Thursday, June 30, 2011

Canning chili rocks!

If you prep you should can or at least know how to. You probably can the usuals of veggies and jams. Peaches and green beans. Did you know some of your favorite things can be canned too? I can chili, spaghetti sauce, and even tortilla soup often. I make huge batches every time I cook these family favorites and jar the majority of it. It can take a little extra time but it is so worth it in the food storage and for nights when I don't want to fuss. You would be surprised at what you can put in a jar!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The actual meaning of Libertarian. *Repost*

***I thought this would be a good time to revive an old post. See when it comes to politics the three of us are pretty aligned in thought but we do have issues we each differ on. We are pretty open to discussing them but since Ms. Maggy has a major case of life needing her attention (Full time job, Monster raising to say the least) and Gracie and I are a bit more free with our time I wanted to make one thing more clear. This isn't an anti-Dem blog. (Mags would want to make sure we were fair!) Or a for anything blog either lol unless it is for a more free-will based society. We definitely agree that there is way to much politicing and not enough actual benifit to it. Things are getting more and more complicated with the new laws and judgements and clarifications. We are of the KISS thought. Keep It Simple Stupid! So my earlier post wasn't about bagging on Obama. It was about the giggle factor of the bumper sticker and the creator's creativity.***

This is what has listed.

Pronunciation [lib-er-tair-ee-uhn]

a person who advocates liberty, esp. with regard to thought or conduct.
a person who maintains the doctrine of free will.

advocating liberty or conforming to principles of liberty.
maintaining the doctrine of free will.

Origin: 1780–90; libert(y) + -arian

I know that many people have no idea what being Libertarian means. We tend to believe that government has reached a bit farther into our lives than they should and that if the people were trusted more our country might just be a better place.

Hive progress

My bees are getting feisty! I no more than opened the hive than one of them stung my little picture taker. So no pics of the frames or capped brood this time. I left the inner cover off and took care of the sting. I decided that maybe it was time to fire up the smoker. I got it put together and read the instructions. I got it let and went back outside. I didn't have time to let it really get smoking but it was enough to get done what I needed to do.
There was one frame that had just hatched and been cleaned ready for more brood or honey. There was one frame that was PERFECT! Capped honey at the top, pollen in the middle and capped brood in the bottom. Way to go girls! now if they would just quit messing around with that burr comb and draw out the rest of the frames. I am almost certain I won't have enough honey to harvest this year, I may even have to feed my bees through the winter.
I cut off all of the burr comb and put it in a container so I could take it in the house. I had a friend over who was thinking about getting a hive next year. I took her some of the honey filled comb to try. The first thing out of her mouth (once she had gotten around the sticky honey) was "It's WARM!" I gave her the first taste, I had not ever tried it.
I actually got a look at my queen today too, she was busy going from cell to cell laying eggs. I was pretty excited to see her, I knew she was there because I was finding brood, but I had not ever actually seen her after putting her in the hive for the first time.
I got the hive all cleaned up and put back together and took all of my gear off. I immediatly dug into the comb I had cut off and bit into the richest honey I have ever tasted! It was incredibly sweet. At lease twice as sweet as store bought honey.

There was more than that in the jar, but by the time I got around to taking a picture, I had eaten about half of it! My allergies had been kicking my butt all day, but now my head is clear and I feel pretty good! Local honey rocks!

(You can't tell I am excited, can you?)

A dissatisfied fellow American?

I tend to stay away from major politics here. My feeling is we have far to much government and no one man can fix what is wrong. Not even a President. I think Obama has tried but what took decades to muck up won't be undone in a couple years. I am a bit nutty in that I have beliefs that can be labled very Dem and others very Republican. Honestly neither major party has what I want these days.

Anyway I saw this homemade bumper sticker and had to chuckle and take a pic. Driver even gave me a thumbs up hehehe. Being a Dodge family and having a husband much more firmly Republican it just was funny. I could see Hubby putting it on his truck LOL. I even sent it to him in text. If my cell camera shot is hard to see it says "Does this ASS make my truck look fat?"

Honestly we need a clean slate all over the place. People are realizing it as long sitting Senate and Congress members are voted out. We are speaking. To bad they just aren't listening.

