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Showing posts from May, 2015

How My Favorite Books Have Influenced My Homesteading Life

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I grew up in love with the Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables books. I still love them. I still read them all the time. I love the adventures of Anne, Laura, and the people they loved and encountered. I love how they dealt with the situations they found themselves in and their daily lives.

What I loved most was the lives they led. I realize that Anne was a fictional character, but she was based upon a life that Lucy Maud Montgomery knew and lived. I also realize that while Laura was not a fictional character, some of her stories was a bit embellished. That really does not matter to me.

What I took away from those books was the principles, ethics, and morals of those stories. I love how work was valued and laziness was considered an abhorrence. Even when they appeared to be relaxing, they mending or knitting in their hands. Sunday was their day of rest and they treated as such for the work they knew they had to do in the coming week.

I love how everyone was expected to h…

Book Review: Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb

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Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper's 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness written by Jim Cobb is a comprehensive guide to setting up and organizing your preps, gaining skills, and becoming knowledgable over the course of a year. Jim is a preparedness expert having written five books on the subject of preparedness, writes for Survival Weekly, and is the owner and lead trainer for Disaster Prep Consultants.

What I liked about this book is that Jim broke down what you need to be prepared in an easy-to-follow, weekly plan. He tells you what you should get, what you need, and why. I like that he doesn't tell you why you should prepare, but how you should prepare. I also like and agree with him that prepping takes time. Most people do not have the money or time to be prepared in a month or two.

Being prepared, having the skills, and gathering the goods you need takes time. He also tells you that some of the weeks may take longer than a week to do or to acquire the equipment …

Make Your Own Pet Food and Treats!

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Have you seen how much pet food costs nowadays? I tend to buy better quality food and treats because I believe that the by-products are not good for our pets. I also believe that if I wouldn't eat it, they shouldn't eat it either.

One of the areas I have tried hard to cut down expenses in has been pet food. I have two indoor cats, one outdoor dog, two goldfish, and twelve chickens. I feel like I am buying food all the time! My local feed mill makes my chicken layer feed for me for $12 for 50 pounds. The goldfish eat flakes and that is all they like. 

My cats are much more discerning. Both of my cats cannot have food with by-products in it and grain is not recommended either. A seven-pound bag of cat food can cost me $10-15 a month. The dog will eat anything that smells good to her. She is not at all discerning. I do like to make sure she is eating healthy and 30-pound of dog food can cost me $25 (ballpark figure). 

However you look at it, good quality pet food is expensive. I mak…

Parents, Life Is Meant To Be Simpler (And Not So BUSY!)

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Life gets so crazy sometimes. We run and run and run. The kids are involved in several things at once, we can't say no to the latest commitment, and home is only a place to rest your head. Does this sound familiar?

Life shouldn't be like that. Yes, I know. I can hear y'all now.Kids are only young once. They need to experience all these things. They need to find out their potential. We need to be involved in their things. We need to be active in everything. The kids need to know what it is like to be involved and learn to get along with others.

Stop it.

Life is meant to be simpler.

Kids need to know that their family is also their best companions. Kids also need to know what it is like to hang out at home and be a contributor to the household. Kids need to learn how to keep a home, be content with what they have, be content being home with family, and live a simpler life. Kids need to learn how to work and develop a work ethic. Kids need to learn to entertain themselves instead…

10 Things To Do When Rain Stops You From Homesteading Outside

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In my area of Iowa, we are soaked. We get about 2-3 days of rain, 2-3 days of no rain, 2-3 days of rain, and now cooler (than I like) temps. We have rain coming again by the weekend.

My garden is tilled. Nothing is in it. I have a fence to build around the garden, but the ground is so soft that I don't think it will stay upright. We have a lot of mowing to do. I need to build a compost bin. At least most of the crops are in.

I need to get a lot done before the heat and humidity of summer comes along.

