Thursday, July 30, 2009

Think about it!

“You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." Adrian Rogers, 1931

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What is the purpose of this?

Good question.

The purpose of what? My life?, my gardens?, my skills?This blog? What?

Every now and again one comes across some reading or a quote that just hits them like a ton of bricks. Those 6 words hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. I do what I do because and the purpose part came later.

1. I chose to do it
2. (this came later)
3. Financial reasons
4. learning

I have not always been a stay at home mom, I chose to stay at home after the birth of our 3rd child. I reasoned every way possible as to why I "should" stay employed, but when the tic met the toc, truth be told I think my take home pay was somewhere around .75 cents an hour after taxes, gas, clothing and daycare expenses. What is the exact purpose of me working out of the home only to a. expense it all out and b. pay someone else to raise my children.

I do believe from the age of 22 to somewhere in my thirties I was on a gerbil wheel, just doing because it needed to be done. Truth be told here only in the last couple of years I have woke up and lived "mindfully" each and every day. Going from 2 incomes to 1 income has a way of doing that, and few other factors.

Let me take a moment here to say...."I am grateful that I have this opportunity and grateful for my husband and his unwaivering love and support and the job my husband has that provides us with shelter, food and basic needs for daily living and then some."

Note: when I say "support" it does not mean financial, making the choice to stay at home was difficult and a few of my demons where sitting on my shoulder mocking me and the ring leader was that demon/voice inside our heads that measures our self worth. There are still days where I would like to punch that butt head in the face.

Would I be worth anything at all if I choose this path?

I dunno? but there is only way to find out......jump in with both feet and hope like hell you can swim hard enough to make it to shore with your swim suit still on! I knew one thing for the end of the day my sweat and tears were worth more than 6 bucks!!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Continued Education

Every year I like to learn a new skill and this year I would like to learn to make soap! Old fashioned soap from lye, fats and water. I have been cruising soap making sites for about a year now. I am ready to try it.

I would also like to learn to weld. My husband is a mighty fine welder.

Both would be great to learn in the fall when its a bit cooler.

Thats all, back to you folks


Saturday, July 25, 2009

I could be kind of a dork


I was cruising through my album and ran across this photo, I have posted it before....I think. Mr. Grobler is the closest thing to a "celebrity meeting" I have ever had. I have seen him in my living room on the Telly, so close enough! I would have to chalk that day up to one of the Top Ten Best Days in my life. The whole day was kick butt.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures

My legs are kinda arms with a just a hint of sun brown up like southern fried chicken, its the farmer tan gene kicking in. Even my feet tan very well in fact. They could have even time in the sun and my legs....still pale. Soooo I decide to use some essential grapefruit oil as the remedy. Now why grapefruit oil, well because it is an oil that has a precaution on it that says UV sensitive, as in USE CAUTION while in the sun when it perhaps is mixed with some lotion........ perhaps.

Well I already had applied regular lotion earlier in the day to my legs along with 50spf to my face(with hat and glasses always when I am outside), arms and back sooooo I thought what the hell I am gonna do it anyways....throw caution to the wind and use the essential oil how its not intended....and guess what? IT WORKS! In fact it works a little too thighs have a bit of a red rosy glow to them, however they did get the most sun exposure while at the pool. the rest well, they are not pasty anymore thats for sure, a weee bit of color. My feet look great.


Needless to say I researched via the great crystal ball, aka the Internet, for home remedies other than aloe for sunburn and I will be trying the tea and milk bath tonight to relieve some of this redness. I have applied 5 times Jasons tea tree aloe gel and it took the major heat out, but I would like to sleep well tonight, I will let ya'll know how the chai bath works.

Yours Truly,
Crispy Critter

maybe I will get lucky and any sort of cellulite will be gone in the morning.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Attention in the Terminal!

That phrase was used alot when I worked at the local Airport oh some 7 years ago...incredible its been that long ago. It was seasonal city job taking care of all the flowers and landscaping. The job did not pay much but I tell ya I loved it. I always wanted to grab the mike and roll off with something witty and funny. No one would hand it over and with all the new law after 9/11 I am sure it would have been construed as an act of terrorism if I just grabbed it and rolled with it.

On another note......anyone sending me PM's from Soggy G.....I cannot retrieve them at this time, I have chosen to take a hiatus this summer to focus on my family and the projects that are lined up for Mwah to tackle. I can be reached at unkshei3atyahoodotcom if you need to get ahold of me.

