it happens. Today was one of those days. Enter Treasury Sec. Paulson, with his hip high bullshit boots on, telling the "details" of the "rescue". I understood what he was saying for the most part, but it still pisses me off. The court of public opinion was disregarded, I believe, in the passing of this plan. Many politicians have said the negative opinions of the public were due to the public not understanding.

Perhaps that is so. But did they bother to educate those that didn't understand? Um, nope! They just pushed it through, despite the unhappiness of the public, trying to save their own asses in the process while only slowing the pace of the strangulation that we, the American public, face. This "plan" won't do what so many ferverantly hope it will. With not only OUR economy crashing, but the rest of the world feeling the pinch, this "rescue" will only prolong the pain. It's already been said that the effects of the plan won't even begin to be felt until early next year and the housing issues will continue to flounder about until late next year.

So why the pushing and the speed of the plan getting signed into action? So that His Highness Bush can leave office with a clear (or somewhat so) conscience. Yes, I realize that all of the mess is not his making, but he pee'd on the same spot on the carpet as the rest of the dogs making the stench and staining even worse.

I am beginning to fall into the catagory of those that believe that our government, as it exists now, will fail. Think Rome or Ancient Egypt. Perhaps even Imperial Britian. While Britian didn't fail completely, it is by no means the powerful, far reaching empire it once was. Rome and Egypt? Well, they spiralled into darkness and history much the way our current form of government is beginning to spiral. The main difference is no invading hordes...yet.

Perhaps we've had a good run as a country in the form that we are currently in. 200+ years. Not too shabby, not the longest run, but not to bad.

What am I getting at? A nice return to the principals that this country was founded on. As they were written. A total call of the public for politicians, our ELECTED officials, to be held accountable for every vote, bill or proposal they present. For the House and Senate to vote on ONE thing at a time with no goodies thrown in the mix. No more of the "I'll add this in if you give me that". Those little clandestine acts and additions have slowly made our country the mess that it is today. It is time to get back to the basics folks. In more ways than most think.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Back from the Trenches

A nice little self-imposed vacation from the net and I'm set good. Not that I was able to avoid the news, of course, but I was able to reset my center and get a clearer perspective of where we, as a family, stand right this moment in the current situations that have the rest of the world in a tizzy.

We're lucky in ways that didn't seem lucky a few months ago. We currently rent the place we are living, we don't have a traditional bank loan for the land we are buying (ie cash/money order payments directly to the seller), no money in investments since last November when the spouse lost his job and we pulled the 401k, we've been living paycheck to paycheck for ages so we know how to keep the wants in balance with the needs and the what-can-we-gets (a trick that many, many an American will soon be re-learning or learning for the first time in the coming months/years).

I never, ever thought that we would be celebrating our knowledge of lean times. But lately, they seem to be a boon and we enjoy that. For once, we are in more control of our situation than we have been in a long time, while so many others sit biting their nails wondering about what will happen. We don't. Well, we do wonder but we don't worry anymore.

No, we aren't so comfortable that we can blithely go on with our lives with no consequences. We do have to worry about job loss, getting the land set to build and building as we go. Food, of course, will always be a worry even though we are fully prepped now for at least 6mths if need be.

On a less about the "crisis" note, we spent the last two weeks happily plunking walnuts and hickory nuts in buckets (btw, any idea of what to do with hickory nuts? cookies? muffins?), hunting turkey (got two so far) and watching the persimmons closely for ripening. The screamers are enjoying the cool fall days and woodland wanderings.

Off to watch the debates folks...later!

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!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Minor SHTF

situation here at the moment. Won't be posting for a bit as the phone company and I are at odds over a disconnect of the DSL that never should have happened and they've decided they want ANOTHER $50 deposit for their mistake.

Go figure!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Like it Or Not

Tonight you were witness to history in the making. Whether or not you watched or even cared, history was made when Barack Obama was chosen as the Democratic Nominee for president. You are going to hear that a lot over the next few months, btw.

Lest you not forget that there is a world outside the current presidential race, a few tidbits of history are in the news:

A Katrina Repeat in the Making?
Prodding the Bear some more and even more (btw, this bothers me more than just about anything going on other than our "candidates"...can't put my finger on why exactly)
Don't count North Korea out of the game

These are history in the making as well. Particularly, I believe, the Bear. Baiting the Bear is unwise, but it is being done none the less. Where does that leave us regular ol' folks just trying to get by and put by a little for the morrow?

Wondering if the morrow will come sooner than we think, at least that is where I am at. Mid-week inventory (I do a quick overall on Wednesdays and Saturdays to see where I stand with everyday things) turned up alright this week. Thankfully next week is shopping, not that we are close to starving, just that I need to pick up some canned meats (tuna, chicken, etc) to round out the stores enough that I feel totally confident in being able to make it by. I've been debating on picking up some dehydrated meats that I've seen...not the jerky you nuts (though I will be getting more of that) but the crumbled beef. I've not tried it yet, so if I decide to get some it will only be a package or two. I simply do not stock things that we won't eat, so trial runs are short and sweet here.

Topic change! I am doing a bit of shopping for a bow...for me, of course. Thinking of asking the in-laws to get the eldest screamer one for Christmas/birthday this year as well. I'm open to suggestions as I've not bow hunted in a while. I'm thinking compound naturally, but am willing to check out recommendations ya know.
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. --Edmund Burke