Saturday, December 27, 2008

Plumbing the vacation away...

Spent the day today replumbing the house.
My sister is remodeling our upstairs bathroom as a Christmas gift.
She tore out lots of lathwork and the toilet and sink yesterday and hauled it all to our dumpster.
(We have a nice roll-off dumpster sitting in the front yard)
Gonna bust up the cast iron tub in place with a sledge hammer.
Anyway, we had to cut out the old Iron pipes and run new plastic everywhere.
I kind of like it because it's like playing with tinker toys, but I'm also stressed hoping it won't leak all over.
So we now have the water back on with shut off valves up to the upstairs run.
Lots of fun cutting the old Iron pipe out with a sawzall. (not really)
When we had done stuff in the past we had just run plastic off of the old iron near where we were working.
We had all kinds of black iron coming out of the faucets, I think it was a result of hooking the softener up to the old iron pipe and the salt eating away at the build up and finally sending it out the faucets. (it was getting to be a real mess up in the bathroom we are re-doing)
Now the only Iron is about three feet of our plumbing tree where our softener is hooked in.(only 5 years old)
I have copper where the hot water systems are tied together.(2 years)
Doesn't seem to any problems so far.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,
Randy

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Not happy holidays

Merry Christmas!!!
We celebrate the birth of a savior today!!
May you and yours have a blessed Christmas.

Randy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Middle age has snuck up on me

I was in Walmart on Saturday and decided to test my blood pressure in the machine.
It read 186/104 !!!!!
I was like wow!!!!!!
So I made a doctors appointment and got it tested today.
190/110 doctor sent me home with some pills to take and an order for blood work and another appointment for two weeks down the road.
I didn't worry about this kind of stuff when I was younger but I guess I have officially arrived at middle age.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,
Randy

Monday, December 22, 2008

Yes I'm a failure...

We are out of wood!!.
It was -1 last night the house got down to 58.
My last sharp chain was messed up and would not hardly cut the big logs we have drug up to the house.
I asked dad if he would come and cut them with his big Jonsered saw.
He came and cut 3 or 4 pieces and his saw quit running.
So we will be on propane by the morning.
Just can't keep up with the wood demand of this furnace doing it all by myself.
I do have five or six 10-20 inch x 10-12 feet long logs up at the house but no way to cut them until tomorrow.
So much for being prepared..... But I guess I do have 400 gallons of propane sitting there so it's not too bad.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Sunday, December 21, 2008

How do you see Jesus?

This time of year many people forget what the season is about.
Yes Jesus probably wasn't born on December 25 but it is the day we celebrate it.
Many will try to say it is just a pagan holiday the Christians took over. This may or may not be true, but Jesus Christ is why we celebrate it today. You will hear constant reminders that "He is the reason for the season" and these are well and good. The problem starts when the baby Jesus is all that people see. Jesus Christ was much more than a cute little baby born of a virgin all those years ago. You can't leave Him in that manger.

Lets look at someone else who tried to fit Jesus into a category. Look at John chapter 4 it tells the story of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well.

1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

Samaritans were half breeds, they were the result of intermarriage of Jews and Babylonian conquers. It was the sixth hour meaning noon, the heat of the day this woman was an outcast herself since the other women would come to draw water when it was cool.

The first impression this woman has of Jesus is A Jewish man sitting by the well, then he speaks the her! This just didn't happen, Men did not speak to women in public let alone a Jewish man speak to a Samaritan woman. She even states her surprise.

9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans)

Then Jesus really piqued her curiosity.
10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"

13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus obviously was speaking of the Holy Spirit when he mentioned living water, but the woman thought he was talking about regular water and thought....This guy is an INTERESTING MAN

Many people today see Jesus as a sort of fist century Will Rodgers.... -A good story teller, never met a man he didn't like, a good teacher running around telling jokes and doing tricks with bread and fish. Without the living water of the Holy Spirit many will not see.

16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."

17"I have no husband," she replied.

Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

19"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."

Here the woman gets a different view she never met him but he knows her thoughts so she puts on a religious face. She sees him as a Prophet A religious person so she asks a religious question to prove she is religious too.

Many today see Jesus as a religious leader, and they act religious around him while they are in church but they leave it at the door. Others will take him saying he taught good religious stuff but he was only a man.

21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."

26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

Here we see Jesus as He truly is Messiah

Some will say Christ never claimed to be the messiah but here we see the falicy of that belief.

God became a man and for 33 years he walked the earth showing us the way. Our sins nailed him to a cross and shed his blood. Hebrews 9:22b "without the shedding of blood there is no remission" He arose on the third day and waits to return.

So how do you see Jesus?

A baby in a manger?

An interesting man?

A religious man?

Or the Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords?


Still clinging to my God and my guns,

Randy


Sunday, December 14, 2008

How to process a deer part 3 cutting and packaging

This is the final part of how to butcher your deer.



When you have the meat off of the bones it is time to cut and package it.
First take your two backstraps and cut off the membrane and dried parts so you have clean meat to cut.

Like this:


After it is cleaned of membrane I cut the backstraps into medallions.
On a larger animal you can get some excellent steaks from this filet mignon.

cut medallions like this:


Next grab one of the muscle groups you have boned out and start to clean the membrane, fat and gristle off.

Until you get something like this nice roast.



You can also cut this into steak if you prefer.
Always cut meat across the grain if you are making steaks.


Like this:




Continue on with all muscle groups.
Odd pieces of good meat can be made into stir fry or stew meat.
You can also use any of the meat you would use for steak or roast.

Cut it in pieces like this:



After you have all the "good" meat cut it's time for burger.
You can turn the whole thing into burger if you like.
Start by cutting the good meat away from tendons and membrane.

Like this:



Then get your bones and clean them up of all the meat you can cut off.
When I was young this was the job for us kids. We had to clean up all the bones and toss the meat in the burger cooler.

still some meat:



Some here on the carcass also.



We run it through the meat grinder at least twice.
Once very course and the second time on the middle setting.
We add no fat or suet to the meat. We won't be making hamburgers from it so when you brown it just add a little water or oil to keep it from sticking.

Here is Tanya grinding burger:
(looks thrilled I know)


When you are done cutting it is time to wrap.
If you want it to last a long time in your freezer wrap it in plastic wrap before putting it in your freezer paper.
I ate some elk that was wrapped this way that was over 5 years old and wasn't freezer burnt. (I wouldn't make a habit of it though)
Since this was a tiny deer and it will get eaten quickly we skipped the plastic and just used freezer paper.
The meat goes against the shiny side of the paper.

Like this:


Then just wrap it up and make sure and write the date and what type of meat is in the package.





Once we mistakenly cooked some loin in the crockpot and it turned to mush.

This wraps up how I butcher a deer, or an elk for that matter.
It may not be the best way but it's how I have come to do it.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

How to process a deer Part 2 deboning

This is part 2 of 3 of how to butcher your deer

After your deer is skinned it can be aged or butchered right away.
You will want to cut the internal tenderloins out before aging since they tend to dry out and then are no good.
They are tiny on this little deer almost not worth messing with.

