Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sprouted Wheat Berry Bread ---- A New Adventure in Bread Making

A New Adventure in Bread Making

One of my goals for this year has been to get back into  baking fresh, homemade whole wheat bread for my family... but just as I was trying to get myself into gear to do so, I started experiencing health issues like low immunity and gastric distress.  So, I did a bit of research on the web on the topic of Gluten Intolerance; looking at gluten free recipes, and guess what?  Wheat has gluten ~smile~  Well, I knew that, I'd been adding gluten flour to my recipe for years, to enhance it's texture and produce a loaf more like the kind you can purchase at the grocery store.

So, I'm thinking to myself, "I can't eat wheat on a gluten free diet" and then I came across articles about soaking grains, soaking flour, and sprouting grains, to break down the phytic acid that is contained in grains and legumes.

I doubt that I have a severe case of gluten intolerance, but I do want to try and do everything I can to alleviate the digestive issues I've been dealing with; and with the added nutrition that soaked or sprouted wheat berries have, I'm hoping to increase my bodies ability to have a stronger immune system.

So, after reading quite a few articles on the web that deal with the topic of allergies to wheat, and how it affects people in many different ways, I began to understand how this may be one of the reasons why so many people develop allergies to wheat in the form it is usually found in our modern day diet.  

For the most part, the flour we purchase in our local grocery store is  old, dead, flour; with not much nutritional content to speak of, because all of the germ, bran and wonderful oil has been stripped from the grain during the process of grinding the berries into flour.  

Whole grain flour loses it's nutrients within days of being ground.  And most Americans eat white flour products to boot!  There are two ways to avoid losing the nutrients and enzymes wheat has to offer.  Grind your own wheat berries into flour, and then soak that flour for 8-12 hours in an acidic medium, like organic apple cider vinegar.  Or, soak wheat berries and then put them through a meat grinder and use the mash to make bread.

Wheat (and many other grains and legumes) contain phytic acid, which is an "anti nutrient" that inhibits the grain or legume from releasing it's nutrients and enzymes.  But soaking your whole grain flour or whole grains (or legumes) does away with phytic acid, allowing the nutrients and enzymes to flow into the food.

  • The most intriguing fact I found while researching this topic was this:  There are increased amounts of many vitamins, minerals and beneficial enzymes in soaked grains!  And sprouted grains have even more nutritional content.

  • So, where to start?  Well, I decided to just jump right in ---  full steam ahead!  

    I got a bag of frozen hard red wheat berries out of the freezer last night, I forgot to weigh it, but I bet there are at least 5#'s of wheat berries there to work with.  

    So, last night, (Saturday) I put the wheat berries in a big pot and filled the pot with water, leaving enough room in  the pot for the berries to soak up water.

    Sunday Afternoon:  I rinsed the wheat berries in stages, and divided them into three extra large Pyrex (yellow) bowls; and set those on my stove and covered them with a flour sack towel.  (To let them "do their thing" ~smile~)

    I plan on using some for sprouting; some for blending in the blender and making a few loaves of "flour-less" bread; and some for experimenting with other recipes. 

    Sunday Evening: I will rinse and drain the berries, and from what I've read, I may start to see white roots that are beginning to emerge.  Then I will place the berries back into their bowls, and let them continue to sit at room temperature for another 8 to 12 hours.
    Monday Morning:  I will rinse and drain the berries one more time.
    Monday Afternoon: The berries are ready when their roots are about 1/4 inch long;  or the size of the wheat berry itself. Rinse and drain the berries one more time. The sprouts are ready to use right away. You can store them for a day or two by patting them dry and storing covered in the refrigerator.
    So, now I'm off to find a recipe or two or three to work with, I will post them as soon as I can!  Happy May 1st everyone!

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    A Simple, Honest, Lucrative Work at Home Idea! Varolo

    I am a stay at home wife, and I have been blessed to have a wonderful husband
    that preferred for me to be a full time homemaker instead of a career woman
    with a job outside of our home. 

    But in today's economy, who couldn't use a few extra dollars every month? 
    (I personally know of no one who is in that category!) 

