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Community Home Around and About the House Homestead Update
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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
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Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Today has been great! The air is cool and I actually had to put sweats on Micah. I love the autumn weather!!! Now, if I could only have the pretty colors that goes with it.

I got an early start today. I had alot of computer work to do and unfortunately that is not my "brightest" area. I know enough to get by but anything out of the ordinary (email, blog, ATW, web searches) really gives me a tough time. I did manage to get a new page added to our website though. Nothing fancy, but something that it needed.

Not having electricity except for the major appliances has really brought about many changes. The biggest is the rescheduling of my days to allow me to get more done in the daylight hours. It is going well though. I dovetail my tasks pretty well which is how I get most of my work done each day. I generally have more than one thing going on at a time.

We are boxing up everything electronic to sell. We already found a home for the TV. A retired couple we know needs one as theirs is just about on it's last leg. We will be getting the TV to them probably on the weekend. I am finding that the more we get away from all the electronic distractions and the excesses, the easier our days are becoming. We get much more done and I love not having to keep all the extras clean and organised. I also love the extra room we are gaining in out home.

The weather is cool enough that we expect Angel to go into heat and get "caught" anytime now. I am looking forward to seeing her have our first lambchops.....oops, I mean cute cuddly little baby lamb. Yeah, that is what I meant to say. LOL Sorry, farm humor there.

The cool weather also is a blessing as we are now able to move and stack the firewood without worry of coming across a snake. The temps are getting cool enough that the snakes will be going underground soon.

I am already mapping out and planning next spring's garden. I have preorders already coming in for next spring's plants. It is great as it will really help me in planning out how much seed to buy. So far, I am looking at nearly 14 pounds of seed that will be planted for our garden and as plants to sell.

I have started on some special crochet projects. I will write more about them later. One project though is a shawl large enough to wrap around both Micah and I when he is in the sling carrier. I am thinking of buying some soft wool blend fabric to make a fabric shawl from also. I am certain that I will have enough fabric from making the shawl to make a matching one for Abbie. I have been surprized at just how soft and not scrtchy wool blends are. It will feel so good to have the wool blend shawl this winter.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Today is so beautiful. After nearly a week of overcast skies and rain, the sun is warm and shining brightly. It has dried up enough that Abbie is playing outdoors.

As I look out the window, I can watch as my laundry sways in the breeze. I love days like this. I am enjoying it as long as I can. I know that come winter, I will have laundry hanging in the house on drying racks or will be having to use the dryer.

My garden is nearly finished. Only a few squash plants, the pumpkin, and sweet potatoes are still growing & producing. After the experiment of planting the sweet potatoes, I plan to plant alot more of them next year. I prefer the flavor of them to regular potatoes anytime!

All of the rain has really made our dirt road rutted. Even the large water trucks go past our house at a snail's crawl. I am so glad for the ruts. It is the only time when the pickup trucks and cars are not flying by at a fast speed.

Abbie is enjoying all the cats. We have 5 males and 2 females now that are outdoor cats. I haven't had a mouse get into the house ever since we started having cats again. The mice never make it as far as the house with that many out there hunting. A side benefit is that we don't have snakes either since there are no rodents for the snakes to eat.

Micah is rolling around and scooting all over the floor now. Walk out of the room for a quick moment to get a cup of coffee and he is never where you had him. LOL Gotta love it!


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
For a Monday, today is getting off at a good start. I was out in the garden over the weekend. I have lots of pumpkins, one is already nearly full size. I grew the small sugar baby pie pumpkins. They get about the size of a soccer ball. The inside of the pumpkin is thick with meat and has a very small seed cavity. The color is a rich deep orange. I cut these open and scoop out the seeds & fibers. Then I bake the pumpkin at 350*F until it is very soft. Once soft, I scoop it out of the shell & freeze the pumpkin for later. You can use it for pies, breads, cookies, cakes, or cook up and eat with a bit of butter and seasoning just as you would any type of squash.

Today I got an early start. I have laundry done, and have deep cleaned the kitchen. Deep cleaning a room is a once a month task. I pull everything out and wipe everything down. Kind of like the heavy spring cleaning.

