Sunday, February 27, 2011

Granny Miller? Wowie.

So, here I am with no followers and Granny puts me up for the Stylish Blogger Award. Not like I know what that is, but still! I'm having my family over today so I don't have time for anything more than....


Country Jane, Blushing

a fake cute me blushing

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stocking up

Today I went to the store to get a few items we don't have much of. I have "bulk" cash set aside for a Costco run, but it takes so much energy so I've waited.

I'm going to use this blog for stuff I don't want my immediate friends or family knowing about so that I can't post in my other blog. I'd like this stuff more private. Don't want to have to shoot them if they come to the door to take my food or tp.

At the "regular" store today I got maxi pads...I still hate buying these, I'm so dumb. My husband reminded me that we have a bunch of girls who will menstruate some day and they'll need them too. I figure we can use some cloth if we're desperate, but maxi's aren't too expensive. Coffee filters. Spaghetti sauce, generic. Spaghetti noodles, generic. Catsup, generic. A little brown sugar, generic. A little sweetened condensed milk, a little evaporated milk, a little corn syrup (for Christmas time caramel corn), corn starch, baking powder and some powdered milk. Yes, we have goats, but there are a few months they don't produce and frankly we don't have the grain stored up to feed goats at the moment...something else we have to work on. Powdered milk is good for making yogurt (you really do kinda need it) and for cooking. Cake mixes, brownie mixes. I know these are not "necessary" but if the poop hits the fan I'd like to have easy make brownies to make me feel better. I have a cook book with brownie recipes too, so I think we're covered there.

I'm sure I got more..oh right, ice cream. Not to stock up on but to eat.

Country Jane, big shopper
I'm not really prepared, are you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On saving food...

  Something I’ve wanted to talk about in my other blog but haven’t wanted to give away the “big secret”. It’s that we have started hoarding food. Now that I think about it it’s been a longer process than I realized, however, this year it’s become more of an obsession that I can’t explain.

It started a while back when I was introduced to our local “grain lady”. I wanted to get oatmeal in bulk as I made it a lot for our 2 and 4 year olds (at the time). I also discovered that she could find 1 gallon containers of molasses instead of the 3 cup containers I was finding at the store. My grandmother’s cookie recipe called for a whole cup and I liked doubling it. Once I decided I’d like to try wheat flour so I gave the bucket of Prarie gold wheat a try. It was full of seeds/grains/ berries, what?! Seeing as I was mad at that bucket for not being what I thought it would be (flour) I let it sit for a year. Then one day I called up my neighbor and asked her if she had a grain mill, of course she did. One day I’ll write a separate post on what it’s like to be a friend/neighbor to the woman who can do LITERALLY anything. She lugged over her huge heavy old wooden mill, told me what to do and left. I ground up about a quarter of my bucket and froze the extra flour as she instructed. Thus began my love for freshly ground wheat. Not as much for the health factor, I’m really not a health nut, but for the economic sense that it brings to only grind what you need when you need it and the berries are much cheaper. And it tastes pretty good too.

About two years ago my sister and I purchased a grain mill together. We then purchased bags of soft wheat, hard wheat, spelt, kamut, and corn (and more quick and whole oats). She located buckets at the local bakery and we split our purchases. I still have much of this grain as I don’t use it a ton when I bake bread, mostly wheat. So now I have about 7 buckets (small to large) of grain. Around the same time I decided to start buying beans in bulk also, (even millet) so I have (in kitty litter containers, the green ones) garbanzo beans, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, soy beans, and kidney beans. Inside of my house I have an extra 25 bag of pintos because we use them most. I also have a bag of brown and white rice. I keep my beans handy in my 1.25 gallon icecream buckets that I can’t throw away.

After buying the mill and enjoying the fact that I had so many grains, it gave me this fuzzy feeling of sustainment. I told this to my other neighbor who encouraged me to buy extra of everything and then just date it so I use up the older stuff first.

