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Frustratedearthmother's Journaling Journey

Discussion in 'Member's "Self Sufficient Living" Journals' started by frustratedearthmother, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Aug 29, 2012
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    I've been a lurker here long enough! I think it's time to start my own journal because I've gotten to the age where if I don't write it down - it didn't happen! :( I love reading other folks journals - I glean great ideas and inspiration from you folks!

    1. What state/province/country are you in and what is your climate like? Gulf Coast of Texas
    2. How many people are in your family? Marital status? Hubbie and I have three kids between us and five grandkids!
    3. How would you define self sufficiency? Simply put - The ability to take care of yourself/family by means of your own preparation, skills and abilities.
    4. What would you do with your spare time if you had any resources you needed? Would love to be a modern day Johnny Appleseed, would like to preserve natural areas (trees = oxygen!).
    5. Have you ever built a house , or other types of building? Do you want to? I built a house for my water well and helped build a small barn.
    6. Can you weld? Steel, aluminum, MiG, TiG, stick, Oxy-Acet? I welded once, just to say that I did.
    7. Who or what inspired you to become more self sufficient? I think it started with my grandmother. She was an organic gardener all her life.
    8 Cloth or paper? A little of both.
    9. In what ways are you self-sufficient now and in what ways would you like to learn more? Goats for meat/milk, chickens for meat/eggs, big ol garden (some years better than others) canning/drying/freezing the bounty. Would love to learn more about alternative energy sources.
    10. In what way(s) will you never choose to become self sufficient? Would prefer to never live without toilet paper!
    11. Are you interested in stocking up for future needs? I am interested and I do. Recently a family member stayed with us for a short while and she mentioned yall have a LOT of food here! 
    12. Where do you end up when you sink into yourself, away from the outside world? On the back porch in the hot tub looking out to the pasture, or actually out in the pasture.
    13. Can you drive a farm tractor or a semi? I can drive a tractor.
    14. Do you make crafts or useful items? Would you want to teach others how to do these? Love to be crafty when I have time.
    15. Can you have legally livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds? I can and do have lots of livestock will probably get more. I have mini-horses, Nubian goats, Pygmy goats, chickens, geese and piggies.
    16. Can you operate a lathe? Metal, wood? Not yet,  but, I can run a band saw and a drill press.
    17. Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing? I have a garden. I grow as many veggies as I can. Tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, herbs, beans, peas, corn, greens, radishes, beets, okra.
    18. Do you fish? Bait or explosives? Bait, so far 
    19. How much space/land do you have or rent? City? Country? Definitely rural - 2.5 acres of our own about 3.5 more we borrow from the neighbors.
    20. Are you a Novice, Technician, General, Advanced? ARRL? HUH?
    21. What is your self-sufficient specialty? Or what one would you like to learn? Not sure if these things are a specialty, but - Animal husbandry, gardening, preserving food
    22. If you could create a degree and curriculum, what would you major in and what classes would you take? I would love to be a master gardener think there is already a curriculum for that!
    23. Do you do wood work? framing, finish, cabinet? Can build simple things, and have refinished wood furniture pieces.
    24. Are you interested in herbal medicine? Yep!
    25. If you could live any place you chose, where would it be? Right where I am but without hurricanes, humidity and mosquitos.
    26. Do you use a wood stove for heating or cooking? No
    27. What would your ideal super hero/villain be? A super hero that could heal all the damage weve done to our planet.
    28. Are your family or friends also interested in self sufficiency? Some of them
    29. Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? raw milk? farm fresh eggs? Loooove to cook. Use organic food from our gardens, raw milk from our goats, and eggs from the chickens.
    30. What was your MOS? HUH?
    31. Do you forage or hunt for part of your food needs? No further than my own back yard.
    32. Do you have solar panels? Plans to use solar energy? No, but would love to.
    35 What is the mass/weight ratio of a European swallow carrying a coconut from the tropics to England? Thats confidential information.
    36. Have you ever lived completely off grid? Would you like to? No, yes.
    37. In what do you trust? God first (!), myself and my family
    38. Do you make things yourself to save money? Yes.
    39. Has trying to be more self-sufficient changed your attitude or habits about money/spending? Ive always been frugal, but my city-boy husband is learning and succeeding!
     
  2. Aug 29, 2012
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    :welcome Glad you came!!
     
  3. Aug 29, 2012
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Thanks Bee, I appreciate the welcome!

    Ive been reading folks journals for months now and Ive got to admit that compared to lots of folks on here I feel positively lazy.
    I started my day about 3am this morning. DH is diabetic and he had a blood sugar 'crash' about that time. He got himself up, went downstairs, tested and had a snack all without waking me up. Was it nice to sleep through it yes! Could he have passed out and died downstairs without my knowledge - yes! Ive always told him to wake me up, but with a low blood sugar episode its fair to say that his brain is a bit foggy. So, the day started with me fussing at him a little. Gee whiz!

    Alarm goes off on a 'normal' (what's normal?) day around 5:15. I get up and go out to milk Red, one of the Nubians. We are about 5 months into her lactation and we are learning this together. She peaked at a little over 3 qts. I guess thats not bad for a FF. Im also milking a pygmy, but only once a day for her. She gives me about a pint and a half a day. This is my first experience with milking, except for the occasional time when a doe lost her baby and I snagged colostrum for the freezer.

    Trying right now to get the other two Nubians bred. I put Spooky and Lil Bit in with the Pygmy buck but I think short stuff is going to need a little help. I saw a lot of tail wagging by the girls this morning but he wasnt getting the job done if you know what I mean. Theres a low spot in the ground in another pen and I think the girls are going to have to go stand in the hole in order for any real action to take place!

