|Posted by The Ms. on November 7, 2018 at 5:25 PM||comments (0)|
It has been quite a while since I last did an update. Not that the blog was doing much before that, but still; I had intended this to be a sort of journal of progress-trials and tribulations-and it faded fairly quickly even though life certainly didn't stop. Part of that I attibute to my marriage falling apart and partly to being a mother of 3 young children. My parents and sister were the best, they really helped with the day to day living and loving support I needed to get myself back to a better space mentally and with helping take care of the kids. I am so gateful I have never been able to put it all in words. Sometimes "I love you" just doesn't feel like it covers everything enough.
I ended up getting a good seasonal job for 3 months, and when it ended everything fell together perfectly in such a way that we all moved back to the rural Washington area we lived in before. We all live in the same house so it gets pretty loud with the kids and sometimes rubbing elbows gets stressful. But at the same time so wonderful to be able to spend every day with the people you love most. Since living here, I job hunted for quite a long while, found and kept a job for 4 months-I would still be there but I found myself at a legal crossroads and ended up quitting to stay out of any potentially iffy situations like that. So now I am back to the hunt. Along the way, my mother brought home 6 chicks: 2 Brown Leghorns, and 4 Americanas. And a hand drawn "Coupon" for my 5 year old daughter-who is completely chicken obsessed-to get any one chick of her choice. And that led to an order with our local feedstore for a Silver Laced Standard Cochin chick, a Salmon Faverolle chick, and 4 Welsummer chicks. As of now, the first 6 are laying sporadically and all of the chickens are ready to transition out of the make do coop we built. I will try to take pictures of it and update on the progress of building the final chicken coop and run as we do it. I am also hoping *fingers crossed* that eventually I can get rabbits again. I got rid of my rabbits.I had to reduce stress during my divorce and my parents and sister don't eat rabbit and have no desire to eat rabbit soooo...I am not allowed to have any at this point, though I do have a lovely cage stockpile going for that miracle day where it might change. Cross your fingers for me? I would appreciate it certainly!
I had forgotten how hard it is to edit and writing on here...perhaps I should start anew on wordpress or somesuch? Food for thought.
|Posted by The Ms. on February 22, 2014 at 4:50 AM||comments (0)|
I was driving through town and saw a thrift store/resale shop had just put out one of those shower seats (4 legged stool?) for disabled people to help them shower and I stopped since it seemed like a great idea to buy it with my husband being disabled. And I got some vintage sewing accessories as well like automatic zig zag and buttonhole attatchments as well as many many strange and exotic looking feet and I also came across a complete cast iron sausage grinder! *Happy Dance* it isn't a higher end brand or fancy really but it has a great sized die (not sure what to call it, the bit that the sausage comes out of through, looks like a disc with holes in it) and I had to clean it immediately in bleach water and soap. Then I decided to try my hand at some sausage with what I had available and it turned out delicious, extremely moist and in general-a fabulous success with my family and me as well I will admit. I know these may be odd measurements but I winged it and added what I had after weighing it and it came out great!
The Mrs' Podunk Sausage Recipe
14.6oz hickory smoked bacon
1lb 11.5oz boneless pork chops
1 huge honeycrisp apple, cored
5 tsp weber roasted garlic & herbs seasoning
5 tsp onion powder
3 tsp Johnny's Seasoning Salt
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Grind your meats and your apple, mix in your seasonings and fry in patties or how you would any loose ground meat. This turned out savory; not really breakfasty but it would be good for both breakfast and dinner.
|Posted by The Ms. on February 22, 2014 at 3:20 AM||comments (0)|
It's been over a month since I last posted but everyone is asleep and the house is quiet so I thought it was a good time to ramble rabbits at you.