Tonight, we have friends coming by after Joe is off work. We are giving them our console TV and all of our electric lamps to take home and some of the lamps will also be shared with their family members who can use them. I will be so glad to have it out of the house. We are slowly emptying the living room it seems. I am also going to give them some fabric squares that I have for making quilts. They need to make quilts for their beds, so hopefully the fabric squares will be helpful.

I am working on some crocheting at night now. I am having so much fun. I am making some cute potholders that just have me laughing when I see them. This Friday, I hope to get some supplies to start working on the ornaments. I haven't decided yet what all ornaments we will make, but I do know that I want to have a family day when we work on making them. I do know that the applesauce/cinnamon dough ornaments will be one of the types we make.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Thu Sep 18, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Today I am doing my baking and finishing up canning the last of the apples and pears. I also need to get more tomato soup canned & in the pantry. I shredded up some zucchini to make into bread for a treat to take with us tomorrow when we go to the city.

I also am finishing up a batch of laundry. I am trying to take advantage of the nice days while I am still able to hang the laundry out to dry.

This morning I got a surprise in my email. The first two articles that I submitted to Associated Content have now been published. Dance I know it is something little, but I am quite excited about it. I have a few more yet waiting for publication. The articles are basically ones dealing with green living, "plain" lifestyle, and homesteading. I may do some tutorials in the future.

Lots of exciting changes are coming up for our little homestead. I have to keep quiet about a few of them as yet, but can't wait until I can share the news.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Today was exhausting. In the past 2 days I have spent 21 hours working on making apple butter to can up in jars. We were given several bags full of granny smith apples by Joe's co-worker. I first had to peel & core them. Then cook the apples down to an applesauce. The applesauce is then seasoned & sweetened and baked at a low setting overnight. The mixture basically has to cook down until thick and a deep brown coloring. By the time it was done, a roaster pan filled to the rim with applesauce made only 7 pints of apple butter! Oh well. I ended up stretching it out to get 5 pints and 4 half-pints. Joe loves the stuff and will open up a half-pint and eat the entire thing at once with a spoon. I don't think I could ever make enough apple butter to keep him supplied with it. Rolling Eyes

I also got my baking done once the apple butter was out of the oven. Two loaves of bread, 3 dozen cookies, and biscuits. I still have more cookie dough in the refrigerator to bake tomorrow. I want to do up some Sugar Cookies. I haven't made them in quite a while and have been getting a taste for them.

Tonight, Joe found a hand-crank wringer from the 1850s online. He is finding out if it is in working condition. From the picture it looks like it is. The wringer is priced really cheap for an antique. He is thinking of buying it for me. It will sure make my laundry easier! I have no trouble with hand-washing it, but the arthritis in my hands makes wringing the laundry out a bit hard sometimes. I did 4 loads today. That is alot for one morning. Much of it was bedding. I am fully caught up on the clothing and diapers.

I need to cut out and make Micah more of the Chinese Fold prefold diapers. He is out-growing the fitted cloth diapers. I decided to just make him some diaper covers to go over the prefolds. They dry much faster on the clothesline than the fitted ones do. They also don't look so bulky.

Abbie is getting potty trained. Bless her heart! She tries, but so far she has the whole concept backwards and says "potty" when her pants need changing - not when she should be saying something. She is so funny about it. Can't get angry when she is so cute. She tells me "potty" and walks to the bathroom, grabs a clean pair of pants off the shelf and hands them to me. I can't wait until she realizes that she needs to say something before she has need of clean pants!


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
We had a wonderfully enjoyable weekend. On Saturday, we spent the afternoon at our neighbors' home. Each year, they host a "Fish Fry" at their home for family and friends. It is a great time as we all get together. Don and his family do alot of fishing for catfish and stock it up all year in the freezer in preparation for the fish fry. Everyone brings a covered dish of some kind and has a nice relaxing day. The kids have lots of room to run and play while the adults get a chance to visit.