I am pointing to them here:



After the tenderloins I start on the backstraps. This is the best part of the deer.
Take your knife and make a cut straight in on both sides of the backbone.
From the rear hips to the front shoulder/ neck area. Next cut in from the side, right along the top of the ribs and remove the backstrap.

Like this:


Repeat on the other side and you will end up with two pieces of meat like these.

MMMM filet mignon.....



Next it's time to start on the front shoulder. I grab the leg and pull it away from the body and start cutting at the thin meat and fat holding it on.

Like this:


It should come off in your hand with ease.
Repeat on the other side and you are ready to take them in and bone them.

Start by cutting the meat off the bones, keeping the muscle groups together.

Like this:


And this:


Until you end up like this.



Now it's time to get the rear quarters.
Take your knife and cut around the hip by the pelvis.
You can see I left a little too much meat on the carcass.

Like this:



Keep working your knife around the joint until it comes free.

Here is the inside view.


Then we take the rear quarters in and debone them like the front ones.

Like this:

A lot more meat on a rear quarter than on a front.

After you have it deboned you are ready to cut and package.
I will go over that in part 3

As I said this is how I was taught and how I've done it most of my years.
I don't like ribs and have never bothered with them on a deer or elk.
Some folks really like them but I'm not the one to ask about them.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Friday, December 12, 2008

How to process a deer Part 1 Skinning

This is part 1 of 3 of how to butcher your deer.

I am processing my deer and will share the steps I take when I Butcher my own.
Normally it is best to hang and skin your deer while it is still warm. The meat will taste better and it will cool faster. This year I had too much wood to cut that day so I just propped it open with a stick so it would cool and then hung it in the garage. When I was younger we always left the hide on until it was time to butcher. It takes a lot longer to skin it when it's cold or frozen, but it is not the end of the world if you don't get it skinned right away.

To start the skinning process cut around the hind leg above the knee, then take the tip of your knife and split the skin down towards the tail.

Like this...


Do that on both rear legs and skin your way to the tail and cut through it with your knife.

Like this...

My knife is laying right below the severed tail bone. (the knife is a K-Bar 1100 I picked up at a flea market this summer for $2.50, I really like the carbon blades)
Once you have gotten through the tail bone you can probably pull the hide down to the front legs if the deer is still warm. My deer is mostly frozen so I had to help it along with the knife.

Grab the hide and pull down take your knife and make cuts along where the membrane is clinging to the hide .

Like this...

And this...

Continue skinning down the front legs until you get to the joint. I use pruning shears to cut off the leg and leave it attached to the hide.

Like this...


Do that to both sides and then continue all the way down to the neck. I use a bow saw to remove the head and the hide all in one piece.

Like this...


It should now look something like this...



But whats this????
There's hair all over my meat!!!



Never fear!
Propane torch to the rescue!!



Lightly go over the whole deer with the torch and singe off all the stray hairs.

Now you are ready to start cutting or letting it hang to age.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A couple things

First I would like to touch on the post I did on the government taking your food. HERE
The local media has finally picked it up sort of. It is on the plain dealer's blog site. The Lorain S.O. spokesman tries to defend the raid. Read it here LINK

Kinda funny....
First he says "We don't even have semiautomatic weapons," he said.
What S.O. does not own semi auto weapons?? Are we that stupid?

Next
"Resendez said four deputies conducted the search over three or four hours -- not the nine"
Problem is the police report provided lists 11 deputies who took part.
Yes I trust the government.........(I need a rolly eyes)

The really good stuff is reading the comments at the bottom.
There are some good freedom loving folks who stand up for individual freedoms, then there are the socialist collective new world order sheep who keep bleating for the government to protect them.
I'll leave you with that for now.

The other literally cool thing going on is my furnace died last night.
Not the wood furnace but the blower on the gas furnace that moves the hot air for the wood furnace.
I noticed getting ready for bed last night it was cooler than normal and checking the thermostat confirmed it was below the setting.

I went down in the basement and checked the breaker and it was OK so I pulled the cover off of the furnace and I hear the motor clicking when I put in the safety button. If I throw the switch on the side of it I hear the motor humming but nothing else.

This is an area (among others) that I am a complete idiot. I put in a call to the plumbing and heating place and told them I could wait till morning. More $$$ out the door. The hot water is still hot since the wood furnace is still going so I had a hot shower and where the piping runs under the floor it is warm. So to my surprise it only fell to 59 in here so far.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Lord hath provided meat!!


Went out and did a walk through of the woods this morning.
I was as much looking for trespassers as I was hunting. I have two days during muzzle loading season already scheduled off at work. But I give it a little effort during regular gun season and do a slow stalk through the woods. Many times I will find a deer bedded and be able to get a shot.

I had already snuck through the woods and was on my way back along the front edge just inside the trees when up jumps this little button buck. I could tell right away it was wounded. You can see someone shot it in the left rear leg. I was able to walk up to it and put it out of it's misery. So God in his infinite wisdom sent a deer I could actually hit and gave us many good meals to come. He knew normally I would let a little deer like this go, I'm sure he knows something I don't and am grateful for the meat.

In the picture you can see my bowie knife. I got it for $2 at a flea market two summers ago. It is Pakistani stainless that is not the greatest quality but it worked just great on the little buck. The guard has a sharp spot on it that cut my hand a little and I will take a file to it before I use it again. I have never used a knife this big before but once I got the hang of it the size was a real plus in how fast I got the job done. It was a little tight in the chest cavity cutting things loose but worked out well. I had it gutted and in the truck in less than 10 minutes.

Now I'm done hunting and need to go get more wood. I'm only allowed one deer up in this part of the state.
Maybe I'll get some writing done with my two vacation days after Christmas.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Friday, December 5, 2008

Think the government won't take your food???

Link

You may or may not of seen the news about manna food co-op here in Ohio.
I encourage you to read this report on the link.

The Jack Booted Thugs (JBT's) are only going to increase their activities under the new regime in washington. What will you do if the JBT's kick in your door and herd your family into your livingroom and proceed to remove your stored up food? Plus all your other things you may need to survive?

Another reason to control as much of your own food as possible.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The last two weeks have been a challenge

On an up note we will hit 2500 page views today!!!!
WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!

It started two weeks ago when I fell will trying to catch the cat as it ran up the stairs.
I hit the elbow that has been giving me trouble. I don't know what the problem is with it but it aches and is warm.
The fall has healed. (the trouble with the elbow preceded the fall)
After that dad came over and we cut wood. We pulled up 13 logs with the tractor, problem is I have burnt most of them. LOL
Here they are after I cut most of them into lengths.


Picture of the Ford 9N dad restored for me. It's what I use for most of my farm work.




The next week was Thanksgiving so I didn't get any wood cut.

Friday I had the kids help me pick the last of the corn. They didn't want to help but I kept telling them that this is what families do, they work together. They did as much as 7,5 and 3 yo kids could do.