Monday, June 27, 2011

drowning in produce

I never thought I would be growing "too much" food. My radishes are starting to taper off and I am getting ready to plant a second crop. My swiss chard is taking off and I can't eat it fast enough. I can't give it away fast enough either. It is a plant that tastes very similar to spinich. You can use it in a salad, you can put it on your sandwich, you can cook it, (my favorite is to boil it and serve it with a pat of butter and salt and pepper) the possibilities are endless. So is the plant...endless. The more you pick, the more leaves grow to take the place of the ones you harvested. I have a feeling I will be eating more of this plant than I ever thought possible.
My lettuce is also coming in thick. When I buy a head of lettuce in the store, I know I have to eat it within three or four days or it goes bad. When I pick lettuce from my garden, I can have it in the fridge for a week and it doesn't even WILT! It is still as crunchy and fresh as the day I harvested it.
My sunflowers are almost a foot tall and growing like crazy despite a neighbors claims that we can't grow sunflowers here. Because of that prior "knowledge", I planted every seed I had and well over 260 plants came up. I can't wait to invite this neighbor over this fall to see how hard it is to grow sunflowers here, lol.
The onions I planted are just as big or bigger than the onion plants I bought and are growing like crazy. I plan on dehydrating chopped onion pieces this fall to store for the year to come. I am toying with the idea of onion powder too, but we will see just how many we have. I have a sneaking suspicion that it takes A LOT of onions to make onion powder.
My pepper plants are doing good, but not growing much. they seem to have just stalled out and decided to stay this size. I am seeing new growth coming on, hopefully some blossoms in there as well. I would really like to make some salsa this year.
Speaking of salsa, the tomatoes are also doing good and they are actually growing a little taller. We are playing with the water system to fine tune it so that everything gets the right amount of water. The tomatoes seem to like what they are getting so we aren't messing with them much.
The cucumbers are putting out new leaves almost every day and I am looking forward to pickle making this fall. We tried a few new kind of cucumbers and I am hoping they will work well for pickles. We have four bush cucumber plants and four lemon cucumbers along with four pickling cucumbers. (gosh, I hate typing that word)
My jeruselum artichokes are getting really big and I think I will plant them a bit different next year. I want to do something similar to what we did with our potato plants. We have them in a small box that we can add layers to as the plants grow. If you keep putting dirt over the top of the plant, it will be forced to grow ever higher, producing more and more potatoes all the way up the stem.
My peas and beans finally came up (they were the last planted) and are 1 1/2 to 2 inches tall now. I have to figure out what will work best as a trellis for them to climb. Still pondering that one.
The corn is around six inches tall and can now flutter in the breeze. This is the crop I think the whole family is most excited about. We all love corn on the cob and I will also freeze any excess that we can't eat fresh. With three rows of corn, I think there will be plenty to freeze.
The squashes (zucchini, crookneck and pumpkin) are doing well as are the melons. I think those will be one of the more fun crops that the kids will enjoy picking and eating.
I am busy right now dealing with everything that is coming ready and I know it is only going to get worse as the rest of the crops mature, but it is certainly a satisfying kind of busy. And now I have proven to myself that I really can provide for my family. Now if I can only get a deer this year.......

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Better prepared than I thought.

Some of the recent posts on blogs I enjoy are far less hopeful than I and it got me a little worried. We are hard pressed to hole up here. If SHTF this is not the place to be and as far as preps go we are a young couple with young kids and hubby is in a career that does not lend itself to retreat building while also focusing on our idea of how we raise our kids. (I am at home so one income.) I have been focusing on these hurdles and worries and seeing the posts seemed to create the right mix for my nightmare prone brain. Last night was a doozy.

A great thing about my guy is he lets me share the dream then tells me what we would do different in life. He was at work today though. I didn't feel comfortable really sharing the dream but did share the worry about our preparedness level with my BIL. He surprised me by detailing the plan. Where we would go. How we would have food, build shelter, have water, harvest crops. The boys have it worked out and are ready. He said they are wanting a couple more shotguns and probably a .22 pistol for us.