Mac bail 'em out Pictures, Images and Photos

This pretty much sums up the state of the union, think about it, no matter what political affiliation you have I find it fascinating that the new party/president never repeals any of the garbage law or Acts of congress the previous party/president passed while in Congress or on The Hill in the Whitehouse. Especially when the newly elected President may have railed about it as their "platform". For example Nafta, Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind and so on and so forth. The only one I can think of is Prohibition and even with the commerce of whiskey and booze and prostitutes they could not get it right......Maybe instead of washing the sheets they were just buying new ones....who knows.....but this same idology is what is driving this country into the wrecker....spending and spending till the coffers are dry....then what? Do we really want socialized medicine? I for one do not. Do we need change in this healthcare system? Oh you betcha!!! What I would like to see is an overhaul on the insurance companies and the lawyers that pursue frivolous lawsuits. Mr. BAucass does not have our best interests at heart, he sold out and his former staff now work for major pharmecueaticals as lobbyists. While we are on that subject......why do we even allow the Pharm companies to be traded on the stock market? Isn't that a weee bit of a conflict of interest? Do you remember the time when prescription drugs were not advertised on TV? Last I checked the stock market was for making money. Sooooo are they in it for the money?, of course they are, I wonder what thier advertising budget it? These are weird times, my friends, the answers and solutions are not simple ones either.

Ya know what else is funny, way back in the early 90's I used to go to this hairdresser, some of his best clients back in his formative hair skillz years were workin girls at the Mustang Ranch, its where he learned to perfect hair extensions. I asked for a perm, I should have gone with the extensions or some highlights. V-8 moment! I wonder where Dave is now.

GEt your boots on gals its gonna be getting deep I reckon.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Saga of The Thrift Store Dragon Lady

I am always on the look out for canning jars. I was at a local thrift store here recently and loaded up my cart with 2 boxes of quart jars and the few pint jars that were on the shelves...3 larges for a buck and 5 smalls for a buck.While I meander back to the check out I spied some jars in a different section.....turns out the second batch were considered vintage and or antiques. Okay the blue ones I could believe that but the clear? I never new there was big market for clear vintage canning $3.50 a piece. So I had a question for the clerk...."I found this jar in the back with this lid (zinc lid) and its only .20 cents and these up here for what gives?

Que Loud Obnoxious Manager to come forth to the cash register. I ask the same question again.

LOM: "What? you found this one in the back, it looks like someone has been mislabeling things again, good thing she is on medical leave, you said you found this in the back?"
Me: "Yes, I did, that is why I am asking"

LOM: "THESE are VINTAGE, AND that is WHY we are asking more for them"
Me: "Sooo the one I found in the back, is that still for sale at .20 cents?" fast foward to whats whirling around in my brain....wha? vintage jars? I have heard of antique jars but not vintage....the blue ones?

LOM: "Where did you find these jars" (pointing to my 2 boxes of quart jars, dodging my question)
Me: "In the back stacked next to the canning jar shelves, I figured I would just grab the boxes of them to make it simpler for me to carry and your store help since they are already boxed"

LOM: "Well those on the top are vintage and WELL *sigh* SINCE you found them there, then you can have them for the regular price."

She proceeds to lecture me on what jars are vintage and why and I began to feel like Woodstock listening to Snoopy....wah, wah, wah, wah, wah.

Audience rolling their eyes....and when I glanced at one lady she states in a not so hushed manner "what an obnoxious lady"......hence the nickname Loud Obnoxious Manager.

Me: "Well then I will take the quart jars and the regular pint jars, cuz there is no way I am paying three dollars and fifty cents for THOSE other pint jars.

The clerk proceeds to ring up my bill

Clerk: How many quart jars?
Me: "Thirty and at 3 for a dollar that is $10 bucks and 5 pints for a dollar"

LOM to Clerk: "YOU are doing it wrong, you must sell them individually, gimme a pen and a piece of paper"

Clerk looks utterly embarresed, the line is growing and now the manager is chastising the clerk for her mistake. Manager annouces she "I need to figure things out".

Audience member: "Good Grief, ten goes into thirty three times do you really need a pen and paper to figure that out"

Me: chuckling and getting a bit rubbed by LOM.

LOM: "Well, I have never learned to can, I have always wanted too, but I have never learned"

Me: Secretly wanting to say...."basic math skills are a must if ya wanna learn to can" waiting to be shot down by the jar dragon, on second thought best to keep my mouth shut and best not to poke at dragons when they suffer from a bizarre psychotic behavior.

LOM to Clerk: "Its 3 at 10 dollars, thats how to ring it up, 3 at 10 dollars"

Me to audience lady next to me: "ya know I passed up an offer from a country gal willing to give me all 500 or so canning jars for free a few years back.... and before I could say anything else LOM butts in to say..... "bet you could just kick yourself for passin that up"

Me: "not really, I didn't have the use for them at the time, so no sense in hoarding stuff just because"...........hoping that last jab would sink into her thick skull.