I bred both my does back today, my Californian doe Trixie has 4 of her kits (2 bucks 2 does) still in the cage with her and what a mess they are making now! I posted them for sale on Craigslist since they are a couple days past 8 weeks old and definetly ready to go to another home. I promised my husband that I would try to sell this litter before putting them in our freezer so I think I will wait until 10 weeks or so and if they haven't sold I plan on processing them, brining them for several days and making rabbit tamales with them and whatever else strikes my fancy I just happened to see on a facebook rabbit recipe group that a lady made bbq rabbit and then with her leftover meat she made rabbit tamales and it sounds divine! I adore tamales of all meats-at the very least I haven't found one yet I didn't love. I guess I can't say I love all tamales ;p I know some do fish and sefood and I just haven't gone there. And as for my Florida White doe Buttercream...none of her litter survived. They all got drug out of the nestbox or got seperated and got too cold so now I have 2 freezer baggies full of dead kits I am contemplating what to do with. Raw feeding maybe? We do have a Boxer and 2 cats so I would imagine they would love it but I am just not sure how I might go about that yet. Buttercream is possibly already bred and due anytime, but since it is day 41 as of a half hour ago I doubt she carried full term I think she may have reabsorbed the kits or been going through a false pregnancy. I should go check on her now that I think about it-breeding back is supposed to jumpstart labour if she is pregnant, as is feeding small amounts of lavender.
Nope, no kits yet. I exposed both does to my buck again so there is approximately 4 hours between their exposures. I know some people don't double expose their does but I haven't had any issues with it yet though I haven't bred rabbits much. I had a Californian buck I named Mimsy I got when I was 17 and then after my husband and I got married a couple years later he had to have a rabbit he saw in a pet store-they said it was a buck but it turned out to be a doe; he named her Jynx and eventually I bred them but had to get rid of all my rabbits and setup a couple months later. I deeply regret getting rid of Jynx and Mimsy...they did fantastic their first breeding and their kits were extremely meaty and fast growing. But also they were our pets...yes I said it-they were pets. But really useful meat and manure producing ones
And then I got the trio I have now about 6 months ago or so. Trixie was given to me from a meat and show breeder, she was one of his foundation does but had missed a couple times then ate her last litter days before she came to me. She was sweet enough he didn't really want to eat her so he gave her away to me. And my Florida White pair I got for free off Craigslist from a girl who showed them and was going off to college-purebred pedigreed Florida Whites for free! Oh my I may have squeee'd a little with joy All three are older; Trixie is 2 almost 3 here in a few days and both FW's are 3 already. They had never been bred before and I do think that has caused some problems, especially with Buttercream and I am leaning toward the belief that breeding early helps a doe be a better mother. But I haven't given up on any of them.
While the rabbits were all free I will admit I splurged a bit on the cages...my rabbitry if you can call it that is in a bedroom in my apartment so I have Ferret Nation double cages with litter boxes. I have one set up right now and another brand new one (I bought both my FN cages off Craigslist one was previously used by a teacher with ferrets in his classroom and one was new in it's box) sitting in the back of my suburban. And my buck is in the biggest pet cage that Wilco sells with a plastic bottom. In theory I could have 4 does and a buck or 2 bucks 3 does...or 1 buck, 2 does and a grow out cage where they can be seperated by sex. There are different setups possible but at the moment as much as I would love to expand it just isn't the smartest thing to do. I really need to have some kits going to freezer camp so I can start cooking with rabbit since we have only had it once in a crockpotted soup, I just really need to ascertain how much we like rabbit and how often I should aim for it being on our table.
Speaking of liking things put on the table (of sorts) I bought a duck and a goose from my local grocery store the last time I went grocery shopping. I haven't seen either of those there before but I figured it might be a great time to try both I hope. I am mildly afraid of butchering poultry due to some headless blood spurting running around chickens and turkey when I was younger, and I genuinely love to watch ducks-better then CSI I tell you-so I am not sure I could hand raise some and then kill them unless I knew they were delicious. So I plan on practicing making duck and goose to test if we like it.