As far as prepping the house he said they both think getting a couple 55 gallon drums for water would be smart but otherwise he isn't worried. That was very comforting to hear. So there is a plan LOL just one not shared with me very well. I think we will make that Lila box soon as well as getting a get home bag in Hubby's truck. Get the meeting place figured out for escape in a long term issue and get the local water resources better figured out for short term things. And keep letting my guy do his thing. He has it under control.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fun facts about chickens

Fact #1 A hen will sometimes kick a newborn chick out of the nest if it is a different color then she is.
Fact #2 A newborn chick can fall a long ways and be ok.
Fact #3 If you pick up tough little chick, it will imprint on you and scream if you put it down...ever.
Fact #4 That cranky hen will sometimes refuse to take spoiled chick back and attack it if you try and make her.
Fact #5 Spoiled little chick chirps at such a frequency to give surrogate mom a headache...chick gets her way yet again.

So you get the drift of what my day has been like? I learned all of these facts within about an hour of finding spoiled little chick this morning. I also found out that a little dog I had been babysitting ran one of our laying hens to death last night. So I lost one and gained one this morning. Too bad the one I gained will not lay until late this fall. (If she even turns out to be a hen). I have chickens in five different places right now because no one gets long. I have my three remaining laying hens in the chicken coop. I have Twitchy and her sisters in the chick pen in the chicken coop. I have the murderous rooster in the dog run. I have the setting hen and the other 6 eggs in a dog crate in the garage. And spoiled little chick is snuggled into my sons neck and for the moment mercifully quiet.

AC DOWN!!! ........ and other stuff.

So I want to write. I always want to write but I am fabulous at putting it off for whatever reason I can. I think the current theme has been not wanting to stay up since it has to be done after Monkey goes to bed plus not wanting to approach a pretty violent but necessary scene. I am approaching this book again on the basis that my heroine is not a ninny. I kind of created her to be originally. She took long standing physical and emotional abuse and it wasn't until she became pregnant and her father died that she found the courage to leave. Now I am not coming down on abused women. Before I met and married my guy I had a pretty ugly relationship. It happens. It can happen to very smart very confident women and it can take them by surprise. I just don't want to write that story. I think a lot of the reason for the change in how I view her has come as I have gained more confidence in myself as a woman. My awesome guy has always been 100% supportive. He has always had confidence in me, found me beautiful, and pushed me to be more. He married a wuss. I honestly was a wall flower and in certain ways still am. I hate confrontation and often stayed quiet even if it meant allowing myself to be hurt. That has changed over recent years and as that has changed the view of the women I want to write has changed.

I knew I needed re-writes for this book. If any of you have been to my website and read my rough work you can see what I mean. This book, so far titled "Kat's Escape", has a great plot. I love the theme. But before I run the gauntlet again of agents, especially after my horrible last experience, I want to do some re-writing. I plan to pull in the POV aspects. In the first chunk of the book I jump to other characters POV (point-of-view) and away from the hero and heroine and villian(s?). I also want Kat to be stronger. Signs of her husband's junk will have been there but the actual physical fight is going to be the catalyst. Being hit and her father's death is what makes her leave. So I am on that scene. Husband has finally snapped his carefully contained leash and beaten her to a pulp and raped her. I have to write that. I plan to skirt the rape. More of a fade to black as he undoes his pants and approaches type thing. I don't have the stomach for that despite the fact it is needed for my story line to go as I need it to. I mean she does have a pregnancy to contend with after all.

So I am avoiding. Avoiding because of the violence which is hard for me to write on a few levels even though I write romantic suspense which typically has some violence for the reason of overcoming it. I am avoiding because I don't want to give up sleep though my husband would understand and even be thrilled over it. At the root I am avoiding because my confidence as a writer is still shaky. The agent debacle totally tore my confidence up and getting back into the grove has been rough. In a way blogging helps because it releases some of the tension but I need to get back to my stories. I have a whole series for youth that needs written and all the other stories that pop through my head. They need telling and I need to just stop letting fear rule. Uggg.........

Oh and to top it off the AC is down. In the desert. With temps hitting 108 at the house. Poor hubby has had it hit 112 at work. Yuck.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Blog Roll!!

So our blog-roll is a work in progress as we make friends, discover wonderful writers, and expand our interests. Recently we have added a few to our list and we are very happy to have them, some are oldies under new names, others are followers who I finally took the time to check out in return and discovered wonderful blogs. All on our list are worth a look and cover a range of topics from prepping and food storage to gardening to guns and all the fun in between. I use Google reader so I read all the new posts of those on our list and try to comment on posts that really get me. It is a great way to follow all the different types of blogs. Check it out!!