Saturday we had "Thanksmas" most of my cousins and there kids came over to my Grandma's house and we had a second Thanksgiving. I went out in the woods early and cut a load of wood that morning (good thing)

Monday rolled around and I tweeked my back while I was loading the furnace. Now I have a messed up elbow and a sore back. Going to be interesting cutting wood this weekend.

Here is the furnace with the wind break we built behind it.


I'm done with my little pity party now....

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

so you want to buy your chicken at the store?!?

Tyson injects eggs with antibiotics, then claims that the chickens are raised without them.
They also said it is an indusry wide practice. Read about it here......LINK

Tanya and I have been talking about here allergies.
She is allergic to both corn and soy and it seem there are quite a few people who have this problem. Corn and soy or some dirivative of them are in almost everything.

We have been discussing making our homestead corn and soy free.
It is possible to raise animals without either. It will just take a more careful approach to planning. Europe survived thousands of years before explorers brought back either maize or soya. I feel we can too.

It is kind of strange concidering all our rented land is rotated between corn and soybeans.
But I think it is doable.
Give me some feedback.....

Hit the blog catalog link at the bottom of the right hand side and give my site a rate.
5 stars is best....

Randy

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Guest post from Scoutinlife

John and I have traded guest posts on our respective blogs.
I have known him online for a few years now since we are members of a couple shared forums.
You can see a link to his blog in the right hand column.

********************************************************

What To Do With Fireplace Ashes

Depending on where you live, a wood fireplace or stove can be a
*relatively* great option for heating and quite economical;
particularly if you're fortunate enough to have easy access to a to a
woodlot to supply your fire wood needs..

The ashes left behind from a wood fire are also a valuable and
versatile by-product don't just throw them away indiscriminately;
here's some great uses for your ash!Use appropriate caution, spot test
etc.

1.Spread them on an icy patch in the walk or driveway?
2. If you have chickens put it in their dusting area to keep mites off of them.
3. Wood ash has potash and other minerals in it, but it will make the
soil more alkaline.
4.Don't forget the compost pile. You can dump them there, along with
droppings, leaf cuttings, hair cuttings, the vacuum cleaner bag
dumpings, old table scraps (except meat or fatty, cheese, dairy) grass
clippings
, bone meal, blood meal and/or fertilizer. Get good soil from
old junk.
5.If you're so inclined to make your on soap you can leech them with
water to make lye.
6. Do you grow any raspberries? They *love* woodash!

Ash contains potash (potassium carbonate), phosphate, iron, manganese,
boron, copper and zinc and can be quite beneficial as a natural
fertilizer... sometimes. Wood ash increases the pH or alkalinity of
soil, so use sparingly.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving (A day late)

I have been thinking about Thanksgiving all week. It is like a memorial day to God.
I have been reminded all week about the story in Joshua 3-4 about the crossing of the Jordan river into the promised land. If you read the story the Jordan was flooded and the priests were to carry the ark and walk into the waters. As they did that the waters were parted "and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground"(3:17)

When they had passed God told Joshua to get 12 men(one from each tribe) and collect 12 stones from the bed of the Jordan. They set them up where they would camp for a memorial so the future generations could know what happened at that place. When we reflect on Thanksgiving it is a perfect time to teach our children what happen in our history. Like maybe why the pilgrims were here in the first place. We are thankful to our God and our creator for allowing us a place of freedom.

In 4:9 you see Joshua set up 12 stones in the Jordan where the priests had stood holding the waters back while carrying the ark. These are thanksgiving memorials each of us carry and can reflect on that others do not see, but are there nonetheless. God knows our hearts and knows if we are truly thankful to him or just going through the motions.

So what are you thankful for?
Will you take some time to thank God for it?

Still clinging to my God and my guns,
Randy

Saturday, November 22, 2008

how to make a $.25 shotshell reloader

The most recent issue of Backwoodsman magazine has an article on making a $.25 shotshell reloader.
Since .410 ammo costs almost $10 a box I figured I could make one for it.



#1 is a spike that fits the primer hole used for decapping (it is sitting in it's storage hole)

#2 is a counter bored hole that the shell sits in while you drive out the primer I added the second hole below #2 so the primer would fall out. I think it should have been farther down since the wood holding the shell is kinda thin.

#3 a dowel with a shell on it where you tap in the new primer

#4 is a hole to hold the shell while you build the load.

The dowel to the right is for tamping down the components of the load as you build it. I also used it as a punch to tap in the primer.

The only problem is I missed the primer on the first shell and bulged out the brass trying to drive out the primer.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New article on squirrel hunting

I wrote an article for a publisher at Helium about squirrel hunting.
The article was written to specs for this publication but was not the one picked out of the 25 or so submissions.
So it is now on Helium for all to see.
LINK
The specs limited the words and told what areas to cover.
Got to keep trying.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

$23 a week oh my!

A recent article in the Toledo Blade lamented the plight of food stamp recipients that got only $23 a week per person for food. The challenge was for the reporters to try to live on that amount for a week and see what it was like. Our food budget is $100 a week or $20 per person, we would get a $3 increase.

Tanya and I were talking last night on the way to church about how to cut back on more expenses since we spend more every month that I make.(our tithe is non negotiable) We have been dipping into savings for a few years now. The only variable we have is our food budget which is already below food stamp level. At this level Tanya even manages to buy lots of organic and health food store stuff.

If we were to get food stamps we would qualify for around $600/mo but we would have to get rid of all our savings to do that, because we saved too much money in the past(before we were on the homestead). So it looks like we will try to spend even less on food. Next summer is going to be more intensive food production. We were really lax this year. A lot of that had to do with Tanya's allergies, she couldn't work in the garden hardly at all and forget canning tomatoes.

Our friends raise rabbits and I've wanted to try a grass based rabbit operation so I may get a trio this spring.
Going to have to get some bees too. I know a couple people who have hives so hopefully I can get some help.
The fruit trees are going to get priority this year also all the correct organic techniques applied on time.
I am going to make up a farm calendar so I know what I am supposed to be doing and when I'm supposed to do it. Our library has a great book on organic gardening that has each plant listed separately and it tells you exactly what to do at what time of year. I can't remember the name but I will post it when I get it out again.

Wish me perseverance,
Randy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

survival pet peeve

Pardon me while climb up on one of my favorite soap boxes.
When you are putting together your survival supplies be sure and add some traps and snares.
Many "experts" tell you not to rely on hunting alone for your sustenance should TEOTWAWKI happen.
Which is good advice, but then they will go on and tell you to add some snares to your supplies.

Snares are well and good if you know how to use them. But you should also have a good collection of steel traps to go with them. Snares are disposable steep traps are more or less permanent. True you can buy a lot of snare material for what a steel trap will cost but the ratio isn't that great when you figure in how long they will last and how many animals you can catch with them. It just irks me that an otherwise prepared person can be so close minded.