Clerk: "That will be $13.75" (I did find some metal pie plates as well for camping)

I pay and one of the audience members holds the door for me while I leave with my goods, and she rolls her eyes and says "geez that was interesting". As I was driving away a thought occured to they always do, never to come to you when you are right there dealing with nutso people. I am close to 40 and most folks in my generation do not can their own many folks of my parents generation did not can thier own food? So really I will bet you $$ on it MOST of the canning jars found from estate sales or gramma's attic are old....vintage is a nice term for "really old and kitschy", it does not mean priceless and hard to find. Get real LOM, I am never shopping in your second hand store again, you forget that all of the stuff in your store was GIVEN to your organization in hopes it would find a home and or be of use to someone else. You did not have to pay for it and probably did not pay for the shipping either. Sure you have some overhead, we all do....however you are a non profit organization and do not pay the same tax schedule as small business owners. Shame on you! The jams that I make and the food I can is worth far more than the jar....not the other way around.

Buh bye

and no I did not get the jar I found in the back for the advertised price of .20 occured to me once I got home....I thought about making a fuss and going back there to get it, then I thought, why bother its obvious she needs it more than I do. Then I wondered if I buy them outright at that grocery store, how much is the difference? The new ones come with new lids and rings. yet to find out.

Cowgirls Wear Shitkickers!

Long term food storage

I am curious about these things.
*how much food do you have socked away?
*how it is stored?
*how do you rotate your inventory

I just read on a major website to use up what you have in your pantries when times get tough....that I can agree with, that is what food storage is for.......and in the same article stating from a "business perspective" that keeping an inventory of food is essentially a drain on your cash flow, comparing it to business's that keep inventory. I completely disagree with this line of thought. Could it be that the "business perspective" is a bit biased? When times get tough, I am sure if we had food stores, their business would REALLY feel it, if not go out of business! It is not a drain on your cash flow but an investment to feed your family if something should happen like a job layoff, major emergency or natural disaster. During those rough times our first line of offense is and me, not the grocery store or food bank. If you are of the latter how many others are of that ideology? What will happen if 60 percent or more of your community relies on another source for food and did not prepare properly. I find it fascinating that most of our population could go probably a year without purchasing new clothing or shoes but not 1 month in regards to groceries. Proof: In new or homes built after the 50's the closets got bigger and the pantries got smaller if non existent.

Maybe it can be chalked up to the culture I grew up in. I kid you not the winters I remember....snowed in for weeks. One best have their ducks in a row well ahead of snow fall and be ready for it.

Yours Truly
Mrs. Squirrel

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Such a Softie

Today I would like to share a secret to soft skin....sugar scrub. The kind of sugar scrub you can make at home with 3 ingredients. For a few pennies your skin will be like budda! I just cannot on good conscience pay $15 for a body scrub when I know this stuff work better, cost less and you can actually pronounce the ingredients.

Vegetable Glycerin (I found mine at the health food store)
essential oil (optional)

That is it! I just put some sugar in a reused container, then pour in the glycerin, stir and if its too dry add some glycerin until its somewhat slushy but not too slushy.....a few drops of essential oil if you have it and VOILA! There you have it. Smear and rub all over your body whilst in shower then rinse off, lather up, dry off and lotion up. Yoooz Be So MUCH Softer.

I first tried this with olive glycerin on hand.....not left my bathtub a greasy, greasy mess...glycerin is much better.

Warning: Hubby or boyfriends will not want to take hands off of you. *wink*


Monday, July 13, 2009

Haulin Pigs

Its a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Good times with the patient Miss Stella.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Line up!

A while back I was reading where this lady had told her friend to turn off her "heat dry cycle" on her dishwasher to save on her energy bills. My curiosity was piqued, would that make that much of a difference? I thought. I tried it. $35 it knocked off my bill. Rough estimate of a smidge over a dollar a day. In fact it was close to 25% of my bill. A dollar per day does not sound like much but when I figured it in percentages I thought it was quite a bit. Seriously? that is only one appliance!!! No more heat dry, I can think of better/funner things to spend my money on than drying dishes.

I recently purchased a clothes line and got it erected yesterday. Cement socket and all, by myself. This was after I cut down the dead lilac with a chainsaw......yes a chainsaw, electric so it was not so heavy....I could not handle a big ole gas saw for the life of me. It felt good not to have to rely on a man to do these things. Digging the root ball out is another story, I mean really why hog all the fun, Mr. Ebes is going to be in on that one, as well as I am sure Mr. Bobcat! I am most curious to see what line drying does to my energy bill. No more line drying on the fence.....stuff getting blown off. Today I will create a pin bag from some old jeans. There is nothing like having crisp clean line dried sheets.....they smell terrific.