Anyone have any good duck or goose recipes?
|Posted by The Ms. on December 29, 2013 at 5:40 AM||comments (0)|
My Tattler lids arrived! And in good time as well! I have 25# of "juicing" carrots sitting on my kitchen floor waiting to be canned and oooh say 10# of apples (about) For Christmas Eve breakfast I had crockpot apple butter making ( I used this as a guide to make it: http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-apple-butter.html) and everyone seems to really love it. I used 75% Fuji's and 25% Granny Apple Smith's. It came out just barely sweet enough-even my extra picky 2 year old loves this apple butter However it seems like a full crockpot makes about 3 pints finished and 2 went to my inlaws on Christmas Eve. In light of how fast the remaining pint is being gobbled I may make more and break out both my full sized crockpots (I have 2 full sized crockpots and one that holds 3 smaller wells for appetizers). All in all-resounding success, so good it didn't even make it to being canned
Christmas has come and passed, as has my 5th anniversary with my husband and my youngest's first birthday. I can't believe how fast the years go. We had modest celebrations with good food and lots of love for all of the above and I can honestly say this year the Holidays have been truly wonderful. This was our first Christmas in our own house and I loved it so much! Each of the kids got quilts and we all got many books. I got "The Joy of Pickling" and a perfect little wood bread slicer guide for when I start making all our own breads-something I aspire to do-and I found a perfect little percolator coffee maker I gave my husband for when he feels like old fashioned cowboy coffee. And then there is what my parents got us oh my I am over the moon with excitement! They got us a nice builders hammer, a really nice tape measure, a circular saw and a sawzall!!! I cannot emphasize how incredibley exiting that is to me. They taught me to read as a child and fed my love of books and now as an adult to give me the tools to BUILD is the best gift I could ever dream of so now I feel like I can create just about anything First up is likely to be nicer rabbit nestboxes and shelves for our books, my fabric and sewing supplies, and canned goods. Then baby gates...either from cutting wood doors in half or making ones dutch barn style like this http://www.remodelaholic.com/2012/09/diy-barn-door-baby-for-stairs/ I love the solidity so my clever littles won't be able to shove things in between bars or slats and ruin them.
Sort of speaking of rabbits and nestboxes-our Californian doe had a litter of 8 on Christmas Eve but due to various things she is down to 5 kits today and a big part of that is why I want to build better nestboxes. Deeper then what I have to accomadate her size; with a roof/ledge on top for her to hop on and keep the kits from getting stepped on, and with an inverted angled lip so when she hops out of the box and kits are still attatched to her nipples while nursing they won't get drug out of the nestbox to get cold and die. While I really hope she doesn't lose any more I feel like it is likely...it makes me so sad both with the loss of life but because these kits are my "pool" of which I need to keep the biggest fastest growing doe to expand my little meat herd. I really want better mothering instincts -raising only half of a litter or less is just not optimal and I need them to be optimized to feed my family and my pets.
Our Florida White doe is getting her nestbox just in time for the new year, it is her second litter (all of the first died) so I am hoping for much better success for her this time around. These will be purebred pedigreed Florida White kits as opposed to the above mentioned litter which is Californian/Florida White crosses. I am hoping I might sell a few to offset the cost of cages and feed but wouldn't mind the cooking practice either
I also picked up that second batch of cloth diapers and washed them today actually using a diy cloth diaper safe detergent (recipe here: http://theecofriendlyfamily.com/2009/08/cloth-diaper-detergent/) I had to wash them, strip them (get rid of previous owner gookies and soaps/oils/residues) and wash them again. I know it is a great deal and I am still delighted but they were not taken care of as carefully as they could have been from what I have read...they had stains and a very certain strong aroma that I got out quickly but did put me aback for a minute. After looking all of them over I accepted the challenge and they are now perfectly clean and good smelling *happy dance* that detergent works well enough on those I used it on my regular laundry and it has been great with that too! I only made a little batch as the blogger suggests to try it out but I will likely make more when I run out of my mini batch.
Anyways, toodaloo dears. The youngest will be up in a couple hours so I must go try to get some sleep now that I have rambled a bit on here.
I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas Happy Holidays and will have an great New Year's!
|Posted by The Ms. on December 13, 2013 at 8:25 PM||comments (0)|
Tattler is having a one day sale today! 50% off their lids and rings with the code "madness"
I came across their post about the sale on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/reusablecanninglids" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://https://www.facebook.com/reusablecanninglids and turned it over in my head...now is really a bad time to be spending so much but at the same time they are reusable! I just got some metal ones from Walmart a couple days ago for holiday canning but I did just tell everyone I wanted a serger and Tattler lids for Christmas for myself. So I ordered a 300 regular mouth lids and rings, and 100 wide mouth lids and rings. Shipping is free in the US so I didn't have to worry about that cost.
