Tuesday, August 31, 2010

10 Practical Steps That You Can Take To Insulate Yourself (at Least Somewhat) From the Coming Economic Collapse

1 – Get Out Of Debt: The old saying, "the borrower is the servant of the lender", is so incredibly true. The key to insulating yourself from an economic meltdown is to become as independent as possible, and as long as you are in debt, you simply are not independent. You don't want a horde of creditors chasing after you when things really start to get bad out there.

2 – Find New Sources Of Income: In 2010, there simply is not such a thing as job security. If you are dependent on a job ("just over broke") for 100% of your income, you are in a very bad position. There are thousands of different ways to make extra money. What you don't want to do is to have all of your eggs in one basket. One day when the economy melts down and you are out of a job are you going to be destitute or are you going to be okay?

3 – Reduce Your Expenses: Many Americans have left the rat race and have found ways to live on half or even on a quarter of what they were making previously. It is possible – if you are willing to reduce your expenses. In the future times are going to be tougher, so learn to start living with less today.

4 – Learn To Grow Your Own Food: Today the vast majority of Americans are completely dependent on being able to run down to the supermarket or to the local Wal-Mart to buy food. But what happens when the U.S. dollar declines dramatically in value and it costs ten bucks to buy a loaf of bread? If you learn to grow your own food (even if is just a small garden) you will be insulating yourself against rising food prices.

5 – Make Sure You Have A Reliable Water Supply: Water shortages are popping up all over the globe. Water is quickly becoming one of the "hottest" commodities out there. Even in the United States, water shortages have been making headline news recently. As we move into the future, it will be imperative for you and your family to have a reliable source of water. Some Americans have learned to collect rainwater and many others are using advanced technology such as atmospheric water generators to provide water for their families. But whatever you do, make sure that you are not caught without a decent source of water in the years ahead.

6 – Buy Land: This is a tough one, because prices are still quite high. However, as we have written previously, home prices are going to be declining over the coming months, and eventually there are going to be some really great deals out there. The truth is that you don't want to wait too long either, because once Helicopter Ben Bernanke's inflationary policies totally tank the value of the U.S. dollar, the price of everything (including land) is going to go sky high. If you are able to buy land when prices are low, that is going to insulate you a great deal from the rising housing costs that will occur when the U.S dollar does totally go into the tank.

7 – Get Off The Grid: An increasing number of Americans are going "off the grid". Essentially what that means is that they are attempting to operate independently of the utility companies. In particular, going "off the grid" will enable you to insulate yourself from the rapidly rising energy prices that we are going to see in the future. If you are able to produce energy for your own home, you won't be freaking out like your neighbors are when electricity prices triple someday.

8 – Store Non-Perishable Supplies: Non-perishable supplies are one investment that is sure to go up in value. Not that you would resell them. You store up non-perishable supplies because you are going to need them someday. So why not stock up on the things that you are going to need now before they double or triple in price in the future? Your money is not ever going to stretch any farther than it does right now.

9 – Develop Stronger Relationships: Americans have become very insular creatures. We act like we don't need anyone or anything. But the truth is that as the economy melts down we are going to need each other. It is those that are developing strong relationships with family and friends right now that will be able to depend on them when times get hard.

10 – Get Educated And Stay Flexible: When times are stable, it is not that important to be informed because things pretty much stay the same. However, when things are rapidly changing it is imperative to get educated and to stay informed so that you will know what to do. The times ahead are going to require us all to be very flexible, and it is those who are willing to adapt that will do the best when things get tough.

Read the full story here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kansas PSA

KANSAS: Vote YES on 1 November 2nd! A 1905 court ruling from the Kansas Supreme Court took the interpretation of Section 4 of the Kansas Constitution to mean the Right to Keep and Bear Arms only exists as a collective right for those in the militia or military and "NO INDIVIDUAL RIGHT EXISTS." For that reason, the NRA has worked with the Kansas State Rifle Association, Senator Mike Petersen and the Legislature, to pass a Constitutional Amendment during the 2009 legislative session, which provides new language that clarifies Section 4 and GUARANTEES an individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The language reads: "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and state, for lawful hunting and recreational use, and for any other lawful purpose." Our elected officials have done law-abiding Kansans a tremendous service by passing this landmark Constitutional Amendment. Now it is up to YOU to do your part on November 2, 2010 and vote this provision into the Kansas Constitution