The other thing that really bothers me is someone buying a few snares and thinking they are good to go.
I want to know how many hours they have put in the field trapping or snaring. How much fur has this so called expert put up? I have said before trapping is an art. One that takes a pretty darn long time to become proficient at and a lifetime to master. It would be the same as a man buying an AR15 with all the bells and whistles, 30 magazines and 2500 rounds of ammo and locking it all up in his gun safe and thinking he was well armed.

If you think you will use trapping as a food source or maybe even an income source TEOTWAWKI, I encourage you to buy a trapping license and put up some fur. Fur trapping will teach you how animals move in the wild and by learning to avoid catching certain non-target animals now, you have the knowledge you need to target those animals if you need them for food in the future.

Fur trapping is a great dry run for providing for your family in a time of need. It is a skill set that fewer and fewer people every year learn. Fur could also be a means of exchange if the system really tanks and having your trapping kit and skills to use it in place will put you far ahead of the game.

Now get out there and catch something,

Randy

Monday, November 17, 2008

Guest blog post

I was fortunate enough to post a guest post on Scoutinlife's blog.
Check it out.
The link is at the bottom on the right under my favorite blogs.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday wind and rain

Here it is Saturday.
The wind is blowing hard from the NE and it is raining with the possibility of changing to snow this afternoon or tomorrow.
I don't think I will be wood cutting today.

We lost another chicken this week. We are down to three Americauna's and one Silver laced wyandot .
Two of the wyandot's have kicked off.
Four chickens sure go through food slower than 50. But they haven't started laying yet, any time now would be good.

I'm going to write today.
I have to work on an article on squirrel hunting for Helium.
Another blog post and an article I hope to submit to Backwoodsman magazine.

Be sure to hit the poll on the right side of the page.
I added a couple blogs I like also.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finding my voice

I have added a poll to the right side of the blog.
It is asking you what you want to see here on this blog.
Please vote!!!

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Geographic equality act

I noticed in Ohio B.O. only won 19 of 88 counties but took the state by a large margin.
I also hear all the time about the liberal politicians in the city making bad policy for us country folk.
We need a grass roots movement to bring geographic equality to this country. Something like each county being represented in state government. Then we could get the state electoral procedure changed to reflect county wishes.
It can all be done on the state level. The problem will be getting it through a system that is population controlled. But still us poor disenfranchised rural folk should be able to make the masses see we are worth their sympathy.
Just some random thoughts.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Coyote trapping

I wrote a very general article on coyote trapping. LINK
If I write enough of these things it would be pretty easy to put out a trapping book.
About $15 covering just about everything I know. Well we'll see what happens.

More firewood today.
I cut three pickup loads of red oak last weekend.
I left the last load in the truck and fed the furnace from it. I have about 1/3 of it left.
I cut most of the smaller stuff off of the main trunks laying down in the woods.
I will use the tractor to pull the trunks up to the house for cutting the bigger stuff.
When dad brings his big saw over he can zip through them without too much problem.

Last year we had fun trying to pull some of the really big ones up with the tractor.
One big one kept pulling the front wheels of the tractor up in the air. So we hooked my sister Annette's Nissan truck to the front of the tractor with a tow strap just to hold it down.
Tanya got a hilarious video of it on our cell phone.

Still haven't gotten all my corn in.
It's dark by the time I get home from work. Gonna have to pay the kids to do it.

Still clinging to my God and my guns
Randy

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Amerika has a bad case of B.O.

Amerika awoke yesterday morning to find itself afflicted with a case of B.O.
We elected the most liberal socialist if not ever, then in a long time. I do say" we" since I am still an American, but I feel the divide being wedged farther open.

I read quotes like "Now the healing can begin". Where do these people come from?
By putting a socialist liberal in office we have alienated the conservative base of this country.
Without the conservative base of this country you wouldn't have anyone to pay all the new taxes so that the big O can pay for my gas and mortgage.

All I know is that B.O. is a blatant liar. He say's he will give 95% of Americans a tax cut. But 33% of Americans already don't pay taxes because they don't make enough . I am one of them, so I went to one of his web sites that calculate my tax cut under the B.O. plan. It told me I would pay $2300 or so less in taxes. A downright lie.

He believes in trickle up economics where you give the poor money and it will help the economy.
It doesn't work like that. Reagan had it right with trickle down economics but the liberals always cut into his plan and made it not work. Clinton got the benefit of Reagan's policies, he rode the dot com bubble all the way up. Bush got the benefit of Clinton's .

With trickle up the poor will spend but who will invest in business and new technology and research? Not the business owners with the increased profit, since you have taxed any new profit to give it to the poor.
The only industries that would benefit are those vice industries that the poor put so much of their hard earned money into like tobacco companies and breweries. Hey maybe that's why they are poor.

And taxing oil company profits? Is the guy an idiot?
That will just raise the price of gas.

Socialist liberals need to get over their jealousy of the rich. That's all it is plain and simple. The poor have envy (covet) of what the rich have and they find politicians that will promised to spread the wealth around. With no justification whatsoever other than they think you shouldn't be able to keep what is yours.

They are saying "suck it up and work together" The time to work together was when it was a divided government . Now that the liberals are in power is the time to work against them.
The republicans blew it 8 years ago. They gave in to the liberals way too much when they had control of everything. They also were very corrupt. They have been thrown out because they didn't stand up when it counted.

BUT how insane is it for this country to put into power the party who runs a congress with only 10% or so approval rating? B.O. has the power to mesmerize.

B.O. is even being called the Antichrist in some circles.
I will reserve judgment on that case.

The bible tells us we need to pray for our leaders because God put them in power.
Even the Antichrist will come to power because God wills it.
I will pray for B.O.
I may not like it but I will do it.
I will continue to cling to my God and my guns.

Rant off,
Randy

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the big day

Go vote!!
If you haven't already.
I'm heading out in a few minutes.
Don't complain about the candidates and all that junk, just do it.
If you have to just vote for an issue or a judge.

Get ready for riots.
Win or lose you will need to be careful in the next few days.
I remember Ohio State winning the national championship a couple years ago.
Columbus had riots and they won!! what will happen across the nation?
Just be careful and more alert of your surroundings.

Take care and go vote
Randy

Added:
I just got back....
What a crazy place. I think everyone is voting.
Of course the machine wasn't working and we had to put our ballots in a cardboard box.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Do I have Stupid written on my forehead?

I keep getting filth mail from AHSA or American hunters and shooters association.
What a load of drivel.
They are trying to tell me that Obama is better on gun rights than McCain.
First I will say I am officially voting third party.
Chuck Baldwin has my vote for president.

But I won't stand by and let some idiot spread lies about John McCain in the name of gun owners.

First accusation is that McCain appeared in a gun control ad.
If asking parents to lock up guns so children can't get them is gun control then ok he did.

Next they go to left field. (remember this is a gun "rights" organization)
My comments after the +

* McCain publicly opposed a road building ban on 50 million acres of national forest.
+ great, I grew up in the west and hated how the liberals had closed off more roads year after year.