On Sunday, we stayed home. Our car is finally in the shop. The mechanic shop is a small family run business that is so good that they have a 4-6 week waiting list to get work done on your vehicle, unless it is an emergency situation. Once it is repaired and we get it home, we will finally be able to go places as a family. We have been without a family vehicle for over a year now, using Joe's little Ford Ranger to get around. Luckily, I enjoy being home. With the exception of about 5 occassions, I have stayed home constant since I got home from having Micah last April 4th. It never bothers me though. I love being home.

Today, I was wide awake at 3:30am so got all my housework done by the time the little ones woke up. It was so fun to surprise Joe with the coffee and breakfast waiting on him when he came out into the kitchen. He was certainly surprized and appreciative! I packed his lunch - 2 sandwiches, a pint jar of cream of tomato soup, and a pint jar of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. He looked thrilled! He eats well, but I sure don't know where he puts it. He weighs only 150 lbs. but eats like a horse! I wish I had his metabulism! I tease him that his metabulism is like a hummingbird on speed. He is constantly in motion and doing things.

I sorted through a lot of fabric yesterday and gave away 2 large boxes and 1 kitchen trash bag of it to our neighbor. She does alot of sewing and quilting. The fabrics were all polyester blends which I got through a Freecycle trade. I had received several large outdoor trash bags of fabric and had picked out all the 100% cotton ones that I coulduse in my sewing. My neighbor uses all types of fabric, so she was thrilled to get these.

I now have Abbie's quilt all precut and ready to start quilting. For hers, I am quilting as I go. I quilt each individual block then will use sashing to attach the blocks together. Not having a hoop or frame to hand quilt on, this is the easiest way. Because of the time constraints in getting all my holiday sewing done, I am machine quilting the quilts. A 100% handsewn crib size quilt takes me about 2-3 months to make from start to finish. For those, I hand sew the pieced or appliqued blocks together, then hand assemble to quilt & do the quilting. The quilts that I make to sell, I am either tying or machine quilting. Otherwise I would not get very many made to sell.

Our ram got into my garden and ate my sweet potato plants down to a stubble. Luckily this was a blessing! Since the plants hadn't flowered yet, this will stimulate the potatoes growth. Normally with potatoes & sweet potatoes, you have to wait for the plants to flower then dry up to be able to get the potatoes to grow large. By him eating off the plants, all the plants energy and growth will go to the potatoes instead of the plant.Dance

We are waiting to find out if the ewe got pregnant. She was in heat last week and Midas was following her around, nipping at her sides and acting "interested". If she isn't pregnant, she will be in heat again soon. She goes into heat every 18 days. I am so looking forward to having the little lamb. And no......not just on our table! Tongue

We are making major strides lately in our home. After months of work and it looking like we were not getting anywhere, we have finally turned that corner where you can see big changes. We now have 4 rooms completely done! Dance We have taken them down to the absolute essentials. Only 2 rooms yet to go. It is amazing how we can work for so long and not easily see the progress, then over one weekend suddenly see much progress has been made.

I nearly have next year's garden planned out. Today while the kids are napping I am going to go out and "walk" the garden area to measure it. Then I can transfer that to the paper and start working out the planting chart. I need to decide what plants to have near each other. Things like squash have to be kept apart or they will cross-pollinate and ruin the seed. One farmer that we buy milk from got some zucchini seeds from another gardener. The plants looked great when they came up but the zucchini looked weird. Turned out that the other guy had planted the zucchini next to yellow squash and they had cross-pollinated. To keep the plant varieties true, you have to plant other things in between each of the squash varieties. There are other garden plants that you have to watch also. Tomatillo and the various tomato varieties also have to be kept separate if you plan to gather seeds for planting another year. This is referred to as companion planting. There are some plants that do great when planted together, others that will "cross". I remember one year my mom planted in the garden some green bell peppers along side of some hot peppers. The result were bell peppers that were hot! Sad

Now that our garden is nearing it's finish, I am really starting to look forward to late February when I can start planting the little seed pots to get the plants started for planting in late April. I am going to sell organic open pollinated garden seeds this coming year. I am so excited! This will be my first year to be able to do it. Dance Dance Dance I already have my pricing an everything figured out, but they won't be ready til after Christmas.
I can't wait!!!