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It is time

As summer begins to wind down it is time to cull the herd and plan for the next year. This year we have opted to sell all the cattle, dairy included. Winters are hard for us as there are lots of extra expenses and well everything is tougher in the cold, lol. We may buy a few cows before spring but we'll see how that goes. As of right now we have a more pressing need and that is to get a van. We have found one that we like so now we must get the money as we are not willing to finance anything more, as Pa (Ingalls) would say "cash on the barrel". We have other debts that need to be paid and it would be nice to ring in the new year without them hanging around our necks. No we're not selling the farm, we're just downsizing the winter operation and trying to get back to a better financial place. It is not likely that we will be doing milk again, except for our own home use, frankly it's not worth the effort on our part. We will likely move to a grass fed cow/calf type model and work on fencing a pasture for our pigs. Sustainability is very dependent on the ability to adapt quickly and the winds of change are blowing in this small farming environment and throughout the country. God willing we will follow where He leads and adapt as needed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Learning How to Grow My Daily Bread

In my book “The All You Can Eat Gardening Handbook” I talk a lot about both the successes and the failures I have experienced while trying to grow food. I’ve experienced lots of both and the failures are really, really important. In fact I think my gardening failures have provided me with the best learning experiences. For a few years I was “garlic challenged” and my crop of garlic never amounted to much. Then I clued in that I need to plant it in the fall and “bam!”, I’ve never looked back. In fact this year our 4,000 heads of garlic are one of the best crops we’ve ever had.

For years my raspberries have languished and never amounted to much. This year everything just clicked and I swear Michelle filled up half of our 10 cu. Ft. freezer with frozen raspberries. I was “over the moon” about them. Every time Michelle brought in another quart or two to freeze it was a little personal lift to make my day.

For a few years now I have been very grain “challenged”. We base a lot of our diet on bread and so learning to grow wheat has been a priority. I’ve had success with oats but wheat has been elusive. I would plant it in the spring and it just never seemed to ripen in time. I noticed though that if I left it over the winter it would start up early the next season and end up forming a proper head. So last fall I cleared two big areas of the garden and seeded “winter wheat”. Wheat is a grass and this means it was in the ground and could germinate in the cool wet soil it likes. Snow covered it during the winter, and then once the snow was gone it greened up and took off.

It’s been just a joy to watch. It grew quickly and vigorously and formed amazing heads. Over the summer the wheat has been maturing and turning a wonderful deep golden brown. Pictures of grain fields are iconic as are images of grain heads on everything from beer labels to bread bags. But until you actually have a patch of your own lush brown wheat you can’t imagine how wonderful it is. Since mine was grown organically the wheat “field” has lots of weeds in it. For a while the wheat was the highest thing growing in the patch, but now some of the weeds have won out. But that’s okay because it was time to start harvesting so the weeds will be gone soon anyway.

Read More at Mother Earth News Learning How to Grow My Daily Bread

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

WOOT $5 Coupon

If you love Woot like we do then you'll love this offer. :) *PLEASE NOTE THIS IS NOT A PAID/SPONSORED ADVERTISEMENT* Now if you've never been to Woot before you maybe asking yourself what's the big deal, the big deal is that this is the equivalent of free shipping. Enjoy! :) This coupon doesn't expire till September 30th 2010.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A few thoughts

I was chatting with a friend about all that has been happening recently and the comment was made that I need to be careful what I post on my blog. Now this comment wasn't exactly new, my mom says this to me regularly, but to be fair she doesn't even read my blog. I have tried really hard to share things on here that are related to the trials and triumphs of moving from a city life to a farm life and not all of it will be pretty or fun. I think it is wrong to leave the unpleasant out as it really gives a false picture to someone considering this life.

To move from the city where there are so many more rules for everything and then come to the country where there are few rules, is an adjustment and not always in a good way. This is evident when we look at the differences in how houses are built, my house for example was originally built in 1900 and though there have been 2 additions since then the previous owners were not required to upgrade the pipes as they added on. This results in every pipe material ever used from 1900 on being used on the house. This also causes problems as the old galvanized pipes rust, making it much easier to clog. When the septic tank was installed it was obviously based on the number of current occupants (at that time 2), rather than the number of bedrooms. This means that our tank is smaller than it should be but it too will eventually be replaced. Time is everything when you move to a farm, just about everything you do will require a time commitment and no matter how badly you want it all done today, you will have to be patient.