    The garden is in between right now. Its funny, but last year during the drought, I had an awesome garden! What wasnt awesome is that I burned out my well-pump with all the watering oops! This year, with ample rain, I grew a bountiful crop of weeds. Okra is still producing, but thats about all. I did get some in the freezer and put up some pickled okra. This year we had a GREAT crop of figs and Ive gotta admit that fig raisins are mighty tasty!

    I have an off the farm job at a local institution (emphasis on institution) of higher education. But, if you have to have a job its a great place to work. We have all the normal school holidays which works out well almost three weeks at Christmas, a week for spring break and the normal assortment of other holidays. For all the slack time I have, DH makes up for it. He works in healthcare and puts in waaaaay too many hours.

    Okay, I guess thats a good enough start to my journal and gives you guys a glimpse into my day-to-day life.

    Praying that any of yall in Hurricane Isaacs path are safe.
     
  4. Aug 29, 2012
    Dawn419

    Dawn419 Almost Self-Reliant

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    Hello and Welcome to the forum! :frow

    Glad you decided to quit lurking and decided to join in! ;)

    I'm looking forward to following along on your journey. :D
     
  5. Aug 30, 2012
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    :welcome I wanna here more about your mini horses! Are they just pets, or do you use them for driving or what?
     
  6. Aug 30, 2012
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Thanks for the kind welcome, Dawn and Deb.

    Deb, I don't do nearly enough training with the mini's. However, they have ME pretty well trained. Because they are such easy keepers I have to keep them away from the goats grain. They stay pig-fat on just air! They look sooooo pitiful when the goats are eating. They stand around, snarking at the goats and giving me the LooK! :somad So, to appease them I make up for the lack of grain with a carrot, or twelve. They will do anything for a carrot. I did some clicker training last summer and had them following me around like puppies, but they would have done the same thing for a carrot, lol! A mini-buggy is on my 'bucket list' and I've actualy got the older mare trained to ground drive, but that's as far as I've taken it. The most that is required of them these days a little lead-line with the grandbabies.

    I scored 5 round bales this evening. Got it unloaded right at dark. Hard to believe after the drought we had last year that we've got abundant hay this year. I decided to snatch some up before they start shipping it all up to this years drought area. I probably won't need to start feeding it until December, and the 5 bales should last into spring. Only had the opportunity to dump the hay off the trailer tonight, so tomorrow's chore will be to put a temporary fence around the hay and get it covered.

    I'll broadcast rye grass seed in late September or early October - depending on the weather. Hopefully, the rye grass and hay will get the critters through the winter because the price of grain has SKYROCKETED! A bag of COB that I paid $11.50 for last week is now $13.50. Purina Goat Chow topped $18.00 a bag! Thankfully, only the two milkers get the goat chow.

    Whew, it's been a long day and the shower is going to feel real good. G'night folks and thanks again for the warm welcome.
     
  7. Aug 30, 2012
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    I wish I could get thru the winter on just 5 RBs of hay! Actually, right now we're scrambling to get hay. Our hay guy should have been cutting earlier in the month, but still hasn't. I'm planning on selling what I can so I can stock up on hay soon. I just stuck out a RB today, and hope the horses don't go thru it as fast as the last one!
     
  8. Aug 30, 2012
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    G'morning all!

    Started my morning with milking, as usual. Don't know what's up with that girl, but Red is being stingy with the milk lately. We're at the end of 5 months now and I know it's normal for production to drop - but it's still not making me happy. :( I've got too many people that I share milk/milk products with for her to be holding back on me now!

    I usually make two quarts of kefir a day. We have a friend who's going through chemo and we share some of the kefir with her. She loves it and feels that it keeps her gut working as well as it can with all the drugs they pump into her. She's a trooper and through eveything has never lost her positive attitude. I want to be as strong as her when I grow up!

    Some of the kefir goes to my parents and mother-in-law. I'm going to set them up with their own kefir grains as they are too far away to be able to deliver weekly. I'll give them some milk from the freezer, but after that's gone I'll suggest they get organic milk from the grocery if they can't find a closer source of raw milk. I even share a little with the current baby chicks and my two Westies. My male Westie is at least 9 days older than dirt and enjoys his sip of kefir before bed.

    Got round bales yesterday, but still need to get some square bales for the critters that don't have free access to the RB's in the pasture. About 40-50 of those will make me feel really secure heading into the winter. That's probably more than I need, but any leftovers will make fine mulch for the garden. Speaking of winter - I'm sooooo ready for the first norther' to blow in. I suspect we still have at least another month of pretty hot temps before we get a break from the heat.

    I have some roo's that need to start feeding me instead of me feeding them. I'll do the deed the first weekend that we have some cooler temps. Something about butchering in extreme heat just isn't right, ugh.

    Deb, good luck on getting hay. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
     
  9. Aug 30, 2012
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    My aunt was going through chemo and the only thing she really had a taste for was buttermilk. She drank tons of it during this time. The doctors were amazed at the progress she made and how well she did with the chemo and referred to her diet at the Buttermilk Miracle Diet. They said they felt it made her last much longer than she really would have with her level of disease.

    Sadly, she lost her taste for it and stopped. It could be mere coincidence but not too soon after she had a rapid decline and died.
     
  10. Aug 30, 2012
    so lucky

    so lucky Almost Self-Reliant

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    Was the buttermilk made from raw milk, Bee?
     

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