Xenogenic? Why yes I am.

I have a smartphone. I am the geek in our house so Hubby loves getting me gadgets and they get used LOL. My phone has 2 screens of educational things for the girls including a couple different word of the day type applications. The word of the day yesterday for the app was xenogenic. It means to be completely different from either parent, or from the source of an object's creation. As usual Bug read it and rolled her eyes a bit but I had to chuckle a bit. If ever a word fit me it is this one.

My biological mother left a long time ago and I am better for it. The one goal I had as I thought about being a woman, wife, and mother was to be her opposite. She is an addict and to this day has not kicked her many habits. My younger brother and I are very lucky our dad took us and left when he did.

I am a lot like my dad was at my age. Outdoor oriented with a love of learning. I think the biggest difference is he was just having me where I have a decade of good marriage and a 9 year old. So I am more family based. Now he is happily married and very successful but his interests are completely different than mine. Hunting is not his thing and the idea of planning is more to about making sure he has the financial security needed for a comfortable retirement. Good goals of course but our thinking just differs. I am also a very emotional person. I cry when I am mad or sad or happy. It has made father/daughter bonding challenging sometimes.

I think being the oddball homebody quiet one has probably hurt some relationships. My dad's side are very smart, educated well spoken and my biological mother's side just doesn't know me. I am very lucky in my in-laws and in my adoptive family and friends. Even if I am an oddball they still love me for it and work with it. I love all sides of my family, I do, I just wish I knew how to help them see that just because I am a stay-at-home shooting, hunting, anti social goof doesn't mean I don't love them. I would move mountains for them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Big radishes

I picked these beauties last night. I wish the fair wasn't so far away. I think these two could win a prize! Not only were they big and nicely colored, they were tender and very flavorful. So far the radishes have been mild enough that the kids will even eat them. Good thing since we only have one box that is producing yet.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day in our house!

We woke early as Monkey thinks 6-7 AM is the perfect time to get up. Drives me nuts on mornings I want to sleep in. The girls gave their gifts to their dad. Each picked out a T-shirt having to do with hunting and a cute card. Bug also made him a sweet bookmark with a picture of the two of them on it. It was laminated and everything. Hubby loved it! Then Hubby and my BIL cleaned their rigs. Both trucks are driven to their jobs and my husband's is on park lands so it gets pretty dirty. Then we took all 3 to the car wash to be spiffed up even more. Then Hubby cleaned his new .45. We have a camping trip coming up and he wanted it nice and ready to defend. All this was done by 10 AM.

Then we curled up in the cool house and watched movies. I made dinner of baked lemon pepper chicken, rice, and green beans. Then Hubby walked me through how to clean my gun. I am going up alone with the kids a night before so we wanted my gun to be prepped as well, lol, and since it is my gun I refused to let him do the work. This was the first cleaning for the HK and I actually enjoyed it. It was less complicated than expected and very relaxing. Plus my guy is a very patient teacher.

***Ladies I recommend that even if you do not carry or plan to be the shooter you learn to clean and maintain as well as basic shooting skills. In a bind you may need to know these very important things. It could save your life!***

Hubby said it was a fabulous Father's Day! I had my doubts but he was happy and that was the whole point! I hope all of you had a very blessed day as well.

When we join together we can move mountains!

So because of the massive outpouring of love and support from all over the internet the family I requested help for in an earlier post here received the most votes and will be receiving the grant money they so desperately need. If you voted for the Pratt brothers then the family and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. They are so very grateful.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reaping the rewards

Tonight for dinner, I walked out the back door and picked several of the ingredients from my garden. The lettuce is so tender it rips apart when you try to pick it. I had a very hard time breaking it off near the stalk. The swiss chard is both in the salad and cooked like spinach and topped with butter and salt. I added radishes to the salad that I grew in the garden.
I can't WAIT for the rest of the garden to start producing. I am especially anxious for tomatoes. We bought four more plants today to replace the ones that didn't make it. Our eyes also got a little bit bigger than our plot and we came home with three watermelons, two canteloupe, three pumpkins, a crookneck squash, two zucchini and sixteen (you read that right, sixteen) cucumbers. We are going to have to expand part of the garden for the squashes and pumpkins. I am also giving away four of the cucumber plants. There will be lots of pickles this year!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Solar wax melter