    So, my family did some research into ways to use our computer to make extra income,
    and we think we've come across a very lucrative and easy to implement,
    on-line business that is so simple, and so easy to fit into our schedule each day,
    that we can't believe more people don't know about this! 

    Imagine, logging into your PC each day, and spending just a few minutes
    watching a few short commercials.
    (And you can tailor the ads you watch to fit your personal tastes!)

    After watching each short ad, just click a button to give your input on the commercial ----

    It is that simple! 

    There is no cost to join or belong, ever! 
    You don't have to give out your personal information like most
    "work at home" jobs on-line, and one more bonus, this company has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau!

    (The only reason they have an A- versus an A+ is because they are a
    new company with just 7 months under their belt; and they have
    just one week to go until their official launch date. 
    They have great customer service, and are prompt to reply to your questions!) 

    You can do a web search and try to find something negative about this company,
    you won't be able to find anything!
    (Unlike many other on-line job offers you will find on-line, that just waste your time!)

    This company, Varolo, has huge potential!

    If this sounds like something you would like to consider doing----
    Please go to this link and follow the 7 easy steps!

    You will become a member of my Varolo Village,
    and on your way to building your own Varolo Village!
    I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    The "Zig-zag" Diet Plan

    This isn't a new diet "per say" but it is new to me.  It goes by other names as well -----  

    I first heard about it being referred to as  the "Calorie Shifting" diet plan.  Then I found it referred to as the "Calorie Cycling" diet plan... but I prefer the last reference I found it labeled under:  "The Zig-Zag Diet".  This diet plan interests me for many reasons:

    1.  It recommends you eat many small meals a day, which is becoming a very popular and scientifically supported and productive dieting tip.

    2.  It gives you "cheat days" where you can indulge, within reason, so you don't feel deprived.

    3.  It is balanced, no food is banned, but common sense is stressed, so you can eat the foods you want, you just need to factor them in at the right time, and on the right days.

    Here are the basics:

    The 1-2-3 rule, when following the diet plan:

    In each of your meals, approximately 1 part of the calories should come from fats, 2 parts from protein and 3 parts from carbohydrates. 

    This is a guideline, not a hard-and-fast law. Just keep your fat intake down to a low level but do not eliminate fat completely, as some fat is essential for maintaining good health, but make wise choices like olive oil; sesame oil; or coconut oil.

    Consume enough protein and carbohydrates in comparison to your energy output.  Carbs are your body's preferred energy fuel source.  Remember that protein and carbohydrates both have 4 calories per gram, while fat has 9 calories per gram.  Choose smart carbs like whole grains and try to limit your white flour/white sugar intake. 

    Next, you will  need to discover how many calories you will need to consume each day, times that number by 7 (your weekly caloric intake number) and chart out your eating plan.
    Here is a link to a BMI calculator, that will help you determine how many calories you need to consume each day:  Calorie Calculator

    On a busy day, I could eat 1900 calories to maintain the weight I'm at now.  On a relaxed day, I should only eat around 1750 calories, to maintain the weight I'm at now.  But, I want to lose weight (a lot of weight!)  And since 1 pound of body fat is equal to approximately 500 calories, I will need to shave 2000 calories out of my weekly menu to lose 2 lbs. of weight each week.  

    So, by "shifting" or "cycling" my calories in a "Zig-zag" pattern, my body is not able to predict how many calories I'm going to be eating on any given day or week, thus, the theory is, it won't go into starvation mode, nor will it become stalled out on a plateau of normalcy.  

    A Zig-zag week for me might look something like this:

    I calculated how many calories I can eat a day to be 1850 calories; times that by 7 =  13,000

    So my week might look like this:

    Monday:  1750
    Tuesday:  2000
    Wednesday: 1750
    Thursday:  1750
    Friday:  1800

    Which leaves me with 3800 calories to split; and because it's a weekend, I can choose to go a bit heavy on Saturday, if I have a date night planned with my husband.  Or, if I have a pot-luck after church on Sunday scheduled on my calendar, I would probably choose to use my heavy calorie day there instead.