*McCain supports Bush economic policies
+What does this have to do with gun control?

*McCain supports bad trade deals with China
+Again has to do with gun rights exactly how???

*McCain opposed billions of dollars of conservation funding in the farm bill
+ Again gun rights?

These loons have come out of left field to try and take the heat off of a candidate that is from one of the most gun hating cities in the USSR er.... I mean America.
Obama has voted for every piece of gun control legislation that he has seen.
Don't be fooled by misdirection and outright lies on the part of a liberal front for gun control.
And for the sake of your rights don't give these vermin any of your hard earned dollars.

Randy

Since last time

Not been writing much this last week as you can see.
Got a call Tuesday evening while I was eating dinner.
My second cousin who is a taxedermist hunt for deer in our woods.
His wife was on the line saying he had got a really big one and needed some help.
So I bundled up and made my way out to where he has his stand. I saw some very large tracks in the corn as I worked my way across the cornfield. I finally found him cleaning out a very large 8 point buck. This is the nicest buck I have seen on the place since I have been here. It had a beautiful bronze pelt. He thinks he might do a hlaf mount since it is such a nice looking buck.

Firewood is the theme of the season. I have cut every weekend in October and have been burning the furnace all month also. Working slowly by myself on Saturday I cut just about what I burn in a week. I need to work harder and longer to get ahead for the winter.

I am a little frustrated with writing.
I am working on an article about sun rendered fish oil and its uses.
I submitted a title to Helium "Making and Using Sun Rendered Fish Oil"
They rejected it and in the email they said "we didn't know if this has to do with cooking or sun bathing"
AARRGGG!!!
I think if someone is looking up sun rendered fish oil they will know generally what it's used for.
Otherwise why look it up?

My camera software still won't work but I do have a cheapy camera I might get to work so pictures may be coming back.

I picked 6 or 8 rows of my corn by hand this last week.
It takes a lot longer than I thought it would.
I had gone through it the last couple weeks and picked out a few ears to use for seed next year.
I found maybe two or three more. I do know I really need to use more fertilizer, I have too many small ears. It is interesting to see all the genetics involved. I have al kinds of different ears.
I will try to get the other 30 or so rows picked as time allows.

When I was going to help Marv with his buck I noticed lots of blown over corn in the rented field.
Hurricane Ike did a number of corn around here. I am going to have to figure out an incentive plan for the kids to ick up the ears. Maybe a penny an ear would do it for them.

I get to teach next wednesday night. We will be looking at Job 5. I know I will get as many blank stares as I got a couple weeks ago when I taught Job 4.

I will endeavor to write more often.
Randy

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wheat, Weeds and Wildlife

When I approach a project here on the homestead I usually first ask myself "how did they do it back in the day?" Then I ask "can I do something similar today?"

Growing wheat is a good example. They had ground that was used in rotation . It had a cleaning crop before it, something that was weeded with horse power or by hand. The farmer who rents our land says he thinks wheat is good for the land in rotation but he can't "pencil out" how he can afford to grow it on rented land. So wheat hasn't been grown here since we bought the place. Grandpa had a different farmer renting it when we first moved in and there was wheat in one field then.

Oats is something I haven't seen grown in the area since I was a kid. Oats can be a cleaning crop too from what I have heard. I guess it has a natural weed suppressant in it. I was thinking I could follow oats with wheat. I can't keep a field cleaned of weed without chemicals since I don't work on the homestead full time. Oats , Wheat, Beans, Corn sound like a good rotation I would like to try. I was thinking of hay in there but then I will have grass growing up that needs to be weeded out. I think I will try a permanent pasture with rotating hay fields.

This is all still speculation as I am trying to rotate 4 small fields right now and have not decided on a bean that works good for us. Black eyed peas grew very well last year but Tanya and the kids didn't care for the taste. This year we didn't plant any beans and the only field I have is my corn. It has done the best since I have been planting it. (pics to come)

I mentioned weeds and wildlife in the title. I have a couple overgrown areas along old fence lines and where the old barn used to be. You would think the cover would be good for small game. When my dad was a kid they used to hunt squirrels, rabbits and pheasants like crazy. Seeing the pictures from back then they had clean fences and the woods was clear of undergrowth for the most part since they used it as pasture.

I have more cover for the small game but no animals. I think the problem is the lack of food since no one grows wheat or oats anymore. I still have squirrels in the woods and raccoons coming out of my ears but the rabbit population is very low and I have seen one pheasant since we have lived here. The only gleaning from the field for the wildlife anymore is corn or soybeans, which isn't good enough for the small game animals. Just like it isn't enough for your farm animals.

Growing your own wheat and oats will not only make for healthier soil and livestock but will help the local wildlife as well. The standard corn, soybean, corn rotation just keeps the strain on the land and will eventually wear it out.

Randy

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chrstian prayer and rumination

Rumination of God's word, It's all part of being a follower of Christ. I hesitate to use the word meditation since it has so many eastern religious connotations. But Prayer and meditation on His word is how we communicate with God.

Again I thank Jerri for taking the "use it or lose it" post to a higher level with her comments.
She talked about letting your prayer life get rusty so that we miss the mark with our fellowship with the Lord.

When we fall out of the habit of praying we miss out, we short circut our line of communication. For the christian if we pray once a month or once an hour God will hear us. Where the trouble comes is, will we hear God if we are not used to being in communication with Him?

Many who do not have a good prayer life expect God to make a big noise and get their attention if he wants them to know something. They don't seek fellowship with Him, they have their "fire insurance" and that's all they care about. They tell God "I won't bug you if you don't bug me."
How do I know this? Because I used to be exactly like that. But God designed us for a relationship with Him. He doesn't want to have to wack you up side the head with a 2X4 every time He wants your attention.

Prayer is a simple thing, don't make it more complicated than it is. Some will teach that prayer is a complicated affair involving certain postures or certain words repeated over and over. Talking to God in your head is praying just as much as getting down on your knees or falling flat on your face. It is about the heart not the posture or the words. God promises us in His word that the Holy Spirit will make intercession for us when we don't know what to say. That means if we are praying the Holy Spirit is praying right along with us.

Then how do we hear back from God? I talked about rumination on His word. We need to be in communication, we also need to be in study God speaks through His word (the bible) yes He can speak so we hear it but that is rare, don't expect a big booming voice to fill the sky.

In IKings 19 Elijah had fled into the wilderness and he went up on a mountain and a great wind roared by that broke rocks but the Lord was not in the wind. Then there was a great earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake. Then a fire but again the lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a "still small voice". The still small voice was the Lord.

If we are not careful we can miss the Lord when he speaks. Neglecting our prayer and study will make it all the more likely the still small voice will pass unheard.

Randy

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another word about the ads

I have seen a few ads that I really don't like show up in the ad bars.
I have finally figured out how to filter them.
It will be a slow process for me to get the ones I really disagree with removed but I will try to be vigilant in doing so. Please don't judge my beliefs by the ads you see google put up.
It will be an ongoing process.
Thanks
Randy

lamb and mashed potatoes

In August we had a get together here at the homestead for folks that post on Frugals forums.(see link at right) Brother Silicon and his wife brought a Shetland ram that we butchered as a demo.




