Friday, January 4, 2008

emptying boxes and more

Yesterday I would like to say was another lazy day, but you all know how lazy days are around here. Egg Sammies for breakfast, yummy, ate the last of the bread, and only have 2 tortillas left. I think that tonight I may try my hand at English muffins, you pan fry them and don't bake them. Baking the meatloaf the other night took an entire 1 lb bottle of propane, and at $3.00 each that's pretty expensive. Will have to make a bread oven outside. Already have been batting building ideas for one around. Cinderblock, hardibacker board, sand and a steel plate for the floor of the oven are all in my idea, but I'll do some reading on it before I dive in. The bread oven will be wood fired of course and not propane. Not nearly as even of heat, but definitely cheaper.

We emptied some more boxes out of the garage. Lots of books in here now, YAY! Won't be bored over the rest of winter as we read on how to build this or that or the other thing. Rabbit hutches, chicken coops, goat pens, donkey stables, water cisterns, bread ovens, greenhouses, fences, gates, and storage buildings all need to be built. Not necessarily in that order. lol.

Hubby also worked on charging our battery up further. We still haven't broken the 13watt barrier on it, but who knows what the future will hold. It lasted all night last night, so maybe tonight it'll last all night too.

Found a lot of my hand sewing stuff while we were emptying boxes, about 4 packs of needles, and some embroidery floss. Also found my sock darning egg, so I'll be able to sew the heel of a pair of socks that are here. It will be my first attempt at darning, so either it'll be good, or it'll be really horrible. Because it's on the heel I'm a little worried about the darning job. A bad darning job there could cause a blister later.

I wore my first pair of sock warmers yesterday! Silk sock liners with a touch of nylon in them for stretchiness. I still have them on. :D I wore them under wool socks. Both the socks and the sock liners came from my mother in law. I loves them! I emailed my sister in law a picture of my warm toes for her to share with mom. Last night I left them on when I came to bed, and even though I wore a sweater, I wore no long pants, which was a mistake. The only warm part of me, even under 5 blankets and a sweater, were my feet. lol. The rest of me froze. But then it was less than 10 degrees F outside, and we turn the heat down when we go to bed.

Dinner last night was ramen, hubby didn't care what I made and by the time we were done with those 4 boxes of sorting, and stashing I was kind of tired and burned out.

Our neighbor stopped by briefly. hubby was out on walk about with Freya so they didn't get to chat, but our neighbor brought me a cute calendar with puppies and kittens on it. You would think that he got the strange idea that I'm a dog lover or something. lol. January's picture is a St. Bernard pup. Hubby says no, they drool too much, so I can't have one. Darn it! I guess if I want a St. Bernard I'll just have to get one and drop it in his lap and tell him to deal with it. :D I've done it before... how do you think we got Thor? I'll have to post his story sometime, and the stories of all the others, each one has a unique story as to how it came to us and is worth the telling.

Plans for today? none. It's sunday! Day of rest, relaxation and reflection. Did some Bible reading this morning. then went and cleaned up dog puke. Blech. Pan MUST learn to eat slower, he doesn't chew, then it sets him off and he barfs up 2 cups of food. We'll just have to start giving it to him 1/2 cup at a time and see if we can get him to keep it down. he's just too excitable in his old age.

Mrs. Treehaven, who hopes the rest of the day goes less exciting.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Practice, Prepare, Persevere, and Prevail!

Practice, Prepare, Persevere, and Prevail!

In 1997, I started seeing the wisdom of having food storage, many of the recipes in this blog (and eventually the cookbook) will circle around that theme or can be easily modified to be prepared using food storage. Food is definitely in the top 3 items of survival (water, food and shelter). The types of food we eat are passed down from mother and father to children and then on to their children, and their children's children.

One of the overlooked items in survival is food. Sure everyone stores it and will eat it. But will it be something slapped together just for survival? Or will that food be something made with hands that still look at the tradition of the food and how it brings us together as a people: a race of beings with a rich heritage and background?

Survivalism, preparedness, prepping, whatever you call it, it's all about how we live our life, and the lifestyle we choose to project into the future.

By being ready to practice our knowledge we will be preparing ourselves to move into the future and meet any challenge that comes our way. And so long as we persevere in our chosen path we will prevail in our pursuit.

This is true for EVERY endeavor we have, be it cooking, our chosen field of work, our marriages, our hobbies, or our life.

I have a long running love of food. As a small child one of the great things in my family was that we would all sit down to a meal together. This was enforced by my grandmother who always made sure that we were happily seated at the table eating at meal time. It didn't matter how humble the meal, a staple at her house was beans or gravy over bread, it was a time we could laugh, talk and bonded as a family. At home my own mother also had this tradition when I was small, of course as a teen that tradition was no longer there, but I miss it even now as an adult.

Food is a bonding ritual that we all have in common. While as humans we don't all have the same job, or live in the same country with the same customs, we all have to eat. At the very core, eating brings family and people closer together, as well as helps us survive (skip a meal or 3 and you'll know what I mean).

There is no greater joy for me than cooking a meal for a large group of friends and/or relatives and then the companionship and love we have being shared while that meal is consumed.

This brings me to our tagline. Practice, Prepare, Persevere, and Prevail! No matter what you do in life, cooking, handcrafts, our job, our family, driving a car, or just living in general, if we follow this line of thought, then we will definitely Prevail.

Practice: it's through practicing that we will achieve the knowledge and the muscle memory to get the job done. Think of a gymnast who has to do a cartwheel 500 times until s/he gets it perfect.

Prepare: once we get the training down, then we have to prepare to take it to the next step. This is true in our prep/survival choices as well. If you don't prepare for a disaster then you aren't going to make it through the disaster.

Persevere: we aren't going to get it right the first time... or even the 500th time possibly. By persevering we will eventually succeed.

Prevail: if we are steadfast in our endeavors we will prevail!! We'll win and be able to have comfort and a little bit of self-satisfaction in doing so.