I really really am am am going to do some long-overdue posting here...soon and very soon. I'll bullet a brief list of what's coming up in the next few days...life doesn't stop happening, and I don't have enough time to elaborate...yet...but SHALL :)
1. Our Berkey water purifier arrived!!! I took pictures and more pictures. You'd think I just had my second child (lol!) It's not all the way put together yet. But it's quieter than our first child, and I don't expect to be kept up by it at night, ha...
2. We ordered kefir grains and Caspian Sea Yogurt starter just a few minutes ago...yayyy! Thank you thank you thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who've spoken about kefir on your sites. I worked up the courage to TRY some store-bought, and loved it...which only means I'd be in raptures if I made my own from real milk...mmm :) And thank you SO much to Rebecca from Farmlet in New Zealand (see sidebar for link) for telling about her experience with Caspian Sea Yogurt...a yogurt that can be made with NO heating/cooking/fiddling with thermometers and insulation or machines.
3. I'm now craving kombucha, even though I've never tried it, because of Karl at the Pile O'Melays (see side bar again for link) raptures and successful experimentation with it. It's tea based. I'm from the Deep South. Tea + Deep South Native = bliss. But I'm still put off with the fact I'm a fermentation amateur, and a scoby (the UFO shaped alien starter thingy that jump-starts the Probiotic Party) looks daunting. Will I be able to keep it alive, keep everything the right temp, keep everything clean enough, keep from poisoning my family?? To keep it from morphing into a swamp creature? So I'm tackling other small fermentation projects first. But am craving kombucha simply from Karl's description...
4. My daughter has her first nursing job! I won't tell you what her starting income will be. It made me weep with happiness and also catapulted me into a deep depression for oh, about 5.637 seconds. (I rebounded nicely) I've never made that much at a job yet. EVER. Especially at 19. I find myself praying for her to have great wisdom, and for this not to be overwhelming as she starts off. I thought if she passed the state exam, I'd feel this huge incredible sense of relief and wave her happily into the next phase of her life...without worrying about her. Now I've been smacked in the face with the realization I'll ALWAYS be worrying about her and praying for her. I'm a Mom, after all! :)
5. The condition of my housekeeping now rivals an archaeological dig site, minus the lack of humidity and the ability to find cool thousand-year-old artifacts while getting a great sunburn. HOW do dishes pile up that fast in the sink (no dishwasher), when I haven't even eaten here that much in the past few days??? I know what initially inspired the design for the Eiffel Tower. And I know even better why the Tower of Pisa chronically leans. I'd shoot pictures of the sheer artistic slovenliness of those overripe plates and saucers in their precarious stacks to post here if not for the fact that I'm probably going to want a drink of water soon, and will have to WASH all that stuff if I'm to find my way to the bottom stratus wherein lurk the drinking glasses.
And now you better understand my concern with cleanliness and the kombucha dilemma...
And there's the rest of the entire kitchen and house to have clean before Passover. Mmmmm boy, it just doesnt get "funner" than this, heh heh...
5. There are some SO VERY WONDERFUL blogs that are LONG overdue to be blogrolled here, but are yet in the Procrastination Queu (whoops, how do I spell that?)...er, Queue. I won't put it off too much longer...shall post the links at some point before Spanish Moss begins sprouting between my underused typing keys...
6. I've had another (ahemm) reminder (read Scary) that J and I need to make health changes...fast. There are whole posts I need to write on this, since it figures largely into the Why of what we're attempting to do with our future homestead efforts...changes we're taking step-by-step now. As J says, "it's a process." Well the process is going to have to pick up a little quicker so we'll live to realize the fruits of these labors. I'll elaborate more fully in a post soon. Let's just say I need regular sleep, exercise, and an overhaul of "raw materials"...the stuff that goes in directly affects the health that results. I got a wake-up call this morning that scared the Dickens out of me..well, all of us. J had a similar experience recently, too, which had us on our knees praying. As a result, we just catapulted our remaining processed food stuffs. The white flour is outta here. We've pretty much jettisoned the things that we'd been buying that contained chemicals and have been making more from scratch, but even so, the meat we buy and so on are not organic. Despite what ANYone says, we just can't afford it. Yet. This puts legs on our efforts to get to the place we're doing for ourselves in all our veggies, fruits and even meats. The handwriting's on the wall, and if we don't read it and do it....hmm, how to say?...we won't live long enough to worry about the finer points. Nuff said for now...more on that later.
7. Top Bar Bee Hives...we're still reading up on this and have found some excellent sites, a downloadable internet book (I think it's free), and detailed plans. And oh yes, a DVD. J can easily build a top bar hive, and the beekeeping SEEMS like it might be simple enough for even us to attempt (illegally??) here in our own backyard.
8. I'm a-loving me some blogs. All the homesteading blogs, and if you're reading this here, I've probably been to your blog, tried not to covet your baby chicks, imagined how cold it is where YOU live (not here in Florida), fantasized for five or ten minutes about slow-roasting myself in front of a cozy fireplace, admired the turning over of garden soil and compost piles, again tried not to covet successful mushroom propagation endeavors, and definately repented of double-covetousness if your blog includes updates on growing heirloom tomatoes, honeybees, kombucha, a family milk cow, a grain mill to grind grain yourself, cows of any description, sheep, fat hens, free-range eggs, and the fact your house is well-run and always clean and organized. If you have a house full of kids, or a head full of thoughts and ideas, I'm a-loving me your blog, too. If you are a storyteller or built your house yourself or look at a pile of cordwood and think "hey! let's build our dream home!"...I'm a-loving your blog. If you're taking care of your family, digging your little square of dirt, eating down your home-canned goods, baking your bread, fiddling with recipe experiments, enjoying your friends, letting your keyboard flow with writing, crafting you some creations, biting down with some wit, being entirely opionated and original, or looking at your future with an eye for change and optimism...I'm a-loving me your blog.
That narrows it down somewhat, I suppose? :)
I'm going now to watch some "Chef!" DVDs. Some of his lines are now implanted as classics in my brain, such as the episode where he is on the quest for unpasteurized Stilton, goes on a wild goose chase in the English countryside to find some at a faraway farm, and upon tasting it rolls his eyes back in his head in ecstasy, pauses, and says "ahhhhhhhh....bug and cow, in perfect harmony..."
So there's my To Do list, and I'm going now to wash my way down to a drinking glass and then to curl up (on one of my only nights off) and watch either a Good Neighbors DVD (another of our faves...see Path to Freedom's reference Barbara Good and her "posh frock"), or catch an episode of Chef.
9. Oops, almost forgot! The super-procrastinated pics from the State Fair, the ones I haven't posted yet. Got some great serendipitous shots of Rocky Mountain horses, and met some great folks who raise Dexter cattle really close to the area where we're trying hard to acquire land. There were two families, one of whom raises black Dexters with an emphasis on selecting for milking ability, and the other family who raises dun Dexters. The pics I got were AWFUL, but happily, I have their business card and have wanted to do an interview I can post here to help promote Dexters in Florida...there just don't seem to BE any. We were excited to see these ladies working to preserve the breed and improve their herds. The Dexters were so gentle, even the bull was right there tethered in the same pen with the females, munching away on some hay with nary a care in the world. They have both the short-legged and the longer-legged Dexters, and it was nice to be able to see up close the difference. I have a lot of questions and hope to make contact soon to see if we can set a Q&A up to post here...fun :)
OK, now I'm really going...getting sleepy!
Sleep tight, all :)