Friday, September 10, 2010

What can I do today?

I find myself all a flutter with grand plans to improve my life.  I could not sleep because of them When I got up to record my plans I decided to start with prayer.  Almost as soon as I was kneeling down the inspiration came to me to focus on what I can do now, what I can do today.  This is a wonderful idea since many of my plans can be for the perfect and grand, assuming I have all the tools and time I need.  I like the idea of taking a more realistic approach.  What can I do now?  What can I do today.

I want to bring service back into my life by doing my Visiting Teaching and by visiting Ellen and Alma.
I want to be more healthy, by increasing my physical activity level and eating more healthy.
I want to help my kids have more social involvement with their friends.
I want to decrease the number of days we take off of school, so more learning happens faster.
I want to improve our meals that we are eating at home, with better menu planning.
I want to take more care of myself and remember to take time for my physical needs.
I want to work on the tee shirt project and see if that can bring in some more money.
I want to remember my scripture reading every day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Biscuits for Biscuits and Gravy

I love this biscuit recipe... We have made it several times.. but then I lost it.  I posted it to recipezaar but their new webpage wont work. I am posting it to my blog so I can find the darn thing again.

This recipe was originally found on Welcome to the Madness Blog

Take 2 C of whole wheat flour and add
2 Tbsp Sugar (or not, I just like sugar in mine)
2 Tbsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
Stir together and make a well for the liquid
about 1/2 C Oil (or use hard margarine...I am just to lazy to cut it all in)
about 1 C water (you may have to add more if it is still pretty thick)
Stir it all together until it all forms a nice soft ball. Place huge balls of it on your stone (or greased baking sheet if you don't have one) and bake for about 20 min at 375 F until lightly browned.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Two treatises of government By John Locke Part 1

  1. Slavery is vile
  2. Government is made by contrivance and consent of men.
  3. Adam was not made ruler or monarch by his creator.

  4. The grant God gave to Adam was not exclusive, it was spoken in the plural.

My reading ended on page 27.  More to follow in future readings.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Four Poults Disappeared

My great little Broad Breasted Turkey, in spite of all doubts, was able to sit an amazingly large batch of eggs. Twelve turkey eggs and two adopted chicken eggs. Broad Breasted Turkeys are suppose to be very prone to crushing eggs from their size. One egg did end up being crushed but we think that may have been caused by a kid going in her coop. We gave her one of the Papa turkeys eggs in replacement. So after more then 28 days of sitting 14 eggs, with none of them crushed, this is what we have found so far.

Yesterday when giving her food and water we found two empty clean egg shells. The shells being clean inside is very significant. That means that the birds that hatched out were properly mature, if they were not their would have been egg goo surrounding the birds and in the shells. Anxious to investigate further, I did go ahead and shoo Mama turkey off her nest, something I don't like to do. What we found was very disappointing. No poults, and she was down four eggs.

I cant believe that after 28 plus days of not crushing eggs that she happened to crush and eat 4 of her eggs in one day. Based on the evidence we know at least two poults hatched out clean. I would suspect all 4 of the poults either hatched or were in the process of hatching when found by a predator. Our cat Cali is greatly under suspicion. I can imagine that a hatching or newly hatched poult is very vulnerable to predators.

We were all very discouraged and upset. Four of our long awaited poults disappeared. I candled her remaining eggs. Four turkey eggs look like they will hatch soon. The two adopted chicken eggs also look almost ready to hatch. The remaining four Turkey eggs look very low in development, like they have only been sat for a week or more. These eggs don't have any blood spots or blood rings inside, so there is still some hope, that maybe they will grow, but I am very doubtful. After the ready chicks and poults hatch I will candle them and watch them very closely for any development, if the eggs do not show any advancement in development then I will let her continue to sit them.

Yesterday we retrofitted her house to make it predator proof. It took us more then an hour. All the while she sat on her nest while we worked around her. At times we lifted the house off of here and turned and twisted it to work on it. She still sat on her nest like a good little mother. I do believe she knew we were helping. She looked unstressed for the most part. She ate the green grass she could reach when the home was off, preened her feathers, and even slept while we worked. The drill made her nervous and other occasional bangs did also, but she still sat calmly on her nest.

I slept well last night knowing her and her eggs were well protected from predators. I am hopeful that the rest of the poults and chicks will be healthy. When I get to see a poult I will post pictures.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beautifying Projects

Front Yard Projects

Project #1: Transform Daffodil bed into a flower bed with Johnny Jump Ups and other flowers.
    1. dig a hole
    2. fill with peat moss
    3. plant JJU seeds
    4. water seeds
    5. cut off bottom of milk jug
    6. place bottom over seeds for mini green house effect
    7. weight jug down with a rock
    8. watch them grow, when big enough remove milk jug.
    9. Repeat with new flowers, or plant bulbs before the winter.