We are making so many changes here in what we are doing. It is really exciting to see where the Lord is leading us in our efforts. Options that we hadn't thought would be possible until much later are being opened up to us now. It is so humbling.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well, we finally got an electric bill for a complete month of our using limited electricity. Our August bill was $250. The September bill was $51. We couldn't believe it! Best part is, we are doing things now to lower it even further. Dance

We are gradually getting things sold on Ebay. What a pain in the keester! We get people watching our stuff, but not buying. About half of what we list is not purchased. So, we box it all up and donate it to a local charity. Turns out there is the "ebay game" that many buyers play. They watch your items to see if they start getting bids. If no bids are made, then many sellers will relist the items at a lower price. Once relisted at the lower price, people wil start bidding. Well, Joe and I are not playing the game. We list once and that is all. Joe now puts on all our listings that if the items doesn't sell, then it will not be relisted but will be donated to a charity. We are not starting to get people to buy from us. I really hate the games though.

An update on the sheep: turns out that the rams get aggressive with women. That was the problem. Midas, like many breeds of animal, can sense that a woman is "weaker" than a man. So, he challenges me much more than he would do with Joe. We have them in a larger grazing pen now that I won't have to move them from. Since Angel may be pregnant (or will be soon) we are now giving them organic grain. The ewes, if fed a good grain will "ripen" in such a way that they will have twins or triplets instead of a single birth. It is pretty weird how it works. The Hampshires are already know for dropping a twin about 50% of the time normally. By giving a good grain about the time they breed and during the pregnancy, it helps increase the chances for a multiple birth and gives the ewe more nutrients that she needs during the pregnancy. With all the cool weather we are having now, if Midas didn't get her pregnant this time, she will likely be pregnant when she has her next heat in about 3 weeks.

My spring garden is nearly planned out now. I am going to go through my seeds and check what I may need to get more of. Starting this winter, I will be selling the open pollinated garden seeds. No hybrids. I have a supplier that I can get the seed in bulk from and once I break it down into packets, I will be able to sell most seed packets for much less than Walmart and still do okay.

Yesterday, we went to church for the first time in 8 months. What a blessing to go again. We got the car back on Friday. Joe simply traded vehicles with the shop. The little truck wasn't running very good so it now needs a little TLC from the shop. Once it is out, we have to let them check the car again as it is sometimes hard to get it to go into gear. It is an automatic, so we are hoping it isn't going to turn into a major expense. If it does, we may be back to square one and having to look for a different car.

While at church, we took some watermelons and fresh squash from the garden so that anyone who wanted them could take some home. During the church service, the Pastor called us forward and we had Micah dedicated (some churches refer to it as being blessed). We have been looking forward to that ever since he was born. It was so cute. Micah kept watching the pastor and when Pastor Mike said something directly to Micah, looking at Micah when he said it, Micah just popped up with the brightest smile! Everyone laughed to see Micah reacting that way. The biggest chuckle though came a few moments later when Pastor Mike reached out to hold Micah for a portion of the dedication. I handed Micah over and Pastor Mike said "UGH! He is a chunk!" The congregation had a good laugh over that one!

Abbie is doing great. She is having a lot of fun tormenting the barn cats. They just adore her and like to rub up against her when she is outside. She likes to toss things for them to chase. One cat will lay down and let Abbie put handfuls of dirt on the cat's body. He just lays there and let her do it! LOL

Joe and I had a long talk about him selling the apple butter and jams to co-workers. From now on, the money made will have to be used towards making more. He has sold so much that our own pantry is nearly depleted of all apple butter and jam. I am now back to square one in building up a supply for our own family! Cry

I am not going to be online as much anymore. I will be checking in with ATW and also posting on my blogs & doing my emails. My first priority though will be to getting my sewing portion of the business fully up and running. Joe also has asked me to work on our website or at least to provide him the information. With all that, plus family and getting ready for winter & the holidays, I will not have as much online time.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
What a week! I am SO glad to be nearing the end. We have been getting things ready for winter. I am looking forward to the cold weather so we can slow down a bit! I have myself and the kids on a routine during the week now that is seeming to work very well. I love the kids being on a nap schedule. By the time their naptime rolls around, they are both ready for it.