    So, you can be flexible, and here is what my weekend might look like:

    Saturday:  1800
    Sunday:  2150

    The key is to keep your metabolism "guessing" and don't let it get complacent in it's expectations of how many calories you will be eating on any given day --- switch it up!

    Don't allow your weeks to remain the same either, little switches is all it takes!

    Zig and then zag!

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Tis the Season --- hoe, hoe, hoe. . . For Pondering Gardening!

    I am just itching for spring, and as I sit here in my cozy home, with snow and ice falling outside my window today, I figured it's time to start gathering seed catalogs and ordering my garden seeds for 2011.  We plant only Heirloom / Open Pollinated vegetable seeds, so we can save seeds (and thereby save money on seeds in the future, plus share them with family and friends!).

    Here is a list of some catalogs that offer Heirloom seeds:
    Annie's Heirloom Seeds
    Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
    Seed Savers
    Abundant Life Seeds
    Victory Seeds

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    A new loom, "looming" in my future....

    My husband is building me a sock loom, and I'm very excited to get a chance to try it out!  We have to make a trip into town to look for "cotter pins" (they are the little pegs or pins that the yarn is wound around in order for the actual knitting to take place) and it will be done!  I'll post some pictures when I get it up and running! I'm hoping I might actually be able to learn to knit socks with this method!  Worse case scenario is I'll have a closet full of leg warmers and hats!  Stay tuned!

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    Knitting Board Blog

    Build your own adjustable knitting loom!

    Here are some web sites that show you how to build a wooden adjustable knitting loom:

    Plans and instructions
    Suggestions for gauges to use when building your loom(s):
    Loom Gauges
    Gauge Peg Dist. Stitches
    per Inch
    Yarn Recommendations
    Large 5/8" 2.5 1 strand of Super Bulky (6)
    1 strand of Bulky (5)
    2 strands of Medium (4)
    Regular 1/2" 3 1 strand of Bulky (5)
    2 strands of Medium (4)
    Small 4/9" 3.5 1 strand of Medium (4)
    2 strands of Light (3)
    Extra Small 3/8" 4 1 strand of Medium (4)
    2 strands of Light (3)
    Fine 1/4" 5 1 strand of Light (3)
    1-2 strands of Fine (2)
    2 strands of Super Fine (1)
    Extra Fine 3/16" 7-8 1 strand of Fine (2)
    1 strand of Super Fine (1)

    Looms from Knitting

     These are examples of knitting boards; aka "knitting looms" made by  I love their metal pegs with grooves on the smaller sock loom; and I am trying to find a source for those type of pegs. 

    Until then, we will use "Cotter Pins" (found at most hardware stores, or try Fastener Mart where I got 500 for around $16.00.  (It will take almost 200 just to do one double loom; and my husband was having so much fun building the first one, he played around with another style, so now I have two looms to play with!  (One will most likely find a new home soon at my daughters house!) 

    And because we will have 100 left over Cotter Pins, I hinted really hard that I would like a smaller one sock loom like the last picture above with the green yarn, so it can travel with me!  I am trying to secure better pins/pegs for future looms, and I will post pictures of the completed looms when they are up and running!

    Thursday, January 6, 2011

    One more list for items to have on hand in emergency situations....

    Main Food Staples
    Beef - Cooked and Canned
    Pork – Cooked and Canned
    Chicken - Canned
    Sardines (optional)
    Tuna / Canned Seafood
    Assorted Cheese (can be frozen)

    Flour – unbleached white
    Bisquick - baking mix
    Corn starch
    Baking powder
    Baking soda
    Salt  (3 lbs per person)           
    Cayenne Pepper -  1 large can
    Herbal Seasonings
    Sugar  (60 lbs per person)

    Whole wheat berries
    Rice, (100 lbs per person)
    Corn meal  
    Peas (50 lbs per person)
    Beans  (50 lbs per person)
    Lentils  (50 lbs per person)
    Dried Beans / Split Peas