So I was wondering what to do with the burr wax that I collected from my hive two weeks ago. I wanted to save it so I could make candles with it later in the season. I was unsure how to separate the wax from the pollen and nectar. I put it in a plastic container and have been looking at it for two weeks. Last night I was checking out videos on youtube and saw one about a solar wax melter. So I did some research and looked up a few sites. I discovered that you can buy one (expensive) or make one (much less expensive). The plans I saw were quite simple; build a wooden box, place a shallow bucket inside, clamp some screen material over the bucket, place your comb on the top and cover the whole thing with a piece of plexi glass. I started thinking of things I had around the house and came up with this:

This is a clear plastic storage container with a plastic dish in the bottom. I have this wire strainer on top with the comb in it. Easy to assemble and best of! I already had the components to make it.

This is what it looked like when I first put it out in the sun.

A few hours later and this is what I was left with. I ran out of daylight and will finish melting my wax tomorrow. I ate one of the little pollen pellets and didn't have any allergy symptoms at all. I think this might be a great thing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Garden is producing

So we have been eating radishes we grew in our garden for a while now. Tonight I will fix some swiss chard and a salad with our lettuce. The carrots are coming up quickly, the Jerusalem artichokes are doing very well. I am going to have cucumbers coming out of my ears, but my zucchini and summer squash are still just thinking about coming up. The tomatoes are hit and miss but the corn is 2 inches tall. My peppers and onions are coming around (they were transplanted) but the cantaloupe and watermelon are a total loss. The peas and beans are in the ground so all I have to do is replace the cantaloupe and watermelon. This is shaping up to be a very good garden.

I almost forgot, I also have over 260 sunflowers that came up!! The bees will be very happy!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ryan makes a good point....

So if you do not know us well yet we have a companion blog written by men. Blech Cooties....Ah....... Okay not really.

Total Survivalist Libertarian Rant Fest! TSLRF for short. Ryan is their main writer but like us there are 3 over there. Anywhoodle Ryan recently made a post about being in a situation when your home/retreat is for some reason out of play. We have all heard of the famous Bug Out Bag and Go Bag. Another Blogger I thoroughly enjoy over at Straight forward In A Crooked World detailed the differences here and here. Very fine reading for those who are curious.

So to Ryan's post and the idea of the cache. I honestly hadn't given it a lot of thought. I have been stewing on my Run Box. A Lila version of things. A easy to carry tote with all of our important files as well as a few boxes of ammo for the weapons we carry, first aid, and emergency money and the like. I do like the idea of a cache though. We are lucky enough that this job puts us close enough to make a dash to family who is rural enough to be away from harm in a bad scenarion but close enough to be feesable. A cache of important things with them like a copy of the Lila Run Box might just be a good thing. The way things are looking who knows how soon we might need it. Scary to think about but absolutely on my mind these days.

Twitchy update

Twitchy is eating and drinking by herself! I thought I was going to have to dropper feed her forever. Her little tan friend here has taken her under her wing (pun intended) and taught her to eat and drink on her own. This little hen also protects Twitchy and takes care of her. I have heard stories of horses and dogs taking care of each other and basically becoming a service animal for another of their kind, but I never thought of a chicken in that capacity. It just seems odd that she would do this. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful she did, I have just never heard of a chicken doing anything like this.
But WHO CARES! TWITCHY IS EATING! And I don't have to get up in the night to dropper feed her, lol.

Las Vegas plagued by fake cops!

Wow!! I try to keep up on events of the region so I follow news from different cities. If you don't know what is going on you can't prepare. Saw this news story and was pretty taken aback. To sum it up 4 men in recent weeks have been arrested for impersonating LEO of various branches. Doing some looking some have sexually assulted, some have just ticketed.

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths some go to perpetrate a crime. The funny thing is that all of the effort and funds they put into doing this crap could be spent doing something worthwhile but that switch in their brains has been flipped so they behave like scum instead. Is is no wonder the U.S. is loathed? We have a great blue collar population. But the lower chunk is full of lazy jerks looking for the easy way and the top chunk is looking for the best way to make more millions while spending the least possible. Of course the ones the most hurt are the law abiding hard working middle class.