As usual I have digressed. The point is this, if any of my readers feel a need to be concerned because of something I have written please take the time to address the concern via email or write a comment. I do take the time to read each email and comment and will clarify if there is any confusion. I am also very welcoming of suggestions, feel free to send them my way, I am in no way an expert and am willing to learn. :) Thanks

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Deal of the day: Free 8x10 Print from Walgreens

As part of their 7 days of deals promotion Walgreens is offering a Free 8x10 photo.

Here's the fine print:
Only 1 free 8x10 print per customer. Valid for 1 use per account. Photo cart must include your 8x10 print at time of checkout to qualify. Discount does not apply to taxes or shipping charges. Order must be placed by logged-in customer by 8/15/10 at 11:59 p.m. CST to qualify. Timing will be determined by Walgreens server clock. Not valid on 8x10 collage prints, scrapbook pages, or magazine covers. Cannot be combined with any other offer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lonestar - Mountains

Praise and thanks

Yesterday was . . . SO today I opted to gain perspective, so I am reposting the last lecture video that I posted 2 years ago. May we never forget this wonderful message.

I thank God for His love, grace and mercy that has been poured out on us this last couple weeks. It is His strength alone that has allowed us to carry on and we praise His name. Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Valedictorian Speaks Out Against Schooling

The bitter truth about Sugar

The clog

DH was not able to get the pipes unclogged yesterday and there was a HUGE mess, on the upside the yucky carpet will be replaced a lot sooner than anticipated. By nightfall the kids and I were in camping mode as this house only has 1 bathroom and it was completely out of commission. Thankfully, my mom reminded me of the chamber pot concept and suddenly we transformed a 5 gallon bucket (with lid) into a portable potty.

I called every plumber in the big town close by and was shocked to hear the prices, we seriously need to get in on this plumbing gig, these guys charge $100 per hour, parts and mileage extra. SERIOUSLY!!! DH heard that there maybe a local guy that could help but of course we weren't able to reach him, in his defense, we believe that he had a funeral to attend this morning so it is likely that he was with family.

We talked for quite a while debating our next move, we couldn't afford the plumber but we couldn't afford to go without indoor plumbing either. My sis had mentioned that some hardware stores rent industrial snakes for a lot less than a plumber. We had already tried 2 different types of hand snakes so this seemed like the best option. I called the hardware store and sure enough they had one, $24 for 2 hours, $45 for 4 hours and $60 for 6hours-overnight, there was also a $100 deposit. This was perfect.

DH left early to get the snake and on the way noticed an equipment rental store, he stopped in and was able to rent the snake for $35 for 4 hours, SWEET! He came home and get straight to work, it took a little time but finally he announced that he had gotten it all cleared, YAY!!! He would still need to pick up a ring to put the toilet back. He got out to the truck to get the ring and sure enough it wouldn't start, he was (understandably) frustrated.

Since there was other things to be done, namely cleaning the snake, I recommend that he do that and allow the truck to rest a while longer. We had lunch when he was done and he went out and got the truck started. He left it running (just in case) and left to return the snake, no point in risking no being able to get it back. The Focus is still parked at my work since I had him come get me 2 days ago, we'll have to pick it up in a bit.

He did attempt to free the kitchen sink drain, but he couldn't get through, so for now it remains a slow drain. I can live with that I guess, at least until tax time and I get the pipes replaced. :) All in all it has been a good day thus far, though we will need to get the truck looked at, the starter may be going out. Everything in time.

Oh, on a homeschooling note. I highly recommend the game word rummy, to help reinforce spelling. My mom found it and brought it when she was here and the kids love trying to beat me, lol. I have added it the links on the sidebar of books etc I recommend, it is less than $8 and a great way to have a little fun with the family. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


So we got our septic pumped a few days ago and the guy says "you didn't need to get it pumped yet, you probably could have gone another 6 or 9 months". Turns out there is a clog in the line somewhere between the house and the septic tank and though he tried to snake if for the septic side, he was unable to reach it. :( DH was able to borrow a snake and is working on trying to snake it from the other side. This process is long, slow and ewwww :( This is where I get to be thankful that we only have 1 bathroom I guess . . . I'm still working out that pep talk as you can tell.