What is a homesteader to do when we can't get a lot done outside in the Spring?

1. Keep planning the garden. Refine the plans. Dream a little more. Peruse Pinterest for more ideas. Check out different varieties. Wonder if they have their gardens planted in Alaska yet.

2. Check out the chicken coop for any repairs needed. Clean it up a bit. Watch the chickens for a while. Wonder why you find them so amusing, but decide you don't care. The chickens love all the worms they can find in…

2015 Garden Plans and Goals: Becoming More Self-Sufficient Every Year!

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Photo by my daughter, Jordan 

The garden is tilled! Now time to start planting and planning some more. I love gardening and all it entails. I am working on making the homestead into a food producing machine. A lot easier said than done, but every year I make progress.

What am I going to do this year?

1. Plant asparagus and hope it comes back next year. These are second year plants as opposed to the first year plants from last year. I have hope they will. I added a lot of rotted chicken manure and bedding to the area they will be planted.

2. Put a fence around the garden. I love my chickens, but I will love them a lot less if they eat everything I plant. So a 3-4 foot fence will be going around the garden. At the end of the season, I will let them back in the garden to fertilize, eat leftover produce (if any!), and scratch around a bit.

3. Adding two more blueberry bushes. All four of my blueberries planted last year came back. I will add more soil acidifier to keep them happy and mulch hea…

"What Do You Think Is Going To Happen? Is The World Going To End?"

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The answer would be "I don't know" or "I doubt it". Literally, I don't know. I can guess and not be right. I can only give you my views and let you make your own decisions.

I see a lot of signs of potentially bad things happening, but I don't know which way anything is going to go. I see a lot of signs that I find rather alarming and very disturbing. I see a lot of questionable decisions being made and a lot of questionable people making those decisions. We have natural events happening in unexpected places as well as expected places. We have things going on that are out of our control.

I don't ever see the world self-imploding or blowing up. I also believe that everything works in cycles. The weather works in cycles. Nature works in cycles. Animals work in cycles. You get the idea.

Natural disasters do not worry me that much. They are part of life and nature. We have no control over them. We can prepare for them as much as possible, but we always need…

Want to Save Money? Attend A Garage Sale! (Tips for Having a Good Garage Sale Time!)

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Do you love garage sales? I do love garage sales. I think this is a great way to find things we need and not pay a fortune for those needed things. Last weekend was kind of the official start of garage sale season in Iowa and we definitely partook. We found some shirts, shoes, and shorts for my son, some shirts for my daughter, and some books for me! Dane found two movies he couldn't live without for fifty cents each. 



Why should you attend a garage sale?

1. Garage sales save money and are a great place to shop for any frugal minded person!

2. Garage sales are great places to find clothes for those rapidly growing kids. Why buy new clothes for them when they are going to wear them out or grow out of them quickly?

3. Garage sales are a treasure trove for preppers! The things that people get rid of are just a blessing for preppers. I have gotten tools, flashlights, camping equipment, canning supplies, and more from garage sales. 

4. Garage sales are a blessing to the already budget-strap…

May 2015 Goals Update

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My Goals For 2015

1. Clean, de-clutter, paint, re-carpet, fix ceiling,  and organize Paige's room. This room is an unorganized disaster that needs some serious help. Plus she is at that age where she is growing out of everything: clothes, toys, books, etc.

This has been on hold for the last month. Between remodeling my work office and very busy month for her, we haven't gotten a lot done. We might just wait until school gets out before really taking this project seriously.

2. Clean, organize, paint, and re-carpet the office. This is where I work at home (most of the time). It doesn't work for me. It doesn't really work for anyone.

My home office has been getting tackled. I have cleaned out a lot of stuff straight to the dumpster. I also moved a set of shelves that were empty into the bathroom. I was home for a week with a sick child and just really did some cleaning out of this room. Still needs more done though.

3. Purchase a hand gun and learn to use it well.

Soon. Very…