Project #2: Transform front yard from weed patch to wild flower patch
  1. Dig up all Dandelions (looks like I got all but one)
  2. Dig up tall Plants with Noxious weeds
  3. Dig up the short pricker plants
  4. remove all large rocks
  5. rake up much of the medium rocks
  6. Dig holes
  7. fill holes with peat moss
  8. plant wild flower ground cover seeds
  9. water seeds
  10. cut off bottom of milk jug
  11. place bottom over seeds for mini green house effect
  12. weight jug down with a rock
  13. watch them grow, when big enough remove milk jug.
Project #3: Hide ugly fence
  1. Plant tall bushes in front of it, but off set from the middle so a gate can be put in in the future.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Poultry Houses

Stage 1 Chicken Brooder

Stage 2 Chicken Brooder

Just out of the Brooder

Insulated Chicken Dog House

Tekfoil Hoop Coop

Half Barn Shelter

Monday, April 26, 2010

Honey for a Burn?

Here is the burn after honey.  See where the blister was, it looks allot better now.

Curious got burned on the chicken warming light when he was trying to get some baby chicks out to play with. It was a pretty bad burn with a blister right where the light touched his skin. I had him lay down with a wet towel and ice pack on it until it cooled down allot. I could not find my medical supplies (still packed) or any of my burn treatment stuff. So I looked up online how to treat a burn naturally. I found the Home Remedy Reference Center's list of Burn Remedies. I read down the list until I found a treatment requiring what I had on hand, honey. I spread honey on the burn and folded up a paper towel to cover it, then taped it down with regular scotch tape. Kind of a make shift bandage, but Curious is up and walking around and acting like he has no complaints. So far so good.

About an hour later.... Curious just said "my shirt is all sticky.  Do you know why? Because I took off my bandage and it had honey all over it."  I told him "You were not suppose to take it off without my help."  He says "Why is my burn still there?  It thought it was all better because I did not feel it."  Sounds like it worked.

The honey sealed in the wound from the air so it did not sting.  As the honey dried it created a coating over the wound, which is still there.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simple Beauty

If you get simple beauty and nought else,
You get about the best thing God invents.
- ROBERT BROWNING, Fra Lippo Lippi
Simple Beauty is my current focus.  There is so much around in the spring to enjoy and be happy about.  I have a working camera now, the joy!  It is my goal to create, enjoy and find simple beauty all around me.  Here are some of the Simple Beauties I found around my home.

What is more simple and beautiful then a sleeping angle.  Here is my son sound asleep.  Notice the sun on his cheeks, he has been spending his days exploring our yard.  Today we filled the duck pool and the wading pool.  After some fun splashing in the water, and warming up in the sun, the little guy was all tuckered out.

Daffodils are my favorite! Not only did we find the perfect home, with the perfect yard, in the perfect neighborhood... But imagine my surprise when tons of daffodils started popping up in my front yard.  This truly is my dream home.

Got to love fresh eggs in a nest.  Normally the ducks and the chickens do not get along.  But what bird can resist a nest full of clean straw.  Here you see one welsummer chicken egg and one duck egg.

I took allot of photos our our poultry.  But these ducks just photograph so well, they belong on my beauty list for today.  Puff is the male on the right and Peel-a-boo is the female on the left.  Peek-a-boo has a feather that gets in the way of her eye, thus her name, and the reason her eye can only be seen a bit.  They are white crested ducks.

Apricot blossoms and blue sky, not much more beautiful then that.  I have two apricot trees on the yard, one in the front yard and one in the back yard.  Unfortunately both have been attacked by borers so parts of the trees are dying. But I was glad to see the parts of the tree that are still alive and in full blossom.

I hope to have more beauty to show you tomorrow.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Broody Broad Breasted Turkey!

Posted on BackyardChickens Forum.

I have been reading through other posts about Broody Broad Breasted Turkeys. Sigh... I wish I could make this easier for my turkey. I noticed some patterns from the past posts. These broody turkeys really steal our hearts, we really love them and want to help them hatch a brood. I have tried everything I can think of and now I may have to give up on my quest, sigh.

We got our turkey as a poult with a bunch of chicks. Because she was the biggest she instantly became Mama bird with all the chicks trying to crowd under her. Even though she was Mama bird she cried like a little baby for her humans and loved to be petted and held. To this day she loves human attention. My son will chase after her tackle her to the ground and she will sit and happily be pet for as long as the kids want to pet her. How could you not love such a bird!

She is more intelligent and different then my chickens. She notices every time we take eggs, hers or the chickens. As soon as she saw the pattern that all of her eggs were being taken she stopped laying, and only would lay if she found a really good hiding place where she thought we would leave her eggs alone. Even though she was not laying her own eggs she went broody and started sitting the chickens eggs.