A huge praise: DH is getting to move to an earlier shift and will once again be home before bedtime, YAY!!! Of course it also means that his days off are now all wonky and are no longer together (at least for a couple months as a co worker is on maternity leave) but, it will be nice to have him home at regular hours again :)

I feel old, hear me out, I have entered my 3rd trimester and the few days a week that I do go to help out at work are killing my back. Yesterday I was barely there 7 hours when I finally had DH come get me, almost 24 hours later and I still feel it everywhere :( Oh what I'd give for a nice whirlpool tub right now . . . I'm going back to bed.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's that time of year again

That's right. It's time to get the septic tank pumped. JOY! I called a company in a neighboring city and once again I am hoping that he shows up. It's more like praying he shows up, given last years experience it will be nice to pay the regular rate instead of twice the price just to get someone to come out.

On the upside, Dh was able to get the truck out of the ditch thanks to some kind neighbors, though it did involve a lecture about encouraging us to fraudulently enroll our children in the local school. Don't get me wrong, I pay pretty high property taxes around here and it would be nice to see that money stay local, couple that with the fact that we have the largest family of school age and/or soon to be school age children and I can understand the position. I only have 1 teansy little problem with it, and really it's so minor it could easily have been missed . . . it's wrong. Good now that we've cleared that up.

Meg seems to be having trouble with the recent heat wave, pray that she can hold out for the vet who comes back from vacation tomorrow :( I have been having DH and AR hose her down every few hours to keep her cool and we have mixed up a mini electrolyte replacer for her to drink (she really seems to like it, but that might be the molasses flavor). She is drinking very well, and even eating better, her breathing had been labored at the start a few days ago but is not anymore. She still isn't going out with the others but is getting up and around to eat and drink. This summer has been brutal, I really wish we could do more. The heat makes it so hard for them to eat and keep their weight on :( So many have died this year that it is scary. I am thankful that we haven't lost any but they are thinner than I'd like them to be.

I have added a Reviews tab to the blog, be sure to check out my latest review of last week's giveaway item. I made some curry chicken in one like it last night :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer is never complete without

A good "truck stuck in the mud" story. That's right folks after 2 years of living on the farm we have successfully gotten every vehicle we have owned stuck in the mud at some point during the summer. This summer the truck is stuck in the ditch by the highway as a couple of our calves decided to take the scenic route to get back home. Dh and Ar got them rounded up and back home, in the mean time a passerby (must have been a city dweller) panicked and called 911 thinking there had been an accident.

You can just imagine Dh's surprise when 3 sheriffs showed up to check out the accident, lol. They made sure he hadn't been drinking and no one was hurt, then had to call off the ambulance and fire truck. On the upside, it's nice to know that we have such a great response time out here, lol :)

It all worked out to be for the best, God has a very funny sense of humor, I had parked my car earlier that evening at DH's job and we took the truck to Wichita. We were tired so we came straight home, which is when DH discovered the calves we loose. A co-worker picked Dh up for work and he was able to get the car home :) All's well that ends well :)

To answer a few questions I've gotten on the living room remodel: yes this was a DIY project, my sis, her hubby, my mom, AR and DH worked for 2 days painting and getting the floor done. The week before DH and the kids got the carpet up and the tack strip and staples removed. Curtains are still in progress and furniture is tbd :) The black ceiling fans will be replaced with white, likely from another room in the house as we have many.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What a day!

Well I didn't feel well this morning, the day grew progressively worse as it went on, including a delightful visit from the 2 Sheriffs who came to check out a call they received. I thought maybe I had an animal out or something of this nature, but it was much worse, someone apparently felt my children lack proper supervision and (the funny part of the allegation) I don't mow my lawn. Ok, I am guilty of at least that, I like to think of it as native . . . at least that's how I resolved it in my head when we couldn't find a riding mower that could handle the job and couldn't afford a commercial one. Now as for the proper supervision part, the officers were not too sure what more someone was expecting considering that most days a week the kids are home with both parents, there aren't a whole lot of kids these day that have the luxury of that. Since we don't own a tv it means we are "forced" to interact with them as there isn't something for them to really be glued to for long. Maybe the problem is that we spend too much time with them . . . that must be it. The silver lining of the day came a little later when we were able to sell the last of AR's piglets. He has made back more than he invested and is thrilled. Hopefully mama will be bred back soon and he will be on to his next litter. :) We may have a buyer for Eva, so we'll see how that pans out. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, August 2, 2010

And the winner is . . .

:Drum Roll please:
wait for it

click here to email me your information. I want to thank all those that entered, for taking the time to participate. Stick around I hope to have some more giveaways coming up :)