I think this is a good start...definately not enough if I plan to can a year or two's supply of food for 4-5 people but great for starting! I have many water bath canning pots I use for various things as well as canning jams, jellies, and pickled items. And I was given a pressure canner that I need to get tested at my local extension office.
An good useful purchase I think How many reusable lids do you have? How many do you think are neccisary for a family of 4-5?
Images from http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/
|Posted by The Ms. on December 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM||comments (0)|
My first entry. How potentially nerve wracking! Today I am going to get 3 Bumgenius Diaper covers from a lady who posted them on Craigslist.
"Great deal on Bumgenius pocket style OS snap cloth diaper covers. Elastic is worn out and needs to be replaced. Fully functional otherwise; some wear on the seams and outside of the diaper--just needing some love. No inserts. Asking $5 each or just $12 for the set of three. Save yourself some money--These cost almost $20 bucks new and are known to contain leaks and provide a trim fit. Gender neutral colors, no stains and very soft on your baby's bottom. Asking just $5/cover or $12 if you buy all three!"
I got all three and was so pleased! They looked nice and should fit both my children-one is 2 1/2 and the other is just turning one in few days and since both are wearing diapers/pullups that is great that they will fit both. We spend on average depending on who buys the diapers and wipes (me or my husband) $60 to $80 a month in disposables. Plus any extra for powders creams etc. which is not a monthly expense they last a while but still...It just isn't cheap or sustainable.
I briefly considered composting the insides of pee diapers to improve my practically non existent apartment garden like this instructable here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Recycle-Diapers-into-Great-Compost/ or this one here: http://www.instructables.com/id/Reduce-diaper-volume-reduce-landfill.-Squeemish-b/#step1 but it seemed an iffy thing to try. I could do it but I don't know other then me who might be brave enough to try eating the food grown from any kind of human waste.
So back to square one. Money going out and nothing coming back in from the expendature other then many (many) diapers in the trash. What about cloth diapering? When our son was born I heavily considered it but we were living with my parents and they cloth diapered my sister for a while and were not eager to have a dirty nappy bin hanging around even though many things seem to have changed since they used cloth diapers so it was a no go then. But now we live on our own and have a washer and dryer (greatest apartment housewarming gift ever!) and now we have two children in disposables so double the cost double the waste. I read about it some, watched some youtube videos and was so overwhelmed with this whole new cloth diapering world! I talked to my husband about switching and he agreed it would save us money and while it would be an adjustment it isn't the biggest one we have had to go through so sure lets try it (I love this man so much he supports so many of my "Crazy" ideas not necessarily that he perscribes to but is willing to support me) so onward we go! I still need to get or make liners/prefolds etc. and there is another ad on Craigslist that I will probably persue so that other then liners our cloth diapering "Stash" will have cost us a grand total of 72.02 once I go get this other listing of diapers and accoutrements described as:
Cloth diapers used but in good condition. $5 each or $50 for everything
2 diaper laundry bags (pink)
4 thirsty all in one diapers Size L
Diaper Covers with pre folds
2 bumpkins size L
2 thirsties size M
2 thirsties size L
7 thirsties size 18-40 lbs
1 fuzzi buns petite
1 thirsties size 18-40 lbs
3 happy heiny's one size fits all"
Needless to say I am exited! Now if cloth diapering isn't your cup of tea I understand, indeed I do it is not exactly mine either but the way I look at it is that my children poop and pee and aren't likely to ever stop so in choosing to cloth diaper I am reducing the disposable diaper waste going in the landfill, reducing my cost in dealing with my children's waste, and even more so on that-I can reuse cloth diapers for each child I might have and when I am done having children I can pass it on to another truly a gift that keeps giving! Now I think I have rambled on enough for one post so I will end this with pictures of the diaper covers I just got-white blue and green-basic colors thankfully! Aren't they so cute and so very useful?