I dug out the old butchering tripod from one of the sheds and we set in to skinning. To kill the ram with we used an old Quackenbush .22 that was this farms butchering gun. I don't have any pics of the actual butchering since I was gabbing with the others while it was going on.


Swamprat is shown here cutting up some meat to stir-fry. He put it in a wok with ghee(clarified butter) and onions, then added curry spices. I ate some stuffed in a pita and I can tell you it was extremely good. He set the wok right on the charcoal grill after I had BBQ'd a nice chunk of meat.


This was the BBQ'd hunk-o-lamb a little tough but very tastey.
At the end of the day Brother Silicon and His wife told us we could keep what was left of the meat so we all divied it up.
Last week Tanya took out a piece and roasted it. She also took a bunch of our potato harvest and made dirty mashed potatoes.(mashed with the skins still on) A couple cans of store bought sweet corn rounded out the meal. I ate it for three nights in a row it was sooooo good.

Randy

Monday, October 13, 2008

Use it or lose it

A church about 2 miles from the house had a mens breakfast and trap shoot Saturday morning.
Pretty good biscuits and gravy!!
I took my Winchester 1897 12ga. pump and shot .
I was in the first round I went 1/10 I was so embarrassed. Then I watched everyone else shoot only a couple guys did much better.
Dad had brought my old Browning Citori. This is the first gun I bought with my own money when I was 12 and its a very sweet gun. I ended up trading it to dad a few years back for a couple other guns. I don't even remember which ones now. I'm sure one of my kids will end up with it someday.

Anyway I only hit 2/10 with it.....embarrassed again. When I was walking a way from the line someone I didn't even know said "what happened?" I replied "I can't shoot".
I used to be a crack shot, a couple friends from back when I was a teenager still mention it occasionally.

When I lived in Colorado I was up in the mountains all the time running around on the dirt roads exploring or just driving. I always would do some shooting of some sort. Here I sit on our 30 acres and only shoot if I see something to shoot at like a groundhog. I have missed a few of them over the seven years we have been here.

Tanya say's "Maybe you should shoot more" (Bless her heart)
It's the truth I have lost some of my shooting ability and I would love to shoot more but with the price of ammo I can't shoot as much as I would like.

My point is: Skills deteriorate, keep them honed if you think you will need them.
I have a small shooting range set up from a get together I had at the place in August.
I plan on using it on a regular basis with all different types of guns. (Rifle,Pistol, Shotgun)

A word on safety.
Teach your children well.
There was a man and his grandson at the shoot on Saturday.
The man was shooting at one station and the grandson at the one next to him.
The grandson was having trouble with his gun and the grandpa was over helping him out.
The grandpa turned to go back to his shooting station and swept us all with the muzzle of his loaded gun. After the official rounds were over they were lined up again to shoot and the grandson fired a round into the ground pointed right in our direction. It hit five feet in front of him but he should never of been facing our direction with a loaded gun. Even though the grandfather had modeled the behavior it was wrong. All ended well and no one was hurt but it could easily of been bad.

About eight years ago I was camping in Colorado with a guy and his family I had met at Frugals web site. He had two young boys and we were shooting his MAK90. He had just bought it and wasn't very familiar with it. He was done shooting and was trying to remove the magazine when BAAAM! he hit the trigger instead of the magazine release.

He had the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and the round went downrange. We were very shaky after that though. It was a teaching point for his boy's , we were able to point out "Thats why you always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction"

Shooting skill is like any other use it or it gets bad. Someone pointed out on Saturday "It's not like riding a bike" I would have to agree.
Randy

Friday, October 10, 2008

He who controls your food controls your life

We are living in interesting times to say the least.
The financial markets are going crazy.
Have you started to prepare yet?
How long are you able to eat from your stocks of food?
Are you worried?
Some will say well you're a Christian, why are you tryng to be prepared. Didn't Jesus say to take no thought for tomorrow?
That is true. It is in reference to the sermon on the mount in Matthew.
The phrase "Take thought" in the Greek means to be anxious or careful or in other words worried.
It is telling us not to worry, not that we should throw out all thought of tomorrow.
The bible says in II Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"
That said think of Joseph in Egypt God had him prepare for seven years getting ready for the famine. Read proverbs it is all about preparing and living the good and Godly life.

I mentioned the ten virgins in an earlier entry: Matt 25
We have five wise virgins and five foolish virgins. You know the story. The word for foolish in the Greek is actually the same word we get moron from.
What modern Christians fail to see in this story is why were the virgins foolish? Why were they morons? Because they didn't prepare. It will be spiritualized from the pulpit but the fact remains Jesus was speaking to people who understood hardship and could see how stupid it was to not be prepared. And did the wise virgins share their oil? Nope! This should also give modern Christians pause.

Moving on I hesitate to mention elections but I think a point or two should be adressed from a preparedness standpoint. There have been threats of violence should one of the candidates lose.
I would like to point out that we most likely could be in for some violence no matter the outcome of the election. A couple years ago Ohio Stae won the national championship in football. Columbus Ohio erupted into rioting, looting and burning as a result. Imagine this happening on a national scale. I am not saying it will hapen but it is something to be aware of if you live in or near an urban center.

My prayer is that God gives you the forsight to prepare so that He can control your life instead of some government agency or worse yet a petty warlord.

Randy

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Weekend Projects Sans Photos

I worked on a couple projects this weekend but the camera software seems to have died.
I uninstalled it and am trying to reinstall as I type this but the program just locks up so I think something more is wrong.

I dug potatoes this weekend and had a real nice picture of the small little pile.
They didn't do very well for me. I was reading Sunday night and realized I confused potatoes and root crops. You don't want to fertilize root crops very much or you get forked roots. Potatoes on the other hand like a lot of manure. Well they didn't get any hence my poor production.

I grew them in a large box I made from 2X12 floor joists I got from the remodel at work. The box was about 9 feet long and I cut up the seed and put a piece about every 14". I then covered them with straw. When the plants grew up out of the straw I added more. I kept at it until a couple weeks ago. I had a small infestation of tomato worms until they found the brandywines.

When I forked them out I was surprised how hard and compacted the dirt was beneath them. It was covered all summer with straw and was not walked on at all but was still very hard. I guess I need more organic matter for this heavy soil. I put in three packed down pickup truck loads of leaves last fall and tilled them in this spring. I also added eight wheel barrow loads of poultry litter. But this was for the whole garden and obviously I needed more.

We also went to an animal trade show/flea market on Saturday. They have one every spring and fall about 10 miles from the house. We went looking for chickens since we wanted to get some again. There was not a huge selection and some of the prices I though were kinda expensive. A lot of folks wanted $10 each for birds.