    Poppy Seeds
    Oatmeal (50 lbs per person)
    Noodles / Pasta / Top Ramen
    Dried Potato Mixes

    Dried Milk (80 lbs per person)
    Powdered Coffee and Tea
    Kool-Aid and Instant Fruit Drinks
    Gatorade dry mix drink

    Honey  (60 lbs per person)
    Maple Syrup
    Peanut butter (50 lbs per person)

    Granola Bars
    Mixed Nuts
    Bottled Water

    Canned Goods
    Green Beans
    Fruit cocktail
    Canned Vegetables
    Canned Pineapple
    Canned Pumpkin
    Canned Potatoes
    Canned Yams
    Canned Berries
    Canned Pie Fillings
    Canned Chili
    Canned Soups
    Pasta Sauce
    Refried Beans

    Sunflower Seeds

    Cake Mixes
    Pudding mixes
    Bread Mixes
    Canned Frosting

    Dried Cereals
    Dried Fruits

    Olive Oil
    Grapeseed oil

    Other Needs to Consider
    Garbage Bags
    Dish Soap
    Laundry Soap
    Fabric Softener
    Toilet Tissue
    Paper Towels
    Nose Tissues
    Stacks of Old Newspaper
    Bee Sting Kit
    Coffee Grinder
    Whole Wheat Grinder 
    Meat Grinder

    Medications (OTC & Rx)

    Dog Food
    Cat Food
    Livestock feed
    Medications for your pets

    Cleaning Equipment
    Vacuum cleaners
    Soaps of various kinds
    Air spray / freshener
    Cleaning supplies

    Mosquito netting
    Bug spray
    Bug repellent
    Bee sting kits
    Snake bite kits
    Sleeping bags
    Rain slickers
    Hiking boots
    Extra dry socks
    Rain boots
    Air mattresses
    Puncture kits
    Rain repellent coating paint
    Ridge poles
    Pins and rings
    Repair kits
    Bungee stretch cords
    Air hand or foot pump
    Wool blankets
    Folding camp stools
    Folding tables
    Folding pots, pans and utensils
    Back packs
    Climbing gear
    Pick axe

    Survival Food Kits
         Hard sausage
         Sticks of beef jerky
         Canned bacon
         Powdered orange drink
         Powdered coffee or tea
         Granola bars
         Peanut butter and honey
         Instant soups
         Minute rice
         Instant  mashed potatoes
         Mixed nuts
         Dehydrated fruits

    Must Haves
    Propane Stove
    Propane Heater
    Halogen Lamp
    Head Lamp flashlight (LED)
    (Get the new type you shake with LED bulbs)
    Insulated food and drink containers
    Waterproof matches
    Fire sticks
    Magnesium fire starter

    Insect repellent
    Sun screen
    Portable toilet facilities/bags
    Toilet tissue

    Foxhole shovels
    Mini tool kit
    Snow Shoes (in winter or in the mountains)

    Things to know
    Keep extra gasoline and a gallon of water in the car.  Keep a sleeping bag and blankets in the car.
    Keep at least 5 gallons of drinking water in the house. One gallon per person per day.  (Use GSE drops to keep it from developing algae if you are on a spring or free flow water system)

    Boil water after an emergency situation. - Don't take chances with possibly contaminated water.

    Keep on hand a supply of dried fruits and nuts at least 5 days worth per person.

    Have basins or buckets to catch rain water in.

    Have a supply of water purification tablets or bleach - plan to boil water otherwise.

    Have a good first aid kit.

    Fill bathtub with water to use to flush toilet, replenish with rain water as needed.  (Good to know if your pipes freeze or your water gets shut off!)

    Eye glasses
    Magnifying glasses
    “How To” books
    Diapers - cloth only
    Women's cloth pads - no disposable pads

    Bartering, a new "old" way of doing business...