When we had a wild baby duckling in our yard get separated from its mother she immediately sat down over it to protect it. She is very motherly. The duckling got reunited with its mother, but until it did she was happy to be a substitute mother.

We purchased her some baby chicks, and put her alone with the baby chicks. She was upset and wanted nothing to do with the baby chicks, and felt cagey for being locked up with them. When we let her out she wanted nothing more to do with them ever.

Next we bought her fertile chicken eggs. One by one they were crushed and ruined. I thought they were being attacked by the other chickens because they knew these were not their eggs.

Finally we advertised a want add for a Tom turkey. We bought a "Tom" turkey for her in hopes that he could help her hatch a brood. Imagine our surprise when the Tom turned out to be yet another broody broad breasted turkey sitting on a nest of eggs. Only after this did I do some reading, and find out that a Tom would not be able to mate with her properly.

Next we started looking into heritage turkeys. I hatched a plan of purchasing fertile turkey eggs and switching them out for her eggs and letting her hatch some heritage turkey eggs. Then I read some posts about broad breasted turkeys crushing eggs. So now I am thinking that plan wont even work.

Maybe I could get some heritage turkey poults and let her mate with them in a year when they are old enough. But even then, wont there be a scare of her crushing the eggs?

My husband says I should give up I have tried all I could. And that is very logical. But watching her be broody over non fertile eggs is sad .


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Researching and Planning on Rabbits for Survival Meat

Below is a post I just posted in a Yahoo group about raising rabbits in a colony.

I have just been enjoying myself going through all the groups posted links and photos. Great info there. Thank you.

We have free range chickens and are in the process of planning on adding in rabbits to our little place for a survival meat source. I think we have moved-on to where we can butcher animals and not be totally squeamish. This year we changed from Wellsummer chickens to Orpington Chickens. The chickens are rather cute and fluffy, we will see if "cute and fluffy" makes it harder to butcher when they are old enough.

My kids have been planning and plotting on how to get me to be willing to keep rabbits. When I finally told them I would agree to rabbits if they agreed to one thing they would not like. They all said "you mean we will have to eat them? WE AGREEE!" lol... so I guess my kids say they will be willing to eat their rabbits. Time will tell.

We just purchased an e-book called "Raising Rabbits to Survive." It was rather informative. All this talk about torching metal cages to sterilise them though is not what I had in mind. In fact one lone bunny per small square cage is not what I had in mind. While I am willing to eat my animals I am not willing for them to be unhappy. I hate looking at rabbits in cages. But watching my chickens scratch and explore the yard makes me happy.

I am excited to find this group. And I am gathering info in order to convince my husband that we can in fact own rabbits and have them happy in a colony. His concerns at this time are burrowing and poop management. So far I have read that digging down the fence six inches stops burrowing, and poop management is as easy as scattering wood chips over poop, then shoveling out piles. Oh and snakes, we have some snakes on our place. So the Kits would have to be extra protected from snakes.

Has anyone here tried the equivalent of a chicken tractor for rabbits? We live on a half an acre, which might not seem like much, but we just moved in and are ELATED to have our little patch of dirt. There is quite a field of grass that I would like to tractor my bunnies on to help keep their feed costs down. I read somewhere about making a bunny tractor with 4" spacing in the wire. If you know anything about this I would love to hear more.

Looking forward to any replies,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Routine Timing

Mental Note: When the kids are standing around waiting for you to start the day with scripture reading, that is the time to get the routine started.  Do not tell the kids to wait for you to finish a project.  If you do they will each start their own projects, and will not want to stop them to get the routine started.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mom and dad always made sure we had a bicycle.

Dad made sure we knew how to ride it.  We would get at least one good day with dad running behind us helping us learn to ride our bicycle.  After a while I would pull my bike up to the curb and stand on the curb to get a good straight start.  I remember riding circles in front of dad and dad being so pleased that I could ride my bike.  most of the time we got our bikes for Christmas.  and most of the time I had a ten speed bike.  but at first all of us girls had bikes with those long banana seats that were all the rage.  and of course the bikes were pink and girly, and over time the banana seats were duct taped together, because the sun would dry theme out and break them apart.  I think I had training wheels to start, and then came the big day when dad took them off and taught me to ride without them.

journal jar topic:  Did you have a bike when you were growing up? What was it like?

"I need to get away to the mountains..."

That is what my mother often said.  And each of us kids would get excited.  That meant picnics, pretty scenery, playing in the stream, exploring, looking at wild flowers, and all around good family times.  I forgot to mention the water fight in the stream, there was always a water fight in the stream.