My garden is starting to slow down a little on the squash production. Cold nights and warm days htough are what the plants seem to enjoy. Especially the winter squash! My plants are still loaded down with the older blooms and little squash. I haven't found many new blooms though, so I think the plants are nearing their finish. My pumpkins are loaded down still with small pumpkins on every vine. I counted 9 pumpkins on just one vine the other day. All of the vines are loaded down like that. If I were wanting the pumpkins to be large, I would trim off some of the smaller pumpkins to encourage the growth in the larger ones. Being these are the little pie pumpkins though, I am leaving all the pumpkins on the vine for a while longer. We normally don't have a heavy frost until December, so they have plenty of time to mature. I have already been able to pick one of the ripened pumpkins from a vine. Another will be ready in about a week. Then, judging from the size of the others, I will start harvesting several at a time. I may leave them all on the vine until I can get a heavy harvest. I have a couple of families near us that want a couple of pumpkins each for their pies. The surplus that I don't use will be taken to church out in OKC to donate to any families wanting them.

Once the pumpkins are finished, we will be able to put the garden to bed for the winter. In February, I will be starting all over again and preparing for the spring garden.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
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Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
It is hard to believe a month has nearly gone by since the last update.
We have had a hard frost that finished off the remaining squash plants. We were about "squashed out" by then so are not missing the plants now. The pumpkins are continuing to grow and are turning orange. Once they are harvested, a neighbor has offered to bring his large farm tractor to till under the garden soil. I am going to start looking for old hay to use as a mulch to hopefully prevent the crabgrass from invading the garden area again before spring. The hay will also become a nice mulch for next spring when the garden is planted with the new plants.

The kids are beginning to show improvement on their staph infections. I am still so amazed that they got such a thing. You would think that by having the little ones home all the time that they would be kept safe from those illnesses. I am just so grateful that they were treated quickly enough that they had not exposed anyone and that they will not have any scars left from the lesions.

I am setting up my sewing center in the front room today. I have to turn off the computer when I am using the sewing machine, but I am enjoying the time I have to sew during the day now. I may have some late night sewing from time to time, but not as often as before.

Over the weekend, Joe and Abbie moved the furniture around in her & Micah's room. They also worked together on taking down her crib. The crib is now being stored temporarily in the storage room until Abbie has enough time in her toddler bed to not get upset when we bring it back in for Micah to use. For now, Micah is still using a portable crib. It will be sufficient for a couple of more months. They arranged the furniture to make a larger area in the middle of the floor for them to be able to play. He also set up Abbie's little school desk & chair in the room. A neighbor had some old desks and chairs from the school. The school had been replacing the old ones with new. We still have one more desk to pick up that will be for Micah when he is old enough. These are in really nice condition and will be a blessing when the kids are coloring or later on when they are homeschooling. Joe also bought an old chalk board that is 12 foot long that he is going to mount on their wall temporarily. This will also be for their play and later, homeschooling.

We are preparing to start working on the house. We came to a decision on the order in which the home's room will be worked on. During the remodeling, whatever room we work on has to be emptied do to the complete overhaul the rooms need. So the easiest place to start is the storage room in the back. We have very little in it and will empty it out. That room will become our bedroom. It is the second of the 2 original 1890 rooms of the homestead. The room is connected to our current bedroom so it will be convenient to move into once the room is ready. Then, our current bedroom will get worked on to make it into the kids' rooms. We will be adding a small divider wall to give them each their own space & some privacy. Once they are moved into their room, we will work on removing the temporary wall dividing their room from the kitchen. This will give us a larger kitchen & dining room. The dining area will also be where the kids will be doing their homeschool work. The front room, laundry/pantry, and bath room will follow after these 3 are done. It is exciting to have a plan now. As we do some rooms, they will have to be gutted down to the studs and outer walls to make sure there is plenty of insulation and that the structure is still sound. I am looking forward to getting the work started. We have been wanting to do this for a couple of years now.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Greetings! How is everyone this fine and glorious morning?

After a solid month of illness and pain, I finally woke up feeling Dance .
I was feeling better yesterday, but today I feel even more so. For the first time in a month I woke without any pain at all.