     In these uncertain times, I like to look back in time and see how people carried on their daily lives. (And did so with ease, in most cases, even without ready cash on hand!)  Here is a list of items I want to try to have on hand to use as a form of barter, but also to make our daily life a bit more "do-able" in case things aren't "normal" (as in a non steady flow of electricity or high fuel costs that would make it something we would have to really regulate how much we use on a daily basis; and possible unaffordable fuel costs that would make travel to and fro something we would need to learn to curtail as well:

    Lamp Oil, (Kerosene) Wicks, Lamps
    (Thrift stores and garage sales are a good place to look now, but will become scarce if times change for the worse)
    Lamp Mantles: Aladdin, Coleman, etc. (Without this item, longer-term lighting is difficult)
    Coleman  Fuel cylinders ($2.69-$3.99/gal.) to operate lamps and camp stoves.
    Candles; Charcoal; Lighter fluid  
    Propane Cylinders (To use our propane BBQ as a cook stove in the event we are without power)
    Lantern Hangers
    Gasoline containers (Plastic or Metal - metal for longer term storage)  
    Matches (3 box/$1 .44; Strike Anywhere)

    Honey, real maple syrup, sugars and flour (freeze flour in moisture proof bags if possible)
    Rice - Beans - Wheat (some churches have get-to-gethers and repackage food in #10 cans with oxygen absorbers.)
    Olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil 
    Vitamins  and herbal supplements; GSE; Advil, aspirin, decongestant, etc.
    Milk - Powdered & Condensed (Shake liquid every 3 to 4 months.) 
    Canned Tuna Fish or wild caught Salmon (in oil) Sardines in oil if you like them; canned meat
    Garlic, spices; vinegar, baking soda and powder; yeast (keep in freezer) salt; pepper; etc.
    Canned Fruits, Veggies, Soups, stews, etc.
    Soy sauce, vinegar, bouillons/gravy/soup base 
    Chocolate/Cocoa/Tang/Punch (water enhancers)
    Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, Trail mix/Jerky
    Popcorn, Peanut Butter, Nuts 
    Teas; Coffee
    Vodka (for making medicinal tinctures)
    Dried soup; dried fruit; dried vegetables; instant rice and potatoes

    Pet food
    Garden seeds (Non-hybrid or Heirloom seeds only) and gardening books; 
    Garden tools; supplies; Gloves: Work/warming/gardening, etc.
    Chickens and feed

    Water containers (I am saving used 1/2 gallon juice containers that are HARD CLEAR PLASTIC, and refilling them with water and a few drops of GSE as needed during the winter when our water often freezes.)
    And we also have numerous 5 gallon containers for longer term use.

    Washboards, Mop Bucket w/wringer (for Laundry) and an old wringer washing machine; clothes line and poles, clothes pins;  laundry detergent (liquid); Bleach (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)

    Handbooks for advice/tips on survivalism; herbal healing; emergency medical treatment
    Bow saws, axes and hatchets, Wedges (also, honing oil)
    Aluminum foil Reg.& Heavy Duty (Great Cooking/Barter item)
    Garbage bags (Impossible to have too many.) 
    Garbage cans Plastic (great for storage)
    Fire extinguishers (or a large box of Baking soda in every room...)
    Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)

    Toilet Paper, Kleenex, paper towels
    Paper plates/cups/utensils  
    Duct tape
    Fire extinguishers (or a large box of Baking soda in every room...)
    Batteries (all furthest-out for Expiration Dates)
    Insulated ice chests (good for keeping items from freezing in Winter time)
    Cast iron cookware
    Fishing supplies/tools 
    Hunting supplies; ammo
    Radio (solar if possible)
    Duct tape
    Writing paper/pads/pencils/erasers/ solar calculators

    Canning supplies (Jars/lids/wax); Pressure Canner; Hot Water Bath Canner; Vacuum sealer
    Hand-Can openers; hand egg beaters, whisks 
    Grain Grinder (Non-electric)  
    Hand pumps; siphons (for water and for fuels) 
    12 volt pump for showering
    Hand turned bread kneader
    Hand turned popcorn popper

    Hygiene items: Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash/floss, nail clippers, tweezers; etc
    Reading glasses
    Anti-bacterial soap; anti-bacterial wipes
    Shaving supplies (razors & creams, talc, after shave)
    First aid kits
    Mosquito coils/repellent sprays/creams