Yuck!! If anyone deserves more tax breaks it is middle America. Mr. 1.5 billion won't miss a few million more in taxes. He just has more accountants and lawyers to play the system.

Anyway back to this lovely trend in tourist country. I read one of these smarty pants dudes even had the brass to walk right up to the real LEO. Wow. Talk about confidence. I think it is a sad day when this becomes a trend and when they are daring enough to figure they will pass muster even with real LEO. Yet more proof that having a CCW is a very good thing, especially for a woman. As is a cell.

Also should you encounter a cop that you are concerned about dial 911. Give your location and they can inform you of the nearest precinct and guide you there for your safety if it is at night and you are worried as well as if you are being pulled over by a real officer. If you are informing them and not making any effort to evade you will not be ticketed for that. Better safe than sorry.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

When a family needs our help .....

then we do what we can.

I spent about 8 years in San Antonio as a child. Some of my best memories are of the friends I made there and the beauty of the internet is that I can now keep in touch with many of those friends. One of those friends needs some help for her boys. 2 of her sons, Spencer and Bryton, were born with a defect in their throats that can lead to very severe and life threatening complications. The wonderful thing is that there is surgery that can be done to fix this. Both boys are scheduled for surgery in July. It requires a month long stay in Boston relocating the family from Texas. They have been able to get the surgery itself covered but the living expenses and costs of maintaining their home in Texas and renting a room or place in Boston are not covered by insurance and one member of the family is still an infant which means Amy can't be in the ICU the whole time. Amy has a page for donations and giving much better detail of the situation here.

The boys are also up for a charity donation from a salon hoping to raise up to $15,000. This money would be a godsend for these boys. Many across the net and off of it are fighting for these boys and for this family and I had to add my voice. I hate to see a child suffer, especially due to finances, when the family is hard working and so very helpful to others in need. So please visit this website and cast your vote for the Pratt brothers. Visit from your computer, your phone. Visit and vote every day!! Help these boys get the surgery they need to live long healthy happy lives without worry or fear.

A real man!

I was raised all over the place by a single father who worked his tail off to provide. We spent quite a few years in Texas where I got to watch my grandparents marriage. My grandfather was a veteran and tough as nails but also a newspaper man and very soft spoken. One thing that always stuck with me was the way he treated my grandmother. She was a treasure. You could tell he let her be the boss most of the time unless he thought there was something to worry over. He always opened the door for her, held her hand, kissed her good night. He was so very sweet with her and they were married well over 50 years before he died. After his death it was as if a part of her had gone missing. She was never the same and she passed a few years later missing him every day.

I knew that was the kind of man I wanted to marry and I was blessed to find him. Hubby is very good to me and very tolerant. I feel like a broken mess some days between the lack of sleep with tending our little one and my FMS aches and pains yet still he never leaves without telling me he loves me, he calls to let me know he is thinking of me and he kisses me as soon as he comes home. He actually gets annoyed when I open my own door. He pushes me to be the best me and gets angry when I pick on myself. He is just that kind of man. A real man!!!

Then you see the other side of the coin. As I have delved more into my gun, my carry options, my research about women in the gun community I have discovered some great bloggers. Men and women. They are quick with a kind and helpful word and very welcoming which is nice for a homebody like me who really doesn't go out much. One of these women writes a blog called The Breda Fallacy. I really enjoy her posts. She is smart, which is refreshing when you spend your day talking to a toddler and makes her posts are divine. She is well written which suits the writer in me. She is a self-professed geek which helps me feel not so alone among the very intimidating Big Boys Club. Recently she posted a picture taken by her husband of her wearing her gun openly. (Open Carry) A man who very much falls onto the flip side of the gentleman coin then took that picture, posted it on his own blog, and titled it in such a way as to be completely degrading. She details his response to her cease and desist request here. This guy finally took the picture down but left up the horrible post as a very low way to bring in traffic to his blog. Now most of us blog with the hope that we reach at least someone and maybe help them or entertain them or there are even some who don't care. I love our 24 followers! Not a complaint. I am writing with the hope that all the different things we are doing to make our plans and live our lives helps just one person through their day. This guy is in it for the notoriety. He used a decent woman like an object and then went all high and mighty over it like he was the victim. In the words of a dear friend "Bitch, Please!". No woman deserves that and no person should stand for the treatment of another. I have refused to even visit the blog in question as that just makes this jerk happy. I hope every one else does the same. Drop his numbers to nill. Maybe then he will get the clue that women deserve better. I doubt it but we will see!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bikes and Bullets!