Today I am slamming through the house getting it set back to rights. Luckily it wasn't too bad. That is one of the extra benefits to living a simple & plain lifestyle. There isn't as much "stuff" to have to pick up and tend to when cleaning. The biggest job is laundry, but that will be done in short order.

The kids are both healing up very well. The antibiotics are doing the job in clearing up the sores and rash. Both are feeling pretty happy and active also. It still miffs me to think about how inconsiderate people can be able taking contagious kids out to neighborhood gatherings, school, etc.

I cut out a small decorative quilt that I am making for Joe. He loves patriotic/Americana themed things. For Veterans Day (next Tuesday) I am making him a wall quilt with "God Bless America" design on it. I am so proud of his serving in the Navy. He served 2 tours in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm. Each year, I try to do something to honor his service. I am also putting together a scrapbook for him of the pictures and his records from his time in the Navy. I had found the pictures and the "atta boy" letters in a tote that he had under the bed. Putting the scrapbook together has been so humbling. It is amazing the dedication and pride that the service men and women have for their country. Joe loved being in the Navy and often talks about his experiences on the carriers he served on. He especially talks about seeing the other nations and how they lived. He learned a lot during those years abroad. One of the greatest being just how precious our freedoms are in our nation. I am hoping that by putting the pictures and papers in a scrapbook for him (along with the pictures I am enlarging to frame and display) that not only will he enjoy them, but the kids will grow up with a pride for their father's service also.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance I am so happy! I got it all figured out. This week, I am making the old fashioned ash lye. I am going to set up the ash hopper in an area where it will be easy to access, but also will be where Abbie won't be able to get to it. If all goes well, I will have some of the liquid potash to make soap with next weekend. This is so awesome! If I get it to work properly, then I will be able to make the soaps for nearly free. I am going to make a very small test batch of soap first. If it works as expected, then I will go ahead and make the full size large batch. The neat thing about this is that using the same ingredients, I can make a gelly-like consistency soap that would be great for things like laundry where a soft soap is best, or it can be made into a bar of soap. I can't wait to test it out.

The one thing nice about the soap is that it is cooked much longer than the modern soaps are. The longer cooking time helps to neutralize the lye faster. Instead of having to wait 4-6 weeks for the soap to be ready to use, this soap can be used almost immediately.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Got a new addition to the family today. Gracie is an 11 week old Sharpei and Blue Heeler mix with a tiny bit of Rottwieler mixed in. She is tiny, her parents were only about 30-35 lbs. in weight. Three generations back there was a mix with Rottweiler in the ancestry, but Gracie only will have the black & brown marking, not the large stature. She is adorable. I watched as a young couple were holding her and even though the couple did nothing wrong, the pup just wouldn't stop shaking. The couple walked away without her. The owners handed her to me and within a couple of minutes, she was fast asleep in my arms. Needless to say, they were thrilled that she took to me so well. They live about 40 miles from our homestead, but gave me their phone number. Next time we go to town, they want us to call and they will meet us in town and bring along a dog house for her. That will be a blessing as we will be able to have her outdoors when we are not at home.

When I brought her home, Abbie was nervous at the beginning but quickly warmed up to Gracie. Gracie has been wimpering every time I leave her sight, but as I sit here at the computer, she is fast asleep laying across my feet.

I am hoping that Gracie will make a good pup to have around the kids. The owners also own both of the parents and the parents are very good with little kids. Though they have blue heeler in their breeding, they never try to "herd" the kids. They also have none of the aggressive behavior of the Rottweiler. In temperment, the Sharpei is dominant.

The barn cats are not sure what to think. Joe is already loving having Gracie around. Each time I have taken her outdoors to go for a little walk, the cats scatter off of our porch and hide. Poor Gracie tries to chase and play with them, but they are having none of that. LOL Joe said that if the pup can keep the barn cats off the front porch, then she will be worth keeping around. Abbie is already having alot of fun playing with her. When Micah was laying on a blanket on the floor, we watched as Gracie went over, gently sniffed Micah over, then lay down beside him. I think this is going to work out really well.