This year has been an appliance trade out year. The old fridge and freezer in the basement went bye bye,replaced with a new energy star chest freezer, the washer and dryer replaced with energy star front loaders.....cut my bill in half!! Had I replaced them 5 years ago when we added on this house, it would have amounted to $6,000!! I could kick myself for not doing it sooner, but no we just used what we had and they were really not that old. The total cost of the new appliances was $1,365, which we had been saving for and paid cash, plus a door buster sale the day after Thanksgiving. Lesson learned energy efficient appliances really do make a difference!!

Have a great day Ya'll

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Garden update


Its growing good considering we have had roller coaster weather. We have been eating chard, lettuce, radishes and broccoli. The broccolirahb bolted and went to seed in what seems like overnight. I will save the seed as it is an heirloom vegetable.


I love these raised beds, LOVE them, it makes it so much simpler and easier. I still have one spot that is done "old way" and I kind of ignore it.....not near as easy to stay on top of the weeds. It will be the last year for that bed as well. It will be a covered patio I am hoping next year. I did not solarize my beds this year due to inclement weather and them going in late. Solarizing kills the weed seeds and then gardening is virtually no work. It will also be a huge benefit to have the greenhouse up and ready this fall to roll on into spring with my own veggie plants. Nice! I tell ya what I have the best hubby in the world. He supports this passion of mine without a single wince., never do I hear him b*tch or complain about building this or that for me in my garden endeavors. He is a rockstar in my world, and most grown men want to be rockstars!!!!

Do a dollop of daisy

Sing that jingle with a dollop, do do a dollop....


and in bronze


I like them both for different reasons. Photography can be fun especially when you have a camera that really works for you.

We be JAmmIn

MMMM strawberries, and today we will be making strawberry jam.
Find willing children to squeeze and mush up fruit after you have hulled
Its really easy. 5 cups strawberries, 1 box pectin mix and stir over medium heat till rapid boil, stir in 8 c. sugar bring to rapid boil, you may add 2 tsp of butter to decrease foaming. Into thee jars.
We ended up with 35 pints and we started with 24 pounds of berries, we ate some, a few didn't make the cut, so that is a rough estimate of what you will end up with.

I could have done the all berry method of cooking them down to concentrate the sugars in the fruit but I chose not to this time around. My husband loves this jam on this bread.

Basic Bread 2 loaves

2 T yeast
1/3 c. honey
2 1/2 c warm water

let sit until its good and bubbly
add 1/2 c. oil
1 tsp salt
6 cups of flour

If I use whole wheat flour I decrease the amount I use. Knead and turn out into an oiled bowl,cover and let rise to double. Punch down, shape, let rise again....325 for 25 minutes and your kids, neighbors, relatives and husband will think you are the queen of the kitchen.

How simple is that!!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wide Open Spaces


Its a really big place....2 million acres wide open! That is big like no other. Growing up we worked on 250,000 acres, this even blew my mind. Good horses are an absolute must, so is a motorbike, they were finishing up branding slicks, just a few and it had dragged on for a week or so putting it off as they had been getting rain everyday for quite a while. My oldest nephew is an absolute peach, well they both are in nephew told me and I quote "I'm an American Cowboy, always have been and I always will be". I believe him.

No corrals in this area, just move em up into the corner and construct a holding area with movable panels. Boy are my kids in for a surprise. Pip did not handle this well, she watched but a tear rolled down her cheek..."mama, the calves are just bawlin". Me hugging her "true Pip, but that is how it is done". Branding was a bit hard on Pips heart.

"Sticky".....she is a sassy mare, and a good hand and good lookin to boot and she knows it, she is the cover girl for the day.

Get r done.

How its done.

Workin Hands.
I am fascinated by workin hands....ranchers, farmers, mechanics, anyone really, they can tell a story all themselves.


Nepalese sheep herder taking a snooze. Yes ya'll this way of life still exists, in our tech new age its kind of like a time warp I reckon for most. He has the simplest life, no worries but the safety of the sheep, his horse, dogs and beautiful wide open spaces.

While we were up there in the hills of Wyoming and right after this photo while I was reviewing it on the screen with my brother, the thought of environmentalist extremists wanting to decrease sheep production due to their methane output popped in my mind. Those extremists don't know squat about what is natural or not natural, I think they best come here to find out. This is ranching country, its dry and it takes alot of acres to raise animals. Nope sorry, soybeans and rice are not going to be growing here. Dang Cute little lamb, and wilder than a March hare.

Ranching life is a bit more simple than in most other places in the world. Its hard work, folks understand there are simply a few things in life you cannot not to waste time and energy on it. Ranchers love what they do, its hard work and its a good life. While growing up in the country I thought it odd folks would take a vacation to ranch, I mean really, Its work!! As a kid I could have thought about a bazillion other things to do, like lying down on a sandy beach with not a care in the world. Now I know why. I have lived in the city for 20 years now, its not about paying to work. Its about going to a place so out of the ordinary of your everyday life to experience a different way of life or a different culture if you will. Life there was slower, it was simpler and it was good.