This past weekend marked the end of Hubby's time off so we gathered up our girls, our nephew, the quads and decided to go for a ride. We really haven't done any riding locally. Usually we take them with us when we head north for family things as 2 of my husbands sisters live in some wide open country with great places to trail ride. We went to a close area that is mostly a dry lake with a few side trails to keep it gentle for the little one. We had a blast! I got a tiny bit sunburned but my fair skin does that even though the sunscreen. Monkey fell asleep like she usually does. I taught Bug a bit about the driving of one of the 250's which tickled her pink. We saw a few dessert squirrels and lizards.

On the way home we stopped to shoot. Hubby got a new .45ACP that he is in love with! He is an amazing shot so of course hit all his targets. I am doing better and got both of mine as well. Nephew is the proud new owner of a Taurus Judge. He shot as well and did pretty good. He was the main reason we had stopped because he hadn't shot it yet. He is an amazing kid. He is almost 13 and very mature. I think a lot of that comes from his diabetes. He had to grow up and be more aware because his life depended on it. I think his dad taking him hunting pretty much his entire life has also been a big help. He is very weapon aware.

All in all a pretty great Saturday in our desert oasis.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Progress report for Twitchy

Twitchy learned how to eat and drink today!! I dipped her beak in water a few times and it was like a light bulb went off. She crawled right into the water dish and drank until she looked like she was going to pop. She even fell asleep standing in the water dish. I put some food in my hand and she took a little. She was much more interested in the water though. I think she just might make it.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Opened my hive yesterday

So I decided to open my hive for the first time yesterday. Here goes nothing.

Taking off the inner cover.

The bees are all hanging out in the middle two frames.

Checking for brood and looking for the queen.

The bees had build comb on top of comb. (After a panicked phone call to my brother I found out this is called bridging and is common and normal.) When I was looking at the frame, this extra chunk of comb crashed to the ground at my feet covered with thousands of bees. I was a bit freaked out.

I picked up the chunks of comb and placed them on top of the hive to allow the bees to wander back into the frames. Of course they didn't and I had to brush them all off the comb before I removed it.

I never did see the queen and couldn't see any brood either. I put everything back together and brought the excess comb into the house. A few hours later, I DID notice some eggs in a few cells of comb. So I DO have a queen and she IS laying. All is well in the hive!
Kind of cool, isn't it?

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Twitchy was attacked by my rooster on Tuesday. He put his beak through her brain. I was there when it happened and saw her die. An hour later she was rolled up onto her chest with her head rolling around. I put her in a box and waited for her to die. The next morning she was on her feet. The day after that she started to walk. Yesterday she was acting and looking normal except for the fact that she has forgotten how to eat or drink. I have to force feed her several times a day. This morning I went out and she was all but dead. She was gasping for breath and couldn't hold her head up. I gave her some electrolites and put her under the heat lamp so she would be as comfortable as possible. I just went out to check and see if she was gone and she's starting to perk up. She's cheeping and looking like she just might make it. What a tough little bird!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wow what a last couple weeks!