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May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
This entry is a hard one. One of the down sides to our lifestyle is that your time for working in the day is limited. By nightfall, we are exhausted and computer time is a difficult task to do. With this in mind, I am now going to be limiting my computer usage to emails, blogs and business related tasks, I am hoping to free up more time for homestead and family tasks.

I will continue to check in and post here as time allows, but at least for the time being, if anyone needs for me to answer a question or wants to stay in touch, please contact me through the email. Otherwise I cannot guarantee that I will see your post.

I am hoping that by limiting the posts, I will be able to remain a part of ATW. The only other option would be for me to leave ATW completely - something that I would not want to do as I have made many friends here.

May the Lord's blessings be with thee.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
So with a deep breath in
and a deep breath out,
arms firmly crossed across your chest.
A rigid stance with knees locked
and eyes bugged out......

An 8 year old can express their feelings.
"YOU hurt my feelings and I am mad at you" they say.
YET they stand there, waiting for a response.
They don't want it to "end this way"
they want to 'hear' something.

Ahh to be 8 again.
To be able to stomp a foot, huff, boldly proclaim
"My feelings are hurt"
and the person with whom they are upset
is standing right in front of them.
And has to give an answer.

There's no wiggling around, word dancing here.
They are on the playground.
All eyes are on them.
Now's the time.
Confess and apologize or lie.

I want to stomp my foot and proclaim
"my feelings are hurt".
But as an adult, there are so many other factors.
Maybe *** is busy with work.
For months and months......

Maybe there's a lot going on in *** life and *** doesn't
have time to think about how they spoke to me?
Maybe *** never was taught tact when they were growing up,
And that words can cut a person to the quick.

Maybe in their family people speak harsh words, knowing that the family member hearing it doesn't take it to heart & thinks EVERYBODY will respond that way?

Like that 8 yr old child, I often wonder WHY?
Why is it that some people can be openly cruel in their words, whether they be spoken or written in a IM, post, or email, and yet they are excused from this behavior?
Why does it feel like I am the one who has to always be the one to make allowances for others' thoughtless and cruel remarks?
Why does no one ever hold the offending person responsible for their behavior?

So like an 8 year old with hurt feelings, there we stand,
only not in full view of others with our feelings on our sleeves.......
no, now we keep them to ourselves
because we have learned that the other person will never be made accountable.
We learn to never let others see the tears that their thoughtless actions and words have brought to us.
So, quietly we stand in the background and wait for the hurt to go away.


Sometimes, being grown up isn't all what it's
cracked up to be.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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timstruckingirl
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Joined: 30 Jun 2008
Posts: 1168
Location: Evansville, Indiana


PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
WOW i loved that thanks paula!!!!!

----
Maid, cook, story teller, and monster fighter to three wonderful boys.
truck washer , direction giver, and mechanic to my wonder hubby!


Mandy


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you Mandy. I found the original version in a blog but changed over half of it to make it applicable for me.

----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Last week, I had a rough week with pain. In short, I overworked myself. That is one of the few things that causes a flare up. I have been baking cookies and breads for my Beloved's co-workers who place orders with him at work. It has been a nice little way to earn a bit extra for the family. Last Monday, I had a large order which involved making 4 full batches of cookies. Only one was a type that didn't require the cookies to be shaped before baking. This meant a lot of standing, which is something I cannot do. By the time I was done, my pain level was very high and I had difficulty walking. My Beloved very lovingly hugged me and let me know that we would no longer take any cookie or bread orders. It is just too much. His concern was that now that winter is upon us, the number of orders would go up.

Another change that I am making is that I will only be using my blogs at blogger. The homestead blogger account was my oldest blog, but the blogger account is much easier to manage. Between the two blogs (a homesteading one and my recipes blog) I will be kept busy enough.

One of my Beloved's and my goals has always been to simplify our lives. I am finding that it is time to do it in other areas of my life also. My first responsibility it to my relationship with my Lord, then my family, then other things. In an effort to do that, I am not going to be participating in groups or forums as much as in the past. I have dropped several already. I will still be here for now, but not posting very often. There is much to keep me busy here at home. Besides seeing to the more common needs of my family, I also am working on sewing clothing items for all of us.