We ended up getting two Americauna pullets and one Americauna rooster for $5 each and then picked up 3 Silver laced Wyandot pullets for $6 each. They should all be about ready to lay next month. Americauna's lay blue/green/pink eggs the Wyandots lay brown eggs. A friend had Silver laced Wyandots before and told me they were kind of flighty. But after having white leghorns last year I figured I could handle a couple of these. All six of them seem very docile in the coop and I even petted the rooster last night.

Our first Americauna roosters 4 years ago were very bad with children and even grown ups. The ones we sold in June were very friendly. We had raised both sets from eggs, I don't know why they were so different.

I have to give Tanya some credit here. She went and worked on the chicken coop to get it ready for the birds while I was down in the woods cutting firewood. She repaired the inside wire and shoveled out a lot of the old bedding.

We fired up the outdoor wood furnace on thursday night. So now I have wood heat and wood heated hot water. It is so much nicer than the electric on demand water heater.

Hope I can get the software figured out because I have some good pictures to share.
Randy

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Writing is getting fun

I mentioned the opportunity I might get being a featured writer on RFD America.
Check this out LINK
I have written most of my adult life but it has been mostly for myself. In the 90's I wrote a couple articles for a local magazine in Colorado. I started posting on forums in 1999 and it has progressed from one sentence posts, to articles written on Helium, and this blog. Now here I am writing more than I ever thought I would. Plus it looks like there are more and more opportunities for the future than I ever thought possible.

I have a novel I am working on (Don't we all LOL). I put up the first chapter in rough draft form when I joined Helium in January. I have noticed all of a sudden in the last month or so that excerpt has been read quite a bit. I think I had better edit it and get in gear finishing the whole thing just in case some publisher stumbles across it and likes it. I have posted some chapters on Frugals and on the Gulch but am going to have to rework those since they got posted as I wrote and are going to have to be replotted to follow along the main story.

I was thinking back on writing and recalled the first story I remember writing. It was a space monster story about this alien that killed everyone on a spaceship except for the last person alive who killed it. I think it was sixth grade or so, before Alien the movie came out.

John at Frugals (Frugal himself) encouraged me in this way. He said to me "You seem like you have something to say". I would encourage anyone who has" something to say" to get writing and share with the world. The internet makes it easy.......If you want to try Helium contact me and I will send you an invitation.

Randy

Friday, October 3, 2008

3 weeks and the outhouse

Last night was three weeks of The Prepared Christian Blog.
I have not been up to par with my writing since I have been under the weather.
Everything I have written this last week sounds really weird.

I was asked to write a Bio and provide a picture for a website to be a "featured writer" so we will see what comes of that. I will put in a link if and when it gets on the site. Who knows maybe it will be my 15 minutes of fame. The website is RFD America it's a pretty cool new site dedicated to providing rural Americans news and commentary that is geared toward us, not just the population centers.

I promised some info on the outhouse I built.
I went and took a couple pictures since a picture is worth a thousand words.

Here is an outside view of the finished product.
I started with a basic pallet and put on a plywood floor. Then I built a frame of scrap 2x4's and sheathed it with the scrap sign material I have talked about in the past. This was the plastic only stuff and I just nailed it on and trimmed it to fit with my pocket knife. I put a small chunk of metal roofing I had on for the roof.

The door is a banner with metal "D" rings on the corners I got from the same sign shop that I get all the used sign board. It was for a fireman's fund raiser and when it was over they threw them away(I have one more stashed away). I have it nailed in three places and it closes up the opening really well.

Here is the inside shot of the outhouse.
Again a frame of scrap 2x4's was used with a piece of plywood with a hole cut to hold the seat.
The five gallon bucket gets an inch or two of sawdust or grass clippings in the bottom. One coffee can holds a roll of TP the other has sawdust. I wrote instructions on the wall with marker.
"when you are finished put a handful of sawdust in the bucket"
When the bucket gets close to full the contents will be buried in the woods. This has not happened yet as we use this very seldom and the contents seem to compost down well.

The outhouse is very light. I pulled it down to the woods with a tow rope and my truck. But to get it where I wanted it I just pulled it by hand with the tow rope. The sign board is translucent so a lot of light gets in and it is not dark inside.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it is white and can be seen from the road.
That about wraps up the outhouse.

I am starting a new schedule today. I got up at 4am did some exercise, showered, checked my internet stuff and then started writing. If I am going to get serious about writing I need to make more time for it and this is the only part of the day not taken up. Keep me in your prayers so I can be more consistent and helpful.

Randy

Monday, September 29, 2008

777 End of the world? nope

Dow dropped 777 and change today.
The panic is all over the net, people want their money and don't want congress to give it to bad businesses.

Our "leaders" want the bailout to pass but they are afraid to be the one to vote for it with elections in five weeks. You know if this happened mid term they would pass some form of giving away our money to people who misused it to begin with.

We have been borrowing against our future for years and someday the payments are going to come due. Our country is a great nation but I don't see mention of it in the studies of the end times that I have done. Yes MAYBE we could be the great Babylon but I doubt it. I feel we are going to be unable to do anything when the whole world stands against Israel.

This means we will be destroyed or powerless. Either way it should serve as a wake up call to those who are on the fence about whether they should prepare or not. Have you taken care of your debt? Do you have a way to feed yourself? Keep yourself clothed, or a roof over your head?
If you had to could you take your family and live in the woods?

Think it's far fetched? read Mark chapter13 or Luke 21
I do not think the USofA will be a force in end times.
Many think we are coming into the very last days......if you do prepare.
Your first step if you haven't already taken it is to receive Christ as your savior.
Then you have taken care of your eternal preparations.

Randy

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Two weeks and all's well / Freecycle

Here we are two weeks into The Prepared Christian blog and I haven't given up yet. (don't worry I'm not even thinking of it)
A quick check before I started writing shows 340+ total page views since we started two weeks ago. So that's a little more than double from our one week anniversary.

From the little bit of feedback I have gotten it seems you all are enjoying what little I have written so far. If you know me or have been around the forums I have frequented for the last nine years.(see my links on the right) You will know I post a lot of my mistakes hoping that someone will learn a lesson from it and not have to go through what I did. Some people don't see why I do this and think I am a clumsy fool but I hope you see different.

Some projects I am working on posting:
-I built an Outhouse from scraps
-loads and loads of lumber from a remodel at work
-raised beds out in the poor soil where the barn was torn down
-Tanya wants a cold frame to plant greens in. I picked some windows up from freecycle I can use for it.

Speaking of freecycle if you haven't joined a local freecycle group you really should.

What it is in a nutshell:
People post things they are willing to give away. People see these posts and if they are interested they will contact the poster and arrange a pickup. You can also post things you want or need and you never know you might get it.

Things I have gotten:
-laptop computer (old but ok for my writing)
-2 dozen blue ball canning jars
-the previously mentioned windows
-a Mac computer
-15 volume bible commentary from 1864 (not complete but awesome study)
-gas grill
-riding mower(needed work)
-brand new 2.5 briggs engine for a push mower
-boxes of books
-trash bags of cloths for the kids
-2000 baseball cards from the 80's and 90's (yes really 2000 of them in two nice plastic boxes delivered to my work)
-lots more.....