    Thermal underwear (Tops and bottoms)
    Work boots, belts, durable clothes
    Rain-gear, rubberized boots, etc
    Socks, Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras) 
    Woolen clothing, scarves/ear-muffs/mittens 
    Backpacks; Duffle bags 
    Sleeping bags & blankets/pillows/mats 

    Scissors, fabrics; sewing supplies
    Knives; Sharpening tools: files, stones, steel
    Bicycles; Tires/tubes/pumps/chains, etc.
    Carbon Monoxide Alarm (battery powered)
    Board Games Cards, Dice
    d-Con Rat poison, MOUSE PRUFE II, Roach Killer
    Mousetraps, Ant traps & cockroach magnets

    Wednesday, January 5, 2011

    Thoughts on nursing the sick in tough times...

    Last spring our daughter and son-in-law became the proud owners of a new, (1936 vintage) home!

    They had lots of work to do, and part of that entailed tons of yard work.  They pruned the bushes, and yanked out a few overgrown rhododendron bushes.  We lent them our truck, and on one occasion we needed to borrow the truck back, so we hauled home the bush debris to burn here on our property.  My husband unloaded the brush one Sunday afternoon while I fixed lunch and as we sat in our home eating our lunch, our goats helped themselves to the brush outside.  Within just a couple of hours, they were drooling and shaking their heads and vomiting.  I had kept goats for over a decade, and did not know that rhododendron brush (especially ones that have wilted) are extremely toxic to goats!!!  By the next day it was obvious that something was terribly wrong, and I researched what to do for them on the internet.  I ran into town and purchased some activated charcoal from the feed store.  I also purchased some Probios "goop" to give them.  I mixed two different tonics that were prescribed by helpful people at a web site called "Goat911" and monitored them for 48 hours.  Out of 10 goats, we lost 2 babies.  Here is the recipe for the recommended tonic I used to try and detoxify them:

    ¼ cup cooking oil
     ½ cup strong/strong cold tea (6 to 8 tea bags removed) ["English" tea]
     1 teaspoon ground ginger
     1 teaspoon baking soda
     MIX ALL TOGETHER and drench the goat with it all.

    How does this work?

    Oil puts a lining on the stomach preventing more poison going into the system, tea is the antidote, and ginger relieves pain, baking soda helps bring up the gas.

    My next episode was more recent....  Our two year old Golden Retriever/Beagle do got into something and slowly lost his appetite over the course of about two weeks.  Then he started vomiting sporadically,  just before Christmas.  He ran a fever, but drank fluids ---- and slept.  I tried to find a vet to help, but due to the fact that it was the day before New Years Eve; they were all booked and told me to call back on Monday.

    So, I went into town on New Years Eve and purchased some Pro-bios "goop" and tried to purchase some activated charcoal but they were all out.  So, I purchased a bottle of Penicillin and some syringes.  I drenched him twice a day with Sulmet mixed with honey water (Sulmet is an antibacterial and I was hoping that if he had some sort of gut infection due to eating something off of the ground that this would help heal his gut.)  I also put some colloidal silver water in his drench.  I also gave him some anti diarrhea  medicine in case he was suffering from an upset stomach.  He didn't start showing improvement though until I had given him 4 days worth of Penicillin (1/2 ml; 2 x a day) shots, intramuscular, given on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday)

    I must add, I cried like a baby the night before I purchased the antibiotics and such; and I cried and prayed out to God to give me wisdom and guidance as to what to do.

    On day 3 of the antibiotics he was like a new dog, he barked for the first time in over a week, he licked us and wanted to be petted and he started eating again.  Today he played with his kitty "Dinky" (a new kitten we acquired over the summer) and has eaten almost non stop all day.  He is playful and affectionate.  I am so thankful, I was so afraid we would lose him.

    So, moral of the story -----  know what sort of things are toxic to your livestock and try to keep them out of reach from them;  and try to have things on hand to treat them as soon as you suspect they have gotten into something they shouldn't have! 