Journal jar topic.. tell about some place you went with your mother.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Head is Spinning...

I have always wanted to be good at music.... So I was somewhat excited at that challenge to learn how to lead.  Though not at all excited to be infront of the whole ward :p. I learned in Marching Band about how to lead a song.  But all it took was substituting one time for Primary Chorister for me to realise just how much I have forgotten, and how off beat I can get.      I am moving through this course and much of it is review, I have been mostly feeling fine, keeping up.  Today I got to Fermatas (spell check does not even know what a fermata is), Pick up Beat, Preparatory Beat, Holds, and Cut offs, and my head is spinning.  I expected that I would need to practice each song at home quite a bit just to make sure I could stay on rhythm.  I tend to follow the rhythm of the words more then the rhythm of the notes.  But now I realise I am going to have to practice each song just to get use the the unique elements of it.  

I am excited that they have a VHS at the library I can watch...  But I do not have a VHS player, only DVD... Maybe they will let me rent a VHS player over the week?  My hymn book is still packed.  Thankfully I have a DVD with all the hymns on it, hopefully that is not packed and I can find it.  I think I need to buy a metronome.  My speakers on my computer stopped working last week, so I can not play the music off the web... Some technical difficulties here, and lots of butterflies.. Lord willing I can get it together enough to at least look like I understand basic rhythm on my first day.


Lets Learn More about Music... at




The Four-beat Pattern

The Two-beat Pattern









Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Chorister Calling

I was just called to be the Sacrament Chorister for my LDS ward.  It took me a long time to find the training materials from the church that can help me learn my new calling.  I am posting these materials on here so that I can find them easier next time.  And also so anyone else looking for resources and how to learn to lead music can also find the easier.

The main page that really gets you into all the information you need is this

Introduction to Music,17884,6748-1,00.html

Another good one is this

Church Music Site Overview,17884,6754-1,00.html

Online Training is available at

Conducting Course Book and Audio Tapes,17631,4798-1,00.html

Here you can see the resources available from the LDS church available for learning music.

Music Training Materials

Big thanks to this article posted below that helped me find my way to these wonderful church resources.

A man as the Primary chorister? By Bruce T. Forbes

Saturday, January 23, 2010

We don't go anywhere if we have a mild sniffle or mild cough. So now everyone thinks we are always sick... sigh

Many people walk around with a mild sniffle, mild cough, and with kids with such mild symptoms.  Even when I am going out of my way to be hyper sensitive to such things, I might notice a mild sniffle or cough in my kids only while we are out and about.  But those times, when I can I abort mission and go back home.

A couple of different things stacked up 3-4 years ago that made us much more cautious.

First is we had strep throat, and were on antibiotics for more then the required 24 hours, and feeling much better.  We went to visit some cousins, and did not think much of it, we were medicated and feeling better.  Only months later did we find out that poor cousin was hospitalised because she was infected with strep throat that has already been exposed to antibiotics.  Now we will not leave the home for five days if we are on medication, we do not trust the 24 hour rule at all.

Second is that our real good friends the Andrus's had a daughter that was immuno suppressed, she could turn any minor cold into phenomena.  From that experience we stopped going out for even minor colds.

Third, I educated myself on immunizations.  I learned that many of the more mild sicknesses actually had a poor track record with their immunization.  Many people think they are immunized for a sickness, but are not.  Because of this they are less concerned, and do not notice when they actually carry a more sever sickness.  I chose not to immunise for these sicknesses that could be cared for well by modern medicine.  Instead I educated my self real well about symptoms and cures.  When whooping cough was going around, and many people I knew were walking around, feeling mostly fine, but spreading whooping cough, I knew.  As soon as we got whooping cough from people who did not know they had it, I called everyone we had been around and told them.  I did this because all sicknesses incubate and are spreadable before you know you have them.  Of course, at that time it looked like we were the ones who were spreading it, and the ones who were careless about being sick... sigh...

I know that even a mild cough can be the start of a major sickness, it just has not shown its strength yet.  We have missed many family functions, church days, and other events because we were "sick".  This creates a number of misunderstandings.  Most people only stay home if they are really sick.  Because we stay home for all mild sniffles and colds, people start to think we are really sick all the time.  Sigh. Oh well... I still would rather error on the side of caution, and let the misunderstandings happen.  We are not super humans, we do get sick, our younger kids do get the average sniffle and cough.  If we are exposed we tank up on herbs, and mostly can overcome the sickness faster then average.  But the truth is, yes, we do get sick.... If we are above average in something, then it is that we are above average in being careful not to get other people sick.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Google Account Certificate Problems?

Google Account Certificate Problems?

Check your systems date and time.  It is most likely set for the wrong date and time.  When I fixed this all my problems went away. I hope yours do too.