At first I got just little extras here and there, and then I began systematically trying to purchase in duplicate or triplicate everything that we already use. Trying to turn my garage into something like a little grocery store just for us. At first it was hard because it cost so much more. But the last 2 pay checks worth of grocery money, I have probably not even used half. I stick what I don’t use into my “bulk” account so that I have it when grain or large items need to be bought.

Just this winter our friends helped us to get hooked up at the local Mormon cannery and their prices on grain, flour, beans, etc are outstanding. Much better than through our local grain lady or the Azure orders we’ve tried doing. My husband went on the first canning session and brought home about 5 boxes of large canned products including wheat berries, flour, dry onions, dry apples, sugar, oats, beans, etc. We also purchased about 150 more pounds of wheat berries in bags and 75 lbs of white flour. They even had mylar bags and oxygen absorbers for sale so I hope to (soon) get a set up and get those all bagged up tight and put into some buckets or boxes and stick them away for a rainy day.

In addition to the chickens who lay eggs and goats who produce milk we’re not nearly as bad off (prepared wise) as we were last year. There are many issues we still have to undertake to be really prepared for the unknown, but I know that if we plod along and do what we need to do, God ultimately provides.

Country Jane, wanna be prepper

Sunday, February 13, 2011

On growing up

I fell like I'm finally hatching out of my shell and it's been 14 years since I've left home. I got married when I was young and so I've had almost half of my life to change, so why do I feel so guilty? I think it's because I have chosen to think. See, we didn't think when I was growing up. We did not have intellectual conversations. We watched TV, a lot. I went to public school at age 12 and up. When you're parents don't counter the media and school you have nothing to fall back on except what they teach you in those places. Guns are evil. Alcohol is no good. Drugs are horrible. Littering is outrageous. Wearing your seat belt is the only way. Sex, well, you need a condom. At least my parents had enough know-how to make sure I knew to wait for marriage before sex, I'm glad for that. These days the schools have added the recycling religion and the acceptance of homosexuality. Really? Who wants their kids to be taught that? Ok, yes, many of my friends. I think they must choose to turn a blind eye, how else could you stand for that?

We didn't discuss politics really either. I knew they were Republicans, but only because I asked one day, and then I was also told that it was rude to ask how people were going to vote. I was taught about simple manners, to write thank you notes, to brush my hair and teeth, how to put on makeup, how to make a meal, how to shave my legs, that I should try my hardest in school, to not watch rated R movies, those important sorts of things. I was not taught how to garden, how to shoot a rabbit, how to think.

I believe that for my parent’s generation that they didn't realize that when they left their farms and move to the suburbs what their children were missing. They just wanted the "good" life where you just drive to the store when you want to eat...put food in storage? Why bother! Put the kids in school and have coffee with their girlfriends or take that other job so they can get another car. They made choices.
My husband jokes that he "raised" me the rest of the way. He's lucky. I was a clean slate ready to learn. I didn't know how to think critically and he taught me that, I thought the world was full of roses, he taught me otherwise. I thought everyone went to public school, I was wrong.
We have chosen a country life. We have 4 neighbors that live right around us. 2 have also chosen a country life and 2 have stayed urban. It's a matter of choice where we live. We built an urban home 11 years ago and a bit of land, not much, but in the last few years we have decided to start changing our lifestyle, thus increasing our spending on our food (by raising animals), etc, but we want our children to learn what I didn't. That is about the importance of living simply and not relying on the grocery store to have everything we need and want.

This blog will be about my journey to country life. The pros and cons that will bring. What we teach our children. What other parents ought to teach their own. And encouraging people to wake up and smell those thorny roses.

Country Jane, all growed up

Testing, testing 123

I've decided to go on the down low.

I have another blog that I just started this year, but I quickly realized that when people who know you read your blog, you can't really say freely what's on your mind. This blog is hopefully going to remedy that.

I realize that I will have no followers, but I don't think I really care. I'm writing to sort my thoughts, to feel myself out, to see what I really believe and to possibly connect to others who feel the same. With out worry of offending my parents or husband or friends who think I'm quite wacky.

Country Jane, A "new" woman
such a lovely painting