    Activated charcoal; Probios (powder or goop) and Penicillin are things I will try to always have on hand.

    I am grateful for Vets; but I am also grateful for the wisdom of those who have had to deal with things on their own when vets weren't available.  And as a side note, we had a dog years ago who got into something and was suffering with diarrhea and lack of appetite so we took him to the vet.  They pumped his stomach and started him on antibiotics and fluids and asked to keep him overnight.  I went to pick him up the next day, and the bill was over $700 dollars.  I was floored to say the least!  The activated charcoal is supposed to absorb toxins, and I think in many cases it could take the place of having to have the animals stomach pumped, as in the case of my goats.  I would have used it on my dog, but the feed store was out of it.  Drenching the goats and my dog with fluids helped keep them hydrated and sooth their gut.  Antibiotics was added to fight off any infections they may have acquired.

    I hope this information might encourage you to not give up in desperate circumstances.

    Night all, from my Home, Sweet, Simple Home!

    Preparing for Hyper Inflation

    The daily news isn't very rosy these days ------ matter of fact, I'd liken it to something more like skunk cabbage!

    There has been talk in the past 2 years about recession; double-dip recession; depression; inflation; hyper inflation ----- are you depressed yet?  I try not to let it get me down, but look at the days we are living in as a challenge!

    I do believe that tough times are ahead, and I want to do everything I can to make our daily lives run as smooth as possible.  So I am trying to formulate a game plan that I can put into play that is simple yet thorough.  Even if the economy doesn't go into a terminal tail-spin, keeping a 6-12 month food supply and learning to rotate it will give you one less thing to worry about should you get laid off, or suffer some other unforeseen financial crisis. Here is what I have decided to focus on first:

    ~ Food Storage 
                                (check out the other links on the left side of the page for other food storage tips)

    ~ Non-Food Storage Items
    ~ First Aid; OTC Medicines; Herbal Medicines; and Supplements
    ~ Non Electric Helps
    ~ Garden Supplies
    ~ Animal Feed
    ~ Clothing

    Gleening from the past!

    Greetings!  I have been pondering how to best prepare for the possibility that we will have to deal with inflation, or maybe even hyperinflation in the coming year, as I hear about it daily in the news and do not want to be caught unprepared.  I stumbled upon a wonderful resource, a cookbook published by Mrs. E.E. Kellogg in 1893.  It is more than a cookbook actually, and goes into great detail to help the homemaker look at meal planning as more than a daily event.  It is free to print, published by the Gutenberg Project.

    Home Sweet Simple Home!

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    New Year, new adventure!

    Well, here we go!  This is a new year, 2011 ---- and for me, it is not just a new year, but a new adventure, on a few different planes.

    First, my husband and best friend of 32 years retired last week.  He was a construction Laborer foreman for Andersen Construction company in Oregon.  We are so excited to be able to just slow down and enjoy life here on our 6 acre homestead; and Lord willing, do some traveling this spring.  And, a lot of fishing in between! 

    I have always loved the idea of living simply!  I have ancestors who came across the plains in covered wagons from Kentucky and Nebraska to eek out a new life here in the Pacific Northwest, and I have always been enchanted with the idea of living with few frills and appreciating the basics.  

    Little did I know that when I married, I would get a chance to do just that!  

    I will save the details of that saga for future posts though, as I want to move on to some other areas of more pertinent interest for the near future...  things like:

    Learning to knit
    Learning to save money on the grocery bill
    Traveling on the cheap
    Raising poultry economically
    Thrifty meal planning
    Once a month shopping
    Frugal Quilting
    Starting a greenhouse garden in winter

    And I am interested in knowing what you ladies are doing in your homes this new year?  Does the uncertainty of what the future might hold for our country cause you to want to prepare your homes for the possibility of having to tighten your purse strings and learn to live on less?  It does me!  And that is the direction this blog will take for the new year!  So, please jump on board with me for this new adventure, and maybe we can all help each other to create "sweet and simple homes" for 2011~

    Cheers and God bless!