I will still be sewing and crocheting items to sell through our family website and our Ebay store. These will be ready-made and I will not be taking orders. This will allow me to focus on my family first without the stresses that come from meeting deadlines on orders.

Please feel free to email me if you want. I don't have my ringer turned on for the phone due to the phone mainly used for the computer, so if anyone wants to call, they will have to text me on my tracphone first so I can turn the ringer on and make sure I am offline. I will be checking my email at least every couple of days.

I am finishing up the ornament that I am making for the exchange. I have cards ready for when the address list comes out for that exchange also.

I ask that everyone respect my decision in this. I love the friendships that I have gained through ATW and would hate to lose any of them over this. I just find that my family and my own health must come before everything else.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I pray that all have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had a nice holiday with just our own little family. Joe spent the entire day in the kitchen with me, cleaning the dishes as I cooked & baked. I overdid it, so have had to take things very easy yesterday & today. It was great though.

I am feeling so much better now that I have been simplifying more. I work only in the mornings, then after lunch do a lot of sit-down type things until it is time to prepare dinner. Joe has done so much to help out. Now, instead of laying things about and leaving them, he is putting things away and picking up after himself more. We are also getting Abbie to pick up her own toys, which also helps. We realised that I am doing more work that I need to. Each person who is able to, is now taking responsibility to pick up and help. With this, my chest pains have finally gone away and my pain levels are dropping again.

I am now focusing on the Christmas preparations. There is not a lot of things yet to do, but enough to keep me busy. We already have the shopping done that had to be. Only the grocery shopping remains. We will do that next Saturday. The only other things to do is finishing up the sewing for the gifts and the decorations that we will be making as a family activity during the next few weeks.

This past week has been the most relaxing one that I have had in longer than I can remember. I have needed this so much. Yesterday, I was so tired from Thanksgiving that I laid down for a nap at 3pm and slept until 8pm. Then by 10pm I was in bed for the night and not up until 9am this morning. I never sleep like that! I must have been more worn down that I thought. No wonder my pain had returned.

We are getting me a bar-type stool to use in the kitchen so that I am not on my feet so much. That will also help to relieve the stress & pain in my back.

I miss everyone here. Thanks for the emails. I appreciate them. I will post here as I am able to.


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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Tee
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Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 13322
Location: West Va.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
whooooo hoooo mousie.........hey what gifts have u made..throw some more ideas our way...lol Heart Hugs Hugs Hugs

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recycle.reuse.refurbish.ha and dh thinks GARBAGE..He's learning.LOL


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oklamouse
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Joined: 22 Jan 2007
Posts: 2162
Location: Oklahoma


PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hello Tee. Here is a list of the gifts I have made or am still in process of making. When possible, I am including a link to the pattern I am using, if that is any help.

Slippers http://www.candleonthehill.net/store/catalog.php?item=115&catid=5&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D5
Doll for Abbie http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4186.htm??tab=list/crafts&page=all
Teddy bear for Micah
Quilts for Abbie and Micah
Crocheted Scarf for Joe
Polar fleece socks/boot liners http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabrics-Hardware-Patterns-Kits/Sock-and-Bootie-Patterns/Polar-Fleece-Socks-Pattern
Bucket organizers http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4858.htm??tab=list/crafts&page=all

Other items are:

aprons (self-drafted pattern)
Fleece bunting for Micah (self-drafted pattern)
Broadfall pants for Micah http://www.candleonthehill.net/store/catalog.php?item=103&catid=3&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D3
Placket Shirt for Micah http://www.candleonthehill.net/store/catalog.php?item=102&catid=3&ret=catalog.php%3Fcategory%3D3
Matching vests for Joe & Micah (Simplicity pattern 4762)
New dress w/pinafore & bloomers for Abbie
Cape/Cloak for Abbie http://www.mccallpattern.com/item/M4703.htm??tab=list/infants_toddlers_children&page=all


----
May the Lord's Blessings be with Thee,
Paula



"Lord, Keep Your arm around my shoulder,
and Your hand over my mouth!"


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