Boy has my life seen some ups and downs over the last couple weeks. The hubs and I live life of the philosophy "live and let live". As long as you aren't putting my family in danger I have no trouble with you. We were lucky enough to find a neighborhood that fit that when we moved to the desert for this tunnel. No one really knows anyone else well though we do know those who attend our church. It isn't a block party type place. It is a place where our kids all play outside together. We stay out of each others business. Honestly the only time I have interacted with some beyond a hello has been over the kids. It is a pretty quiet place which we love. We keep our eyes out for danger for each other but we don't meddle. It is our kind of place. With the market crash here a lot of the homes have turned over to new owners since we have been here but the vibe has stayed the same. Well we got a new next door neighbor in a house that was empty for over a year. This neighbor was not of that philosophy and not of the type to knock on the door and talk if there was a concern like the rest of us are. We had (still ticked, grrrr) a black lab that the rescue Gracie works with found as a newborn pup. He was a bit dopey and very big. Too big for me but Hubby wanted a breed big enough to help with protection as his job requires long hours with me home alone with the girls. The part we failed to take into consideration was my FMS. It means I don't have the muscle strength to wrestle his weight and strength without paying a price so during the day while our daughter was at school Jasper was on a line in the back yard. He was on a line to keep him from eating everything as his 17 month old puppy brain still loved to devour trampolines and wood furniture. If he saw me pass a window he barked until he realized I was not bringing him in. He also barked if it was stormy. He also barked if he stayed on the line to late into the evening and it started to get dark. He was kind of a sensitive gent. Love him but he has quirks. Anywhoodle Mrs. New Neighbor decided he was a nuisance though no other neighbor had ever complained and we had had him for 14 months. So we got a visit from Animal Control. First visit was about him being on the line. We let the officer see the line and were reassured as were they that he was well taken care of. He was not left on the line all day. He had access to shade, food, and water. Then 2 weeks ago on Monday husband is on swings and i am putting my little one to bed. Bug had not brought him in and so he of course panicked as dark approached. Nice lady came over and yelled at my nephew to bring him in. Didn't ask for an adult. Yelled at the 12 year old. The next day Animal Control is back with a report he barks for 14 hours a day every day. I am told if they come again I will be ticketed in increasing fine increments until he is silenced. The situation can't be changed. Jasper is sensitive, I am not going to be cured tomorrow, a shock collar just tortures him. So we had to surrender him. The kids were destroyed. Monkey is 2 so she has no idea what is going on just that her dog is gone and she bawls constantly for days. It was horrible. I had a flare of monumental proportions. Sheer agony. Poor diabetic nephew had keytones for 4 days due to stress. I may be a horrid mother but I let the kids pick out a smaller rescue dog to try to help them feel better so we have a new addition.

Then came that Thursday. For a year Hubby had been in prep for a hunt to Canada with his dad and BIL for Bear and Wolf. He drives up and discovers his mom is in the hospital with a clot in her lung. She has had numerous health issues stemming from her own struggle with FMS. Pretty serious so he is stressed but she sends him on. His plane is broken making him miss the next 2 flights. He lands in Canda where somehow they have his unsealed juvenile record and they deny him entry despite the fact he was able to hunt there last year and obviously committed no crimes and has not committed crimes in a very long time since his time as a foster kid. Soooooooo he has to fly right back home. 8 flights in 2 days and 8 hours of drive time and he meets me with family. Poor guy is beat physically and emotionally. He has paid his dues has worked his tail off and got bit for it. Sucky ducks!!!

So he decided to take the week off and hang out with me anyway. He was scheduled for the time and we had the money to cover it so figured why not. It was nice. We went shooting, we took the quads out with the kids, we watched our favorite shows. I loved having time with him that is so rare though I hated the price that came with it.

That has been my last 2 weeks! Pretty interesting huh? What it hammered home to me was that you aren't always lucky in who you have for a neighbor. AND government really needs to take more in to account than just what it wants to use to manipulate things. People are made up of many things and no single moment defines anyone. Some moments are bigger than others and absolutely can and do ruin lives but an entire life should be used when you judge someone.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Before embarking on this adventure to becoming a beekeeper, I knew there were queen bees and worker bees. I didn't know how to tell the difference and I am not sure I knew there were drones. Drones are the only male bees in the hive. They are bigger by far then the workers and can easily be misidentified as a queen. They are obviously gentle or I would NEVER pick one up without gloves. In fact, drones don't even have a stinger so they are harmless. Drones don't protect the hive, they don't make honeycomb, they don't forage for pollen, they don't make honey. So what are the good for? Breeding. They breed with a virgin queen on her nuptial flight (I can't use these phrases without giggling a little) and that is the extent of their usefulness. In the fall when the hive is preparing for winter, the drones are physically thrown from the hive to die. The workers and queen don't want to have to feed him throughout the winter when they can just make more next spring. I kind of feel bad for them because they are so gentle, but I guess that's what you get for being lazy!