We have also listed several things to give away
- the Mac computer (realized I didn't really need it)
-lots of veggies from the garden
-a bunch of chickens more than once

You see this plain and simple recycling all of it free thus freecycle.
People give away yardsale leftovers all the time. I even saw someone who cleaned out their garage and said "come and get it". A person could make a small living if they stayed on top of all the stuff listed and then sold the good stuff on ebay. It is a Yahoo group and you can get emails every time someone posts in your area. I am signed up for two areas since I live between two small cities.

Don't be bashful about leaving a comment here about The Prepared Christian
Tell me what you like or don't like.
Also what would you like to learn more about?
Their are so many avenues to explore in this lifestyle it would be impossible for one family to go down them all.

I am working on a study in Matthew 25 about the ten virgins.
This will probably be the next bible study I post.

Randy

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Got Melamine?

You have no doubt heard about the melamine in the Chinese milk by now.
It has been in pet food they have sent us and baby bottles and now even the milk.
If you have not heard here is a link:
Nearly 53,000 China babies sickened by milk powder

Where does your food come from?
Do you know the farmer who grew it, or the rancher who raised it or how about the butcher who cut it up? If you don't, you really don't know what you are putting in your body. It could be as bad or worse than the Melamine.

In order to be prepared we need to have some control over our food supply. What can you grow?
Even someone in an apartment can grow a window box of lettuce and spinach. At least try to hit the farmers market in season. Buying locally may sound like a liberal talking point but it is a good idea.

Being on the homestead I am striving for some control of what we eat. Just today the farmer who rents one of our fields combined his soybeans. I took Ivy our three year old daughter for a walk across the field and she picked a hand full of missed beans. I could fill a five gallon bucket in a hour or so without a problem just from the beans the combine missed. Yes these are roundup ready GMO soybeans but they are still unprocessed and nothing has been added to them.

We will do the same thing when the corn is picked. The farmer has about 15 acres planted on our land and there is always plenty lying around when he is done. We are getting some more chickens soon. We sold our 50 this summer and I sure miss the roosters crowing. The feed bills were just killing us and people stopped buying eggs. We had hundreds of eggs with no way to get rid of them. We gave away a bunch at church every Sunday.

I think a grass based approach will be the best for us someday. Grass grows for free and goats sheep and cows are made to eat it. I read an article somewhere (sorry can't remember or I would cite it) about making and selling butter. The gist of it was the butter fat is taking nothing form your soil and it is pure sunshine. I think it was called selling sunshine from your farm or some such name.

Our shortcoming right now is fence. When I was a kid the whole countryside was fenced and cross fenced. I now have one on my north boundary but it is far from animal tight. I was just talking with someone a couple weeks ago and he said the price of fence as gone out of sight. Everything takes money but is your health and safety worth it?

Randy

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Working in the woods


Cutting firewood was a little warm today, temperature was around 80.
It took a lot out of me, I guess I should add fitness to the preparing list.
I cut about a tank of gas worth of wood this afternoon.
I cut mostly red oak with one 20 foot length of ironwood and a little basswood.
I know basswood is terrible firewood but I burn it in the fall and spring when the demand is not as high and it does a good job. I can also burn dead wood I pick up off the ground at that time so I can save my good wood for the dead of winter.
The ole poulan pro seems to be running good in it's 3rd year. Not the best saw but the 20" bar cuts pretty good. Not even close to dad's 20" Johnsered but the Johnsered has about 15 more cc's. I am cutting up the smaller stuff in the woods and as soon as the corn is off I will start pulling logs up to the house with the tractor.

We had the woods logged three years ago and I have been cutting left over tops and whatever falls down. This is a view of a part that was logged looking northwest. Very overgrown with vegetation and lots of very small saplings. I am trying to set up a trail system that I will be able to make a circut in the woods to harvest wood in the future.


The picture was take from the same spot looking southwest. The whole woods is mixed like this now. I'm hoping the deer will like it and they will pay me back with venison. I noticed several very large basswood trees I would like to cut down. Plus there are some nice saleable trees that could be sold now but we will wait at least five more years. The forester said 10 years between cuttings is about right so it will probably be seven more. If I had the money I'd get a portable sawmill and load up on lumber.

Thoreau was right about wood warming you twice. Once when you cut and another when it is burnt.

Randy

new article on homesteading

I have written a new article on Helium about generating income on the homestead.
It is not a comprehensive article by any means but is meant to jump start your idea process.
If I have learned anything about homesteading it is that as much as we have in common, what works for one person will not necessarily work for the next.
The whole purpose of the prepared christian is to get you thinking about how you can use what God has given you, for His glory and to expand His kingdom.
If you look at the last point I made in the sermon on "Living a quite life" you will see I said something like we can't help others if we are the ones that need the help.
The way this country is headed is frightful if you don't have Christ.
If you do have Christ then you have taken the first step.
I pray you will be able to take more.
Randy

You can see the article here:
http://www.helium.com/items/1185877-homestead-income

Thursday, September 18, 2008

One week old today

The prepared christian blog is a stunning one week old today.
According to my tracking we have had about 150 page hits this first week.
Good job everyone....get the word out and tell your friends.
I picked up the car this evening and it ran!!! So now I will be getting at least a 10mpg improvement over the truck.
Planning on cutting firewood on Saturday.
I'll put up some pictures.
Randy

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The challenge of vehicle ownership

I wrote in an earlier post about how we are having all three of the vehicles worked on this month, it cost about $1000. It has been a real challenge to remain calm in dealing with this issue.

Our van blew a brake line last week. When we bought it we purchased an expensive extended warranty from the dealer. This warranty has almost paid for itself but the company refused to pay for the brake line because the dealer did the repair while he was waiting for the company to call back with the authorization. The company did not call back in the time they had said they would and the dealer knew the repair needed done regardless so he did it.

From what I understand the dealer went round and round with this company and went up the chain two supervisors but they still refused to pay. The dealer told Tanya that he lost his cool and yelled at the supervisor and it really takes a lot to make him lose his cool.

So it turns out this company who shall remain nameless(this is not going to be one of those kind of blogs) decided they would rather lose myself as a customer and my dealer as a representative over a $75 repair bill. So if my dealer is telling the truth he tossed all the warranty sales material in the trash.

In addition to this I had the car in for a new fuel pump and a tuneup. I went to pick it up last night and the battery was dead. So I called the dealer this morning and he put a charger on it and I went to pick it up tonight. Well it wouldn't start unless I gave it gas. It's supposed to start on idle since it's fuel injection. Once I got it started it died every time I took my foot off the pedal. So I took my keys back around and put them in the key drop. I guess I get to talk to him again tomorrow. You would think he would be tired of hearing from me by now.

This is just the latest in the rash of vehicle failures in the last couple months. They have eaten into the budget big time. But that's what the emergency